Keynote Speakers

Professor David Mabberley
Whither Australian Plant Systematics?

David was appointed Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust in New South Wales last year following a stint as Director of the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. With degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge, David has had a distinguished botanical career in academia and is recognised as an eminent botanist, historian and authority on botanical art. He is the author of Mabberley’s plant-book which gives an overview of the world’s flora and is currently in its third edition, and has written 15 other books, including the definitive biography of Robert Brown and books on botanical artists such as Ferdinand Bauer, Arthur Harry Church and Geraldine King Tam. He is widely published in the scientific literature and is a recipient of both the Nancy Burbidge Medal (2003) and Linnean Medal for Botany (2006).

Before working at Kew, David was Director at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens in Seattle, USA, and prior to that he lived in Australia and was Chief Executive Officer at Greening Australia (New South Wales), a non-governmental revegetation organisation.

We welcome David back to Australia and look forward to his unique perspective on the current state of play in Australian plant systematics.

Baden Appleyard
Title TBA

Baden is the National Programme Director of AusGOAL, the Australian Government’s Open Access and Licensing Framework, which provides support and guidance to all levels of government, government agencies and the research sector to facilitate open access to publicly funded information. He holds degrees in law and commerce, in addition to tertiary qualifications in management, and is a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland and of the High Court of Australia. From 2000–2008 he was engaged with the Australian Taxation Office, predominately as Principal Litigator and Litigation Manager within the ATO Legal Services Branch. In these roles, Baden had carriage of a broad variety of complex litigation in commercial law, insolvency and bankruptcy law, workplace law, family law, and administrative law.

Baden was a Principal Research Fellow with the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology from 2007–2008. During this time, he managed Project 3.05, part of an Australia-wide initiative co-sponsored by the CRC for Spatial Information which provided assistance to underpin the legal and policy framework development of a Queensland Government Information Licensing Framework (GILF), the predecessor of AusGOAL. He currently has responsibility for the development and implementation of AusGOAL and related copyright, contractual and administrative law issues (e.g. FOI and Privacy).

We look forward to Baden’s insights on mobilising data and privacy issues, and how this relates to Australian plant systematics and biodiversity conservation.

Brent Mishler

A new era for natural history collections: the impact of digitization and phylogenetics on analysis of biodiversity data

Brent is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley, as well as Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, where he teaches phylogenetic systematics, plant diversity, and island biology. A native southern Californian, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984, and was on the faculty at Duke University for nine years before moving to UC Berkeley in 1993. His research interests are centred on the systematics, evolution, and ecology of bryophytes, ranging from broad-scale relationships of mosses and liverworts (including comparative genomics), to fine scale phylogenetics in the Calymperaceae and Pottiaceae, to studies of reproductive biology and physiology of the diverse moss genus Syntrichia. He also works on the overall phylogeny of green plants and the theory of systematics.

Last year, Brent was a Visiting Scientist at the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research in Canberra for six months. During this time he worked with a local team of experts in phylogenetics, bryophytes, herbarium data, GIS, niche modelling, GenBank, statistics and DNA sequencing to help develop new phylogenetic methods to measure biodiversity on a landscape scale, taking advantage of the extensive herbarium digitization uniquely available in Australia.

Brent is ideally placed to present a stimulating talk that explores some of the exciting research being conducted with the vast amount of biodiversity data that are starting to flow freely through various web portals.

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