Juniper Cedrus is threatened by fire and grazing

About IUCN SSC CSG

The IUCN SSC Conifer Specialist Group is a member of the International Union for Conservation’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC) and comprises 40 member volunteers from 21 countries. The collective expertise of the Group feeds into the IUCN Red List for threatened species.

Current members of the IUCN SSC Conifer Specialist Group

Chair · United Kingdom

Martin Gardner

For over 25 years I have worked at RBG Edinburgh on many aspects of conifer conservation and currently Chair the IUCN Conifer Specialist Group. I co-ordinate the International Conifer Conservation Programme which together with members of the Conifer Specialist Group, has played a major role in the completion of the Red List and first global reassessment for conifers. Part of my work has been to establish one of the world's most comprehensive networks for the ex situ conservation of threatened conifers. My conifer interests have taken me to over 30 countries in order to study and collect research materials of threatened conifers and their associated species. Particular geographical areas of interest include New Caledonia and Latin America. 

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Vice Chair · USA

Chad Husby

I received my undergraduate degree from Alma College, a Master of Applied Statistics from Ohio State University, a Master's in Horticulture from Virginia Tech and a PhD. in Biology from Florida International University. Today I am a Botanical Horticulturist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden where my work focuses on plant exploration to find, cultivate and propagate new plants to enhance horticulture and botanical collections. I worked to build a large collection of tropical conifers at the Montgomery Botanical Center where I was Collections Manager and Botanist for eight years. I continue to focus on plant groups that have not received adequate attention, from conifers and ferns to foliage, flowering trees and unusual fruits. My scientific research ranges from plant ecophysiology and horticulture to conservation and systematics. I have travelled to 22 countries for botanical and horticultural projects.

Red List Authority · United Kingdom

Philip Thomas

I joined the International Conifer Conservation Programme in 1995. Since then, I have studied conifers in the field in many temperate and subtropical parts of the world including China, mainland SE Asia, New Caledonia and Chile. I am also the Coordinator for the IUCN Conifer Redlist Authority and an active member of the IUCN Conifer Specialist Group with a particular interest in SE Asian conifers.

Member · Turkey

Necmi Aksoy

I graduated in the Faculty of Forestry (Karadeniz Technical University) in 1996 and gained my MSc and PhD in the Department of Forestry, Istanbul University between 1999 and 2006. I am full Associate Professor in Forest Botany and Head of Department of Forest Botany at Duzce University Faculty of Forestry. My research focuses on dendrology, herbaria, arboreta and botanical gardens and my current research concerns invasive plants, plant systematics and plant sociology. My research in the Herbarium of Duzce University Faculty of Forestry (DUOF) and the Botanical Garden of Duzce University concerns the protection of biodiversity of the western Black Sea Region of Turkey. I organized the 1st International Yew Workshop of Turkey with German Yew Society in Duzce in 2015. I am an author of the Illustrated Flora of Turkey Project working on conifers species.

Member · Russia

Leonid Averyanov

I was born in St.-Petersburg, Russia in 1955 and graduated from St.-Petersburg State University in 1977 after which I have worked at the Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. I was a candidate of Sciences (PhD) in 1983 and awarded my Doctor of Science degree in 1991. I was given my Professorship in 1999. My research programmes have led to me having participated in many expeditions in the Old World. I have successively completed numerous grant projects supported from the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Investigations, UNESCO, National Geographic Society (USA), National Science Foundation, American Orchid Society (USA), Chicago Zoological Society, WWF, Fauna and Flora International, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, etc. My present position is Head of the Higher Plant Herbarium Department of the Komarov Botanical Institute (LE) and Acting President of the All-Russian Botanical Society. I have authored about 500 scientific publications and monographs. My main scientific interests are plant taxonomy, particularly monocots and gymnosperms, plant geography of Eurasia and the conservation of nature. 

Member · Lebanon

Lara Awad

I am a Lebanese scientist interested in reconstructing population dynamics by means of fossil pollen and DNA analyses. I hold a PhD in palaeoecology and population genetics from the University of Montpellier where I have mainly worked on the population dynamics of the conifer species Abies cilicica. I am a lecturer at the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut and the Lebanese International University, and director of the environment department at the association 'Care For Me' of the Maronite Catholic Church. Furthermore, I have a weekly radio programme about the relationship between humans and their environment.

