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Orchid Research Newsletter No. 41


When the American Orchid Society Trustees and staff conceived of a scientific journal devoted to orchids some 18-19 years ago, no one had any idea how time-consuming it would be -- arranging for proceedings of symposia to fill the first volume and soliciting original manuscripts for succeeding ones, obtaining bids from printers, publicizing the journal, designing the cover with the classic image of John Lindley and setting the style within, and establishing a subscriber base. The dedication of the AOS staff and volunteers to the project demonstrated their foresightedness and confidence that the journal would be successful.

Indeed, it was. For 51 issues, edited at various times by Gustavo Romero, Mark Chase, and me, we helped to focus orchid research into one peer-reviewed, respected journal covering all aspects of orchid science. For 17 years, all of us helped to bring to light the most recent experimental results from physiology to pollination, micropropagation to phylogenetics, as well as descriptions and illustrations of hundreds of new taxa. Just as important, we offered an outlet for dialogue and publication of papers from the next generation of orchid scientists around the world. The legacies of these papers, some of them tangible, some not so obvious, will outlive Lindleyana. We tried to set a high standard by which scientific orchid periodicals would be judged in the future.
Bad news: with much regret we must announce that the American Orchid Society ceased its publication of Lindleyana in December 2002 with volume 17. Despite several promotions and publicity to encourage circulation figures that would pay for printing and distribution of this respected quarterly, the budget shortfall in today’s lacklustre economy forced the AOS to take this unfortunate decision.
Good news: we have just learned that a leading scientific institution is considering adopting the journal and continuing publication. More information will be available here when and if the agreement between all concerned parties is formalized. In the meantime, please continue to submit papers for Lindleyana to its distinguished editor, Dr. Mark Chase, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Alec Pridgeon


News from Correspondents

Clayton, Dudley (30, Orchard Close Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9PY, UK) has recently completed The Genus Coelogyne: A Synopsis. He is currently applying the taxonomic descriptions of Coelogyne species to the Delta format (Description Language for Taxonomy). He is preparing a database and recording the contents of John Day’s 53 “Scrapbooks’, now in the possession of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. John Day produced a vast array of watercolours and drawings, together with manuscript notes and extracts from publications, including Botanical Magazine and GardenersChronicle. The Scrapbooks represent a comprehensive record of the orchid species introduced into Britain between 1863 and 1888. He is also assembling a database with available biographical information on botanists, plant collectors, nurserymen, gardeners, notable amateur growers, and artists associated with Orchidaceae.
Farrell, Lynne (address correction: SNH, Battleby, Redgorton, Pert PN1 3EW, UK) is currently monitoring populations of Cephalanthera longifolia in Argyll, Scotland.
Forster, Wellington (Universidade de São Paulo, Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz", Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Avenida Pádua Dias, 11 – Agronomia 13418-900 Piracicaba-SP, Brazil; e-mail: wforster@carpa.ciagri.usp.br) has begun a Ph.D. thesis on a taxonomic revision of Octomeria (Pleurothallidinae) as well as the phylogeny of Octomeria and related genera.
Lang, David Christopher (1 Oaktree, Barcombe, Lewes, E. Sussex BN8 5DP), on the heels of his book Wild Orchids of Sussex (published 2001), has prepared a book on Sikkim, covering four expeditions made over the last 17 years, especially to remote areas in the northern part of the country. It has a slant on botany with reference to terrestrial orchids in particular. Mohan Pradhan supplied a specialist chapter and colour slides on the forest orchids of Sikkim. Archive materials on Joseph Hooker, including scenic and floral watercolours, were supplied by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Geology, geography, and history are covered where relevant to the botany and exploration of Sikkim. The book now awaits acceptance by Sikkim authorities. Financing of the Sikkim book is a problem, he writes, as estimates for printing 3000 copies are over £17,000. It will contain about 350 colour photos in addition to black-and-white archival pictures. Text and photos cover many alpines in addition to orchids and rhododendrons and span April to October. At present there is an encouraging interest from Sikkim, but if this fails to result in financial commitment then he cannot afford personally to risk the costs. He would welcome any solutions to this dilemma.


