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Herbaria

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Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium: A Forgotten Treasure at the Intersection of Science and Poetry. ORA Journal article: "Seventeenth-century plant lists and herbarium collections: a case study from Oxford Physic Garden" - uuid:ef4fcc50-fc0b-4f72-9581-7bf2963b5ff9. The Herbarium. Botanists fear research slowdown after priceless specimens destroyed at Australian border. This week’s news that Australian customs officers incinerated irreplaceable plant specimens has shocked botanists around the world, and left many concerned about possible impacts on international research exchanges.

Botanists fear research slowdown after priceless specimens destroyed at Australian border

Some have put a freeze on sending samples to Australia until they are assured that their packages won’t meet a similar fate, and others are discussing broader ways of assuring safe passage of priceless specimens. "This story is likely to have a major chilling effect on the loan system between herbaria across national boundaries," says Austin Mast, president of the Society of Herbarium Curators and director of the herbarium at Florida State University in Tallahassee. "Without the free sharing of specimens, the pace of plant diversity research slows. " As a result of the customs debacle, curators in New Zealand put a stay on shipping samples to Australia. Herbaria are guardians of plant biodiversity data. When things go awry But sometimes things go awry. Looking for solutions. Australian biosecurity officials destroy plant samples from 19th-century France.

Australian biosecurity officials have destroyed historically significant plant samples from 19th-century France and damaged the reputation of Australian researchers, the head of the peak herbaria body has said.

Australian biosecurity officials destroy plant samples from 19th-century France

In two separate incidents, quarantine officials have incinerated specimens sent to Australian research facilities from overseas. One collection dated back to the mid-1800s and was sent to the Queensland herbarium by the Paris Natural History Museum in March. “Quarantine basically said the paperwork wasn’t compliant and their response was to destroy them before another solution could be made,” the chairwoman of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, Prof Michelle Waycott, said. “What usually happens is we have a discussion – whether it’s letters or a phone call – but in this case we seem to have missed a step somewhere.” “It means taxonomy on materials in New Zealand can’t go ahead,” she said. Australian customs destroys unique lichen specimens in quarantine mix-up.

Australian customs officials destroyed two irreplaceable plant specimens that were being loaned to scientists by international institutions, prompting one of the institutions to suspend all transfers to Australian scientists.

Australian customs destroys unique lichen specimens in quarantine mix-up

The Department of Agriculture has conceded that missteps occurred while enforcing strict quarantine laws, when it accidentally incinerated the lichen specimens. France's National Museum of Natural History and New Zealand's Landcare Research Allan Herbarium had sent the samples, which dated back to the 19th century, to help with Australian research, but they were intercepted by customs officers due to inaccurate paperwork. Rare flowers destroyed in Australia after paperwork error. Image copyright Getty Images Australian biosecurity officers have destroyed historic plant specimens on loan from France after a paperwork mix-up.

Rare flowers destroyed in Australia after paperwork error

A box of rare daisies from the 1850s had been sent to Brisbane from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. But the pressed plant samples were incinerated because accompanying documents were filled out incorrectly. Australian quarantine authorities have ordered a review into the incident. A university is eliminating its science collection — to expand a running track. The curators of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Louisiana-Monroe got grim news last week from the school's director: The museum's research collection had to be moved out of its current home.

A university is eliminating its science collection — to expand a running track

The reason? The space was needed for expanded track facilities. The curators were given 48 hours to find a new place on campus to store the collection — something they weren't able to do. Now they must get another institution to take their several million specimens. Their hard deadline is July, when the track renovations are slated to begin. The ULM collection includes some 6 million fish collected by ULM ichthyologist Neil Douglas, one of the leading experts on the fish of Louisiana, as well as half a million native plants.

“Sometimes those collections might be the world-class collection for that specific geographic area because that’s where those researchers spent their careers collecting specimens,” he said.

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Asia. Britain + Europe. South America. US. The timeless pleasure of looking at plants. Guest post: Botany is not dead, but this plant is. Jennifer Ackerfield, Herbarium Curator in the Biology Department, shows off specimens in the CSU collection.

Guest post: Botany is not dead, but this plant is

May 12, 2015. Image via J. Ackerfield. Guest post from Colorado State University Herbarium Collections Manager Jennifer Ackerfield. She literally wrote the book on Colorado flora. Botany is not dead, but this plant is: The importance of herbaria in the 21st century and beyond Herbarium. Herbarium specimens are more important than ever, providing documentation of the flora and evolutionary processes in our changing world (Wen et al., 2015; Buerki & Baker, 2016; McLean et al., 2016). Thar be gold in them thar herbarium cabinets… Herbarium specimens are also being used as never before to provide material for DNA sequencing – our advances in technology enable botanists now to extract DNA from older and older material, allowing us to fill in gaps where collecting specimens is not feasible or where the plants themselves have even become extinct (Pyron, 2015; Zedane et al., 2016). Two newly-found moss specimens from Darwin’s Beagle Voyage – Botanics Stories. Plant Collecting & Herbarium Research Part 1! (Science IRL S3 Ep5.1)