Member · Lebanon

Magda Bou Dagher Kharratt

I am Professor and Head of Department of Life and Earth Science at the Faculty of Science in Saint-Joseph University (USJ) Beirut where I am plant geneticist with special interests in conifer genetics. I employ genomic tools to investigate tree populations and flowering plants in order to understand their phylogeny, phylogeography and their historical evolutionary processes. The results of my research has allowed me to define conservation policies and reforestation strategies that are optimizing the survival of tree populations in the face of climate change and high mountain ecosystem restoration. I am the co-founder and vice-president of Jouzour Loubnan, an NGO dealing with reforestation in Lebanon since 2008. My work on restoration and rehabilitation of degraded mountain ecosystems and genetic investigation and conservation of the Lebanese flora is recognized at national and regional levels. I have become an expert in forestry and ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems.

Member · USA

Andrew Bower

I am a geneticist with the US Forest Service in Olympia, Washington. I have a bachelor’s degree in forestry from University of California, Berkeley, a MSc in forest science from Oregon State University, and a PhD in forest sciences from the University of British Columbia. I hold the position of Forest Service Area Geneticist for Western Washington and Northwest Oregon which covers the Olympic, Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Hood, and Siuslaw National Forests. Currently I am the Project Leader for the US Forest Service’s Whitebark Pine Restoration Program in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington). My professional interests include population and conservation genetics of forest trees and native plants, and conservation/restoration of rare or threatened trees, especially whitebark pine. I also work with botanists and foresters providing guidance on seed movement guidelines and genetic issues relative to trees and herbaceous native plants

Member · Jamaica

Keron Campbell

I am Head of the Botany Department and Curator of the National Herbarium (IJ) at the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ). I undertook my Doctorate degree in botany at the University of the West Indies, Mona, where I completed two degrees, graduating in 1999 and 2008 with a BSc in Botany and a MSc in Natural Resource Management. My work involves conservation research at the Mason River Protected Area, Game Sanctuary and Ramsar Site (MRPAGS&RS) which is managed by the NHMJ. I have published research papers on the endemic trees of Jamaica among other research topics. I Chair the National Ramsar Committee and National Focal Point for the Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) of the Ramsar Convention in Jamaica. I am also a member of the Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture Management Authority and the Invasive Alien Species Working Group.

Member · United Kingdom

Tom Christian

Whilst studying for a BSc in Horticulture at the RBG Edinburgh I volunteered for the International Conifer Conservation Programme, assisting with the monitoring of sites that host ex-situ conservation collections of conifers. On graduating in 2008 this work was formalised in order to expand the network of ex-situ conservation collections and to lead on the cultivation of conifers in the RBGE nurseries, with a particular focus on Scotland via two collaborative projects - the Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme, and from 2011, the National Tree Collections of Scotland. I have travelled extensively to work with plant collections throughout the UK & Ireland, and I have also undertaken fieldwork to study conifers and make scientific collections in several European countries as well as Lebanon, Morocco, Chile, Bhutan and Japan.  In 2010 I participated in a meeting of the Conifer Specialist Group in China.

Member · Fiji

Maika Daveta

I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Chemistry (University of the South Pacific), prior to this I pursued further studies and graduating in Postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology. As part of my present Masters degree, which is concerned with sustainability harvesting of the five most common timber species in Fiji, I was awarded a 10 month Erasmus Mundus Masters Exchange programme at KU Leuven Belgium in 2014. My interest in conifer research started when I joined the Silviculture Research Division of the Ministry of Forestry, Fiji as the Forestry officer concerned with tree improvement. My research concerns the mass propagation of gymnosperms, specifically of Podocarpus neriifolius, and Dacridium nausoriense

Member · USA

Ron Determann

I started working with conservation challenges with orchids and carnivorous plants as a child in Europe. There I developed an interest in conifers as well, nurtured by my father with plantings of especially Metasequoia and Sequoia. In 1978 I spent over a year studying orchids and other floral and faunal components in the Guyanas which led to further studies at a US botanical garden and back to school at the University of Florida for a degree in environmental horticulture. Over the past 30 years, at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, I have had the great opportunity to build the Fuqua Conservatory and the Fuqua Orchid Center, backup horticultural facilities as well as the conservation department and programme. Through much collaboration, Atlanta maintains more than 420 tropical and temperate conifer species with noteworthy specializations including 37 of the 45 New Caledonian species and 450 wild indexed clones of Torreya taxifolia.