Upcoming Conferences

This spring will be a busy one for orchid biologists. The European Orchid Conference and Show will be held in at the Royal Horticultural Society Halls in London, England, from the 12th through the 16th of March 2003. Apart from the spectacular show with RHS judging and vendors from around the world, there will also be six sessions of lectures from many of the world’s leading orchid scientists and growers. There will be two sessions of lectures running in parallel each day from the13th through the15th. In addition there will be tours of London and Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank followed by a visit to McBean’s Orchids during the Conference and post-Conference tours to 1) the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the RHS Gardens, Wisley; 2) the Eric Young Orchid Foundation and the Durrell Wildlife Trust; 3) the Mary Rose Museum and Ship Hall at Portsmouth Dockyard and a tour of Orchid Answers; and 4) the Eden Project, Pine Lodge, Trebah, and Hestercombe Gardens and Burnham Orchid Nursery. Capping the Conference will be a Gala Dinner held at the New Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) on Saturday, 15 March, with presentation of trophies and awards. Further details on registration, the lecture programme, judging, accommodations, and tours are available on the Conference website (http://www.eoc2003.org.uk) or by contacting Mr. Iain C. Wright, Registrar, EOC2003, The Windmill, Vennington, Westbury Shrewsbury SY5 9RG, UK (e-mail: eoc2003.registrar@which.net).

The Third International Conference on the Comparative Biology of the Monocotyledons and the Fourth International Symposium on Grass Systematics and Evolution will be held from 31 March through 4 April 2003 at the Ontario Convention Center in southern California, about 55 km east of Los Angeles. Lecture topics will include morphology, anatomy, development, reproductive biology, molecular biology, cytology, genomics, genetics, biochemistry, paleobotany, phylogenetics, classification, biogeography, ecology, and data integration. Over 30 sessions, including at least one on Orchidaceae, have been organized on topics ranging from genomics to systematics and ecology. The conference proceedings will be published. Exciting multi-day and one-day field trips before, during, and after the Conference will take in the spring flora of Baja California, Death Valley National Park, Santa Catalina Island, the Santa Rosa Plateau, the Granite Mountains of the Mojave Desert, and much more. For further information and online registration, visit the Conference website (http://www.monocots3.org) or e-mail info@monocots3.org. You may also obtain details by writing to: Monocots III, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 North College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711-3157 USA (tel. 1-909-625-8767 ext. 333, fax: 1-909-626-7670).
To emphasize the importance of public awareness about global themes related to orchid conservation, the Jardín Botánico Lankester of Universidad de Costa Rica is organizing the First International Conference of Neotropical Orchidology and the Third Meeting of the Regional Mesoamerican Orchid Specialist Group, UICN/SSC, to be held in San José at Ciudad de la Investigación of Universidad de Costa Rica, from 21–24 May 2003. The main themes of the Conference will be global perspectives in conservation, advances in orchid phylogeny, population genetics, data and information management and pollination biology. The Conference is being sponsored by the Charles Lankester Foundation. If you are interested in participating in the Conference or wish more information, please send an e-mail to jbl@cariari.ucr.ac.cr, or telephone the Organizing Committee on (506) 552-3247 (fax: (506) 552-3151).


Important Message to ORN Subscribers

Postage costs have risen such that it is no longer possible for us to mail out hard copies of the Orchid Research Newsletter to all 800+ subscribers around the world. Ideally, all subscribers would have access to the Internet so that they could read the latest issue on the website of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. We know that this is impossible for many subscribers, especially in developing countries, and ask them to contact Dr. Dave Roberts (Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB; 44-(0)20-8332-5291; d.roberts@rbgkew.org.uk) for continued mailings of the ORN to their addresses. We encourage all others to read current and past numbers of the ORN at http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/herbarium/orchid/.


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