ISSN 1188-603X

No. 500 March 17, 2016 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6


From: Iain Taylor, Professor Emeritus UBC, Vancouver, BC - Originally posted at the UBC Biology blog

Janet Stein Taylor died peacefully, in the Nanaimo Hospital Palliative Unit, early on the morning of January 16th 2016. She was 85 and had been in relatively good health until about 2 months ago when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had metastasized to her liver. Janet Ruth Stein Taylor was born on October 10th 1930 and raised in Denver CO. She graduated with a BA from University of Colorado (1951), an M.A. from Wellesley College, Wellesley (1953). Her thesis was "A Comparative Study of Brachytic and Normal Zea mays". Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Rhoda Garrison. Her PhD research in Botany, from University of California, Berkeley (1957) was under the supervision of George F. Pappenfuss. Her dissertation was "A Morphological and Physiological Study of Three Colonial Volvocales". In 1960, she received the "Dorbaker Award" for the best phycological paper published in North America in 1960.

Between 1957 and 1959, Janet worked as a Technician at Berkeley, and held visiting positions at the University of Minnesota Biological Station, and in the University Teachers Institute at Indiana University. She joined the UBC Department of Botany in 1959 as an Instructor, and after 5 years on the then traditional path for young women, she became an Assistant Professor. Her teaching forte was the smallish class with a strong lab requirement. Many students noted her welcoming experience in 2nd year botany as a major influence in their choice of Botany as at least a minor in the BSc programmes. Throughout her career she was an effective mentor for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for newly appointed faculty members. She was probably the last of the 'put-upon' women in the Department, and she was certainly a valuable contributor to the fall of male patronage in both the Department and the Faculty of Science at UBC.

During her career (1959-1985), her research interests were in the Freshwater and Estuarine Algae (especially) of British Columbia. She did extensive fieldwork and identification and data base preparation for what is now part of the E-Flora of BC: Electronic Atlas of Plants of British Columbia ( She established the algal part of the UBC Microbial Culture Collection work that may well have led to her involvement as the Organizing Editor of the 4 volume Handbook of Phycological Methods; published by Cambridge University Press between 1973 and 1986.

Janet was an active member of the scientific societies that she joined, particularly of the Canadian Botanical Association/L'Association Botanique du Canada (Director; Editor of CBA/ABC Bulletin; Vice-President; President 1970-71) and the Phycological Society of America (Editor of the News Bulletin and Newsletter; Editor, Journal of Phycology, 1975-1980; Treasurer from 1982-1987; and President 1965).

Over the years Janet taught in the Introductory Botany course, brought freshwater algae into the Department, became a stalwart colleague who lead the much respected advising group in the Department, and eventually served as Associate Dean of Science. She was one of the original authors of the textbook, edited by Bob Scagel, Evolutionary Survey of the Plant Kingdom, by Scagel, R.F., Bandoni, R.J., Rouse, G.E., Schofield, W.B., Stein, J.R. & Taylor, T.M. 1965 Wadsworth Press, Belmont, California.

Janet's graduate students were a diverse and independent minded group. The first was Joseph Gerrath (MSc 1965; PhD 1965) who studied the ecology, culture and taxonomy of Desmids. He married Janet's undergraduate student/technician, Jean Drewry, and they moved to the University of Guelph, where Joe pursued an academic career until retirement. Jean did different technical and teaching jobs in Botany at Guelph and 18 years later she extended her Honours degree in freshwater phycology to a career in higher plant morphology, completed a PhD, and became a professor at the University of Northern Iowa.

Dean Blinn (PhD 1969) worked on saline environments and became a career-long faculty member at Northern Arizona University. John Wehr moved to Durham University in the UK for a PhD (1982) and then onto Fordham University, NY, where he is a Professor and Director of the Calder Ecology Center. John, and Robert Sheath, a former visitor with Kay Cole, edited a book on Freshwater Algae of North America: Ecology and Classification that was published in 2003.

Martin Pomeroy, Richard Nordin, Helene Contant and Robert Prange all worked in Government. A post-doctoral husband-wife team, Davis and Diane Findley, from the US Corps of Engineers, Mobile, AL, contributed much to our knowledge of the ecology of Skaha Lake in the BC Okanagan region during their work with Janet (1969-1971).

Carol-Ann Borden (MSc 1969) did much of the early work on the culture collection, Gary Butler (MSc 1970), Marion McCauley (MSc 1974) and Bob Prange made strong contributions and went along their chosen paths. Robert Prange (MSc 1976) did a PhD and was last heard of in Kentville, Nova Scotia working on apples!

Janet married Roy Taylor, then Director of the UBC Botanical Garden and moved with Roy to the Chicago Garden in 1985, and then to the Rancho Santa Ana Garden in Claremont CA. They retired to Nanaimo where both became involved in matters botanical and horticultural and were very active volunteers.

Janet was predeceased by Roy in 2013.

Janet requested no ceremony and only this 'scientific' obituary.


From: Elizabeth Easton -

Mark your calendars! Botany BC 2016 is scheduled to take place June 16th - June 19th, 2016 in the beautiful Churn Creek/Big Bar area of BC: We will be using Big Bar Guest Ranch as our headquarters:

This year it will feature botanical forays into the grasslands of the Cariboo with a special focus natural and cultural settings around the beautiful Churn Creek Protected Area.

Big Bar Guest Ranch is the only available accommodation for the BOTANY BC 2016 and the reservations have to be made through the registration. There is a pretty extensive list of what is available and the prices for each option as part of the registration (pages 3 & 4). A maximum limit of 55 people will be in place so register early to ensure your spot.

As an added bonus and to get you warmed up for the grasslands of the Cariboo/Chilcotin check out the Grassland Plant ID course, led by Dr. Terry McIntosh ,being offered by Columbia Mountains Institute in Invermere on May 24th & 25th. Further information and registration details at:


From: Irwin Brodo

My new book, Keys to Lichens of North America: Revised and Expanded published by Yale University Press, has just been released and is now available from the Yale University Press website or from It is a spiral-bound, soft-covered "workbook" format (8.5 x 11 inches with 424 pages) and covers 2045 species, about twice the number keyed out in Lichens of North America. The book is meant to be an update of LNA and works best as a supplement to that volume. All the names have been updated following modern reclassifications (in most cases), and a glossary illustrated with figures and plates from the big book are included to make it a self-standing volume. Many entirely new keys are included based on my personal study of material in CANL and NY, and many others are based heavily on published material, all cited in the lengthy bibliography. - Ernie Brodo

Ordering information:


From: Andrew Miller & Scott Bates

Mycology Collections Portal - MyCoPortal ( is an online consortium collection of macro- and microfungi, gathering and geo-referencing digitized specimens, specimen labels, and ancillary information in a centralized database. The collection consists of data from 62 institutions, across 31 US states and several Canadian provinces, and continues to grow. There are currently over 2.3 million specimen records in the MyCoPortal, with the goal to add another 1.2 million specimens in the next three years.

The project intends to directly aid in the research of: 1) the impact of environmental and human-induced factors on the distributions of fungi across a broad temporal and spatial scale, 2) the potential to use current and historical records as a basis for the early detection of invasive species, and 3) the effect of climate change models on future patterns of fungal distribution.

More broadly, MyCoPortal also will benefit the specimen selection for current and future genomics studies, the standardization of voucher specimen data through sequence tracking in DNA repositories, and the update of fungal nomenclature to a single name system.

MyCoPortal is intended to be used by researchers, students, and citizen scientists. Any questions about the MyCoPortal should be addressed to:

Please join the Mycology Collections Portal as collaborators or regular visitors.

Send submissions to

BEN is archived at