Member · United Kingdom

Aljos Farjon

I am an honorary research associate at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew where I have recently shifted my research interests from conifers to the ancient oaks of England. I have studied the taxonomy of conifers since 1983, first at the University of Utrecht and later at the University of Oxford. Between 1996 and 2006, I headed the temperate section of the herbarium at the RBG Kew during which time I was the gymnosperm taxonomist. From 1995-2015 I was Chair of the Conifer Specialist Group and in 2015 I received an IUCN award in recognition of my leadership in two separate assessments of the Red List status of the world’s conifers. I am author of 10 books including ‘A Handbook of the World’s Conifers’ and of more than 120 articles in scientific journals. I am a botanical artist and have used my line drawings to illustrate most of my books.  

Member · Mexico

David Gernandt

I have a BA in Biology (Honors College, University of Oregon, 1992) and was awarded a PhD from the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University in 1998. I am a research scientist and the Chief of the Herbario Nacional de México (MEXU) at the Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). I study the systematics of plants, particularly the Pinaceae (pine family), and their leaf fungal endophytes. My current research is focused on phylogenetic reconstruction, phylogeography, molecular evolution, and the conservation of conifers, and metagenomics of fungal endophytes. I advise undergraduate and graduate students, principally in systematics and evolution, and teach systematics courses in the Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas programme at UNAM. As Chief of Mexico's National Herbarium, I oversee the largest scientific collection of dried plants in Latin America.

Member · Mexico

Socorro Gonzalez-Elizondo

In 1982 I gained my PhD from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico where today I am a Senior Researcher and the Herbarium Curator at CIIDIR. I am a founder of this important herbarium which serves as a reference collection of the biodiversity of Mexico’s central highlands and the Sierra Madre Occidental. I also coordinate a project on the floristics and ecology of the vegetation of the Sierra Madre Occidental and research the systematics of the Cyperaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae and Arbutoideae and collaborate in floristic projects in Mexico and elsewhere. I teach courses and undertake workshops on taxonomy, natural resources and sustainability. With several colleagues, I have described more than 50 new species and a new genus, and have authored more than 100 journal articles, seven books, and 18 book chapters or contributions to several floras (from Flora of North America to Flora del Cono Sur in Argentina and Chile).

Member · Vietnam

Tiên Hiệp Nguyên

I was awarded my Candidate of Sciences (PhD) in 1982 from the Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. From 1991-1993 I was a researcher at the Laboratoire de Phanerogamie, Museum National D’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris. I have a focus on conifer systematics and have written accounts for the Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam latterly I have published several new species of conifer (Xanthocyparis vietnamensis, Cupressus rupestris and Pinus cernua). I also collaborate on plant surveys in Vietnam and Loas and conservation initiatives such as ‘Empowering Local Communities to Engage in Conservation and Management of Magnolia and Conifer Trees in Vietnam’. The latter project has resulted in the restoration of threatened Vietnamese conifers. I have been a member of the Conifer and Cycad Specialist Groups since 1996.  

Member · Japan

Toshio Katsuki

I was born in 1967 in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in 1990 and gained a PhD in agricultural and life science in 2012 from the University of Tokyo. I currently work at Tama Forest Science Garden, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan where I specialise in the taxonomy of Japanese trees especially of Picea (Pinaceae) and Cerasus (Rosaceae). I also have a particular interest in the conservation of threatened species and have published on the extinction and genetic structure of the threatened Japanese conifer Picea koyamae.

