President’s Report – 2011


Highlights this year:
1. We have welcomed a new member of Council, Dr Tina Bell. Tina received an Australian Flora Foundation grant in 2006 to help with her studies at Melbourne University on mycorrhizal associations in the Fabaceae. She was appointed Senior Lecturer in Fire Ecology at the University of Sydney in March 2010, and has accepted our invitation to join the Council of the Foundation.

2. We have approved a total of $55,360 in research grants, of which $18,360 is for continuing grants, and $37,000 for new grants. The new grants are to:
a. Alexandra Bowman, University of Adelaide, for a project titled ‘Fallen logs: creating patchiness in chenopod shrublands of South Australia’.
b. Professor Corey Bradshaw, University of Adelaide, for a project titled ‘Identifying cost-effective reforestation approaches for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in southern Australia’.
c. Patricia Fuentes-Cross, University of Adelaide, for a project titled ‘Understanding the distribution of genetic diversity in South Australian populations of Quandong (Santalum acuminatum), to inform genetic resource management and future domestication activities’.

3. What is probably a record number of final reports have been received this year. Final reports on Australian Flora Foundation research projects have been received from:
a. Dion K. Harrison, University of Queensland: Understanding the biochemical basis of flower colour in Australian native Ptilotus and Gomphrena
b. Tina Bell, University of Melbourne: Mycorrhizal associations in the Fabaceae: are they really needed?
c. Margaret Johnston, University of Queensland: An evaluation of the temperature and daylength requirements of Australian potted colour species
d. E. Charles Morris, University of Western Sydney: Mechanical constraint model of seed coat dormancy in Grevillea.
e. Professor Robert Henry, Southern Cross University: Impact of climate on the genetic diversity of native species using Microlaena stipoides as a model
f. Peter Wilson, National Herbarium of NSW: Reproductive biology of the Magenta Lilly Pilly (Syzygium paniculatum) and its implications for conservation
g. Amelia Martyn, The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan, NSW: Germination of Australian alpine species and implications in a changing climate
h. Professor Hans Griesser, University of South Australia: Plasma discharge treatment for improved germination of seeds and killing of fungal spores on seed coats
i. Jon Luly, James Cook University Townsville: The status of the waddi tree (Acacia peuce) in Queensland

4. Young Scientist prizes were awarded to students giving the best talk or presenting the best poster at the December 2010 meeting of the Ecological Society of Australia
a. Talk: Sam Wood, University of Tasmania, Age and growth of a Tasmanian temperate old-growth forest stand dominated by Eucalyptus regnans, the world’s tallest angiosperm
b. Poster: James Camac, University of Melbourne, Global warming, fire & Australian alpine plants: catastrophe or resilience?

5. Two Newsletters were produced and distributed through the efforts of our Secretary, Ian Cox: Newsletter 13 in January 2011, and Newsletter 14 in July 2011.

6. The final reports, as well as summaries and interim reports, publications arising from grants, details of grants, details of Young Scientist awards, Newsletters and much else can be found on the Australian Flora Foundation website

And finally my thanks to each of you, and particularly to those on the Council, for your work fostering the aims of the Foundation. A particular thanks to Jenny Jobling, our Treasurer and Ian Cox, our Secretary, who did much of the ‘heavy lifting’.

Peter Goodwin
12th December 2011