Member · Australia

Gunnar Keppel

I am an environmental biologist at the University of South Australia. My research centres on the conservation of biodiversity and contributing towards a better understanding of species distributions using biological and environmental data. Born in Germany, I lived in Fiji for twenty years, where I worked on the biogeography and ecology of Pacific island environments, undertaking extensive field work. Since moving to Australia in 2009, I have mostly researched the role of refugia in facilitating the persistence of biodiversity under anthropogenic climate change, and the importance of stable microclimates in providing suitable habitats for wildlife. I have developed a passion for gymnosperms during my Masters research on the Pacific cycad, Cycas seemannii, in 1998/99, and I contributed to conservation assessments of Fijian conifers. I am currently on an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Göttingen working on the effect of environmental heterogeneity on species diversity in insular environments.

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Member · Germany

Patrick Knopf

I started as a horticulturist having had a long term experience in landscaping, propagation and in the cultivation of temperate and tropical plants. I have a deep interest in conifers, both from the wild and in cultivation. Latterly, I studied biology which focused on plant systematics and taxonomy. Have a particular interest in the morphology and anatomy of gymnosperms, especially the leaf anatomy of conifers. I have embarked on numerous collection trips to see tropical gymnosperms in Brazil, New Caledonia, Indonesia and the Philippines. As a postdoc I analyzed fossil gymnosperms in cooperation with Yale University. This included the comparison of artefacts of the Cretaceous period with recent species at a morphological and anatomical level. I am Director of the Botanical Garden Rombergpark which includes the Nose and Krüssmann arboretua. These gardens comprise both temperate and subtropical conifer species.

Member · Brazil

João Iganci

I graduated in Biological Sciences in 2006 (Universidade Federal de Pelotas), completed a MSc degree in Tropical Botany in 2008 (Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro), and received my PhD in Botany in 2012 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul). My studies were in plant systematics, evolution and conservation. I am currently a full professor at the Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil, and my research interests are on plant systematics, conservation and biogeography, especially focusing on species diversity and community evolution of the subtropical highland vegetation that includes both grasslands and mixed forest (with Araucaria angustifolia). I am currently directing the University's Science Museum, and I have fieldwork experience in tropical and subtropical South America, especially in the Pampas grasslands, Atlantic Forest and the Amazonia.

Member · Papua New Guinea

Tiberius Jimbo

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry Science with Merit from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology in 2010. After graduating, I took up a 2-year post of Field Inspector for a Swiss Company, Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS PNG Ltd) carrying out mostly monitoring duties throughout Papua New Guinea on all log export sites. From 2012, I joined Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute as Plant Biologist working mostly as a botanist both in the field and at LAE National Herbarium. For over 5 years I have studied plants in the tropics and developed an interest in conserving and managing threatened plant species and habitats on a broad scale. Since 2012, I have been involved with the REDD+ project, invasive plant project, plant taxonomic research projects and more recently the Multi-purpose National Forest Inventory project funded by FAO/EU. My field experience involves local field expeditions into areas that have few populations of conifer species in eastern part of New Guinea. As Curator of the gymnosperm collections at the LAE National Herbarium for three (3) years, I have developed an interest in understanding the diversity and distribution of conifer species for Papua New Guinea. My geographical area of interest includes the island of New Guinea and neighbouring Pacific island countries. I am also a member of the SSC IUCN Global Tree Specialist Group.

Member · Morocco

Mostafa Lamrani-Alaoui

After completing my studies in Biological Sciences in 1992 from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Meknes in Morocco, I gained my PhD in Ecology from the University of Seville (Spain) in 1998. I worked as Associate Professor as researcher in the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology from 1999 until 2003. Since my thesis, I worked on Mediterranean Abies forests and continued my research on plant ecology in riparian, dunes and mountainous ecosystems. From 2004 to 2008 I coordinated a conservation project of coastal and mountainous wetlands in Morocco. Also, I coordinated a collaborative project between Spain and Morocco for the creation and implementation of the Intercontinental Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve. I am a full Professor in Plant Ecology at the National School of Forest Engineers where I curate the herbarium. My research focuses on plant ecology and landscape ecology of the principle Mediterranean coniferous forest species including species of evergreen trees and desert plants.

Member · Chile

Antonio Lara

I am a Forest Engineer at the Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia and joined the university in 1992 where I am now a Full Professor and President of the FORECOS Foundation. I obtained my PhD. in Geography at University of Colorado. My main focus is on the ecology of Chilean native forests and Ecosystem Services in Chile. My research uses dendrochronology methods to understand climate change and its impacts on Fitzroya cupressoides, Pilgerodendron uviferum. This research has documented Fitzroya to be the second longest living tree on Earth (over 4,000 years) and discovered a temperature reconstruction for Southern South America covering 3,620 years. My research has resulted in over 100 publications some published in Science, Nature and Nature Geoscience. I have also been involved in the conservation and restoration of Fitzroya and other forest ecosystems, and in national and international collaboration networks in the various topics of my interest.    

Member · United Kingdom

Dan Luscombe

I have worked in the horticultural industry for nearly 25 years. My interest has always been in trees and shrubs with a special focus on conifers which started when I came to work at the Bedgebury National Pinetum in 2000 where I am now the Collections Manager. I have undertaken field work all over the world (including: Australia, Chile, China, Japan, New Zealand, Serbia, Turkey, USA, Vietnam and most recently in Malawi) collecting seeds from wild populations of conifers and their associated species for ex-situ conservation and studying them in the wild. I have also been involved with in-situ projects where I have helped train local staff. My role at Bedgebury has also enabled me be involved with the propagation of the conifers that I have collected, learning how best to grow many of these threatened species. I am also a member of the IUCN Tree Specialist Group.  

Member · China

Li Nan

I was awarded my PhD on the systematics, origin and dispersal of the Pinaceae. My postdoctoral research concerned the revision of major conifer families for the Flora of China (1999). I have been employed at the Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen & Chinese Academy of Sciences since 1996 where I have carried out research on living and fossil collections, ex-situ conservation, landscape construction and public education of conifers and cycads. I have carried out field surveys mainly on conifers and cycads in China, Colombia, Mexico and Vietnam. As a member of the Conifer Specialist Group I helped to organise a workshop in 2010 on the red listing of Asian conifers. Since 2005, I have been involved with the reintroduction of threatened cycads and was responsible for compiling the national standards for reintroduction programmes in China. I also contribute to training courses on the conservation of rare and endangered plants for forestry practitioners.

Member · Japan

Hideaki Ohba

I was awarded the degree of D. Sci. from the University of Tokyo in 1979 for a thesis on the classification of the family Crassulaceae. As a Professor of botany, I have carried out research and education on three different subjects including taxonomic research of species diversity, mainly in Japan and adjacent regions and the Himalaya. Since my retirement I have continued my research as a Professor Emeritus. I have authored more than 300 books and papers published in various journals including: American Journal of Botany, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, Edinburgh Journal of Botany, Systematic Botany. I have edited the Flora of Japan since 1993 (along with K. Iwatsuki and D. E. Boufford), and The Himalayan Plants since 1988. Recently I authored (with Shinobu Akiyama) a revision of Podocarpus macrophyllus and its related taxa (Bulletin of the National Museum Nature

Member · United Kingdom

Christopher Page

I graduated first in Geology and Botany and then gained a PhD in Cytogenetics in 1967. Having travelled extensively through the 1960s, studying both pteridophytes and gymnosperms, I came to the view that so many genera of conifers were of conservation concern, and therefore made collections of their seed. By 1970 I put an ex-situ conifer conservation strategy proposal to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), and founded the Conifer Conservation Programme (now the International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP)) and the IUCN Conifer Specialist Group in 1986. With retirement from RBGE in 1996, and not wishing either conservation developments to come to an end, I passed the management of the ICCP to Martin Gardner and the Chair of the Conifer Specialist Group to Aljos Farjon. I continue to be active in my research which is largely based at the University of Exeter.

Member · Mexico

Jorge Pérez de la Rosa

I was born in 1955 in the city of Mexicali, Baja California and since 1965 my place of residence has been Guadalajara in the State of Jalisco, México. I studied Ingeniero Agrónomo Fitotecnista en la Universidad de Guadalajara (1975-1980), lectured in sciences at the Postgraduate College (1990-1993) and gained a Doctorate in biological sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1994-2001). My speciality is Gymnosperms and since 1981 I have been the curator of the Gymnosperm collections in the herbarium of Luz María Villarreal de Puga” (IBUG) University of Guadalajara, México. I am a member of the Sociedad Botánica de México, A.C. (1981-2017), Cuerpo Académico UDG-CA-23 Biosistemática (2007-2017) and have been a member of the IUCN Conifer Specialist Group since 1968.

Member · Argentina

Andrea Premoli

I graduated in Biological Sciences (University of Buenos Aires) in 1987 and gained a PhD in biology (University of Colorado Boulder) in 1994. I am a full Professor in genetics and Director of the Biology Department at the Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue in Bariloche, Argentina. I am a Principal Researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) at the Instituto de Investigaciones en Biodiversidad y Medio Ambiente (INIBIOMA). My research focuses on population genetics applied to factors affecting the evolution of plants and the conservation of natural resources, particularly of South American woody species of austral and subtropical montane forests. In my laboratory we use molecular tools for phylogeographic studies to reconstruct the biogeographic history of tree species. We also analyze the genetic basis of quantitative variation and study functional plant traits to disentangle the effects of natural selection under contrasting environments to understand potential responses under climate change.

Member · Hungary

István Rácz

After completing my studies in landscaping in Budapest I received my PhD in 1984 from the University of Forestry, Sopron in W. Hungary. From 1976 onwards I worked as a member of the Dendrological Atlas project team led by Zsolt Debreczy at the Botanical Department, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, where I eventually became curator of the Gymnosperm Collection. From 1988-1992 I was Mercer Fellow and Visiting Scientist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and associate of the International Dendrological Research Institute, Inc. since 1990. Mainly along with Zsolt Debreczy, I participated in several major field expeditions organised for the Dendrological Atlas project. These included a number of explorations in the US; Mexico (several long trips between 1990 and 2004); China (7 visits 1986–2004), as well as Chile, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, Tasmania, the Himalayan region, and Indochina. With Zsolt Debreczy I co-authored Conifers Around the World (2011).

Member · Peru

Carlos Reynel

After graduating from the Faculty of Forestry, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, (FCF UNALM), I received my PhD. in Biology at the University of Missouri. I am a staff Professor, and Director of the Herbarium at FCF UNALM; also a Title Member of the National Academy of Sciences in Perú. I am a dendrologist and as an environmental conservation specialist I have conducted field work in many locations in Perú, including in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brasil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Spain and USA. In Perú some of my research in montane cloud forests, (including neotropical Podocarpaceae) and involves my team yielding useful information concerning sustainable use, and is currently developing a project under the auspices of CONCYTEC (Perú) focused on forest dynamics. In conjunction with colleagues from RBG Edinburgh and Kew, we recently published Árboles del Perú and The illustrated guide of the trees of Perú. I have prepared a Flora Neotropica monograph account of Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae).

Member · South Africa

David Richardson

I have been Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology and I am a Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. My research focuses mainly on plant invasions, especially trees and shrubs - the genus Pinus has featured prominently in my work. I am author/co-author of almost 400 peer-reviewed journal papers and chapters in edited books. I have edited/co-edited six books, including Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus (Cambridge University Press; 1998) and Fifty years of invasion ecology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and co-author of Invasion Dynamics (Oxford University Press; 2017). I was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Diversity and Distributions between 1998 and 2015, I am Associate Editor or editorial board member for several journals. I was awarded the Hans Sigrist Prize for 2006 by the University of Bern, Switzerland and in 2012, I received the John F.W. Herschel Medal, the senior medal of the Royal Society of South Africa.

Member · United Kingdom

Keith Rushforth

After leaving Aberdeen University in 1972 with an Honours Degree in Forestry, I have worked in Arboriculture and since 1984 I have been self-employed as an Independent Arboricultural Consultant. I have been a member of the Conifer Specialist Group since its inauguration in 1986. My interest in conifers was aroused in my student days in the 1960s when during my Honours year my project was on the West Chinese Silver firs - an interest in Abies which continues to the present day. This has led me both in seeing them in the wild and in ex situ conservation - it is difficult, but not quite impossible, to understand the variation purely from studying herbarium material, but somewhat easier from seeing living trees. Silver firs have been a major factor in my choice of parts of the world to visit, concentrating on South and South East Asia where companion plants are nearly as interesting.

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Member · Germany

Peter Schmidt

After graduating in biology/botany from the Martin Luther University Halle, Germany, I worked for 35 years at Dresden University of Technology, in the Department of Forest Sciences in Tharandt where I was Curator of an arboretum and later professor for nature conservation. Since 2008 I have been President of the German Dendrology Society. I am also a member of Global Tree Specialist Group. My dendrological interests have taken me to SE and E Europe, Caucasus Region, N and E Asia (Siberia, Russian Far East, Japan), and temperate South America. Particular areas of interests in conifers include the genera Picea and Juniperus and the Pinus mugo Group. I am the author of conifers in several Central European floras and in encyclopaedias of woody plants and in a dendroflora (identification keys).

Member · Lebanon

Myrna Semaan

My PhD in plant molecular systematics was gained from the University of Reading in 2000. Since 2008 I have served as Chairperson and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the American University of Technology, Lebanon and Head of Friends of Nature which focuses on the nature conservation and biodiversity of Lebanon. I have helped to pioneer nature conservation with the development of the first two nature reserves (the most pristine cedar forest remnants in Lebanon) through grassroots empowerment and parliamentary ratification of the first conservation law, creating the breakthrough and legal precedence in Lebanon. My current conservation activity is to develop conservation initiatives with the private sector. I have co-authored four books concerning the unique natural heritage of Lebanon and the East Mediterranean. I have been a member of the Conifer Specialist Group since 1999.

Member · USA

Lawrence Stritch

Member · Cuba

Luis González Torres

For over 14 years I have worked on plant conservation of Cuban plants. I graduated from college in 2001 and went on to complete an MSc in botany in 2004 and a PhD in biology in 2010. I taught plant sciences courses at the Faculty of Biology, University of Havana. Nowadays, I lecture Conservation Biology at the University of British Columbia, and Biology at Douglas College, Canada. I work to develop local-based conservation initiatives that conserve and sustainably manage plants and habitats. With my team, we have reduced threats and improved the conservation situation of more than 32 endemic plant species and their habitats while developing local capacities for conservation. In 2014 I was presented with the Whitley Award, an international conservation prize for our work promoting the conservation of Cuban plant life. I was elected “Junior Associate” of the Cuban Academy of Sciences in 2012.

Member · Australia

Alistair Watt

I emigrated from Scotland to Australia in 1969 where with my wife we created an eight acre garden featuring tropical conifers, many of which have been collected from my overseas expeditions. My semi-professional plant hunting career has included visiting China, Chile, Fiji, New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island and Vanuatu. I have had strong collaborative links with many of the world’s leading botanical gardens and exchanged a lot of my plant collections with them. I am Founding President of the Australian Conifer Society and past Vice-president of the International Dendrology Society, (now Honorary Life Member). I have been a member of the Conifer Specialist Group since its formation and made contributions to the conservation assessments of the New Caledonian conifer species. My most recent published work was on the Scottish collector Robert Fortune and I am currently writing a biography of the 19th century RBG Sydney Director Charles Moore

Member · China

Yong Yang

Currently I work for the State Key Laboratory of Systematics and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. My major research interests are taxonomy and evolution of gymnosperms and the angiosperm family Lauraceae. I have described three new genera, twelve new species including living and fossil plants. Recently, my colleagues and I completed a new catalogue of living gymnosperms which includes scientific names and synonyms, distribution maps, endangered status, and altitudinal ranges. These woody plants have many species with extremely small populations, and are flagship species for conservation practices. I will continue my research on taxonomy and evolution of gymnosperms and pay more attention to their conservation biology.

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Member · Chile

Carlos Zamorano-Elgueta

I am a Forest Engineer with a MSc in rural development from El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de las Casas, México and a PhD in ecology, conservation and restoration of ecosystems from the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid. I am a professor at the Universidad de Aysén in Chile, adjoint researcher at the Center for Climate and Resilience Research ((CR)2) and adjoint researcher at Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh). I have participated in several research projects concerning forest degradation, conservation and restoration of temperate forests and threatened plant species in Chile. Specifically, I study the effects of human-induced disturbances on ecosystems functions in Chilean temperate forests, including evergreen and araucaria forest, as the basis to define restoration actions. Through my research I'm combining ecological and socioeconomic variables in a spatially explicit multi-criteria analysis to define priority areas for restoration activities based on the ecological and socioeconomic complexity of the territory.