ISSN 1188-603X

No. 512 January 18, 2017 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6


From: Elizabeth Easton & Judith Holm c/o

On June 16th 2016 over 60 enthusiastic botanists and other nature lovers got together at Big Bar Ranch to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Botany BC. This year's event focused on bunchgrass grasslands of the beautiful Churn Creek Protected Area and the limestone karst and alpine areas on Lime Ridge in the magnificent Marble Range.

A big shout out to the organizing committee: Scott Black, Elizabeth Easton, Tanis Gieselman, Terry McIntosh, Daniel Mosquin, Jenifer Penny & Mandy Ross Both field days offered a trip to either Churn Creek Protected Area or Lime Ridge. Kudos to our very knowledgeable field trip leaders in the Churn Creek Protected Area (CCPA): Ordell Steen and Kristi Iverson, who are key executive members of the Friends of Churn Creek, as well as Jenifer Penny and Frank Lomer. While much of the CCPA is used for multiple activities such as recreation, cattle grazing, hunting and more, there are many examples of little disturbed grassland ecosystems in the BGxh and BGxw and the IDFxm biogeoclimatic (sub)zones.

A highlight of the stop at the Gateway Trail and Information Kiosk at the entrance to Churn Creek Protected Area were the fabulous and numerous blooming Opuntia fragilis, brittle prickly-pear cactus. Ken MacKenzie, Terry McIntosh and Kristi Iverson led the interesting and energetic hikes up the Porcupine Creek Trail to Lime Ridge to see the limestone karst formations and vegetation of the area such as the Clematis occidentalis, blue clematis, and the Saxifraga occidentalis, western saxifrage. Jenifer Penny and Frank Lomer also led a group of participants into the lovely rolling hills and saline flats of the privately owned OK Ranch lands. Many thanks to the owners of OK Ranch for allowing Botany BC participants a chance to view this lovely area.

Educational and entertaining evening presentations were well attended. Thursday evening started with a presentation by Kristi Iverson & Ordell Steen - "Introduction to Ecosystems of Churn Creek Protected Area" which covered everything about Churn Creek PA from the history of the protected area management to the geology and geomorphology and of course the botany of the CCPA.

Friday evening presentations featured very interesting talks by Heather Gorrell, South Cariboo Area Supervisor with the Ministry of Environment titled "Kelly Lake Microbialites and Mars" and "Musings on Rare Plants of the Cariboo Region" by the esteemed Dr. Terry McIntosh.

Saturday evening's presentation by Linda Jennings, with Daniel Mosquin, celebrated the 100th Anniversary of UBC's Herbarium. In her talk, "100 Years of the UBC Herbarium", Linda Jennings has put a great deal of keen effort into researching the history of the Herbarium, with a special interest in the collectors, who they were, and what they accomplished.

And finally, on Saturday evening, the long awaited 30th Anniversary of Botany BC presentation debuted. It was created by Jenifer Penny, Tanis Gieselman and a supporting cast of hundreds of past and present Botany BC attendees and aficionados. Thanks to all those who contributed photos and stories. It was great fun to be based at Big Bar Ranch! Friendly service, peaceful tent spots, rustic looking cabins with all the amenities, well kept ranch lodge rooms, all with wifi, and some really awesome ranch food, all A-OK!

This year's Botany BC 2017 will be held at Cathedral Lakes Lodge from the evening of Tues. July 18 to Friday July 21, 2017. Keep checking back on the Botany BC website for additional information:


From: International Lichenological Newsletter 49 (2) December 2016

BRUCE MCCUNE receives the Acharius Medal [The Acharius Medal is awarded for the life achievements of distinguished lichenologists.]

Bruce graduated with a BA in Botany and Biology and an MA in Botany, both from the University of Montana. Bruce's career in lichen research began in 1977 as a summer teaching assistant for Mason Hale at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Field Station. His Master's degree correlated lichen and moss distributions with landscape gradients in the Swan Mountains of Montana and he wrote his own computer code to analyse the complex data set. Bruce then moved to the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he undertook a PhD in forest ecology. While in Madison, he continued honing his lichen taxonomy skills. John Thomson was just down the corridor from Bruce's lab; he was retired but continued to work and publish on lichens, and would help Bruce with identifications and chemical tests.

In 1984, after obtaining his doctorate, Bruce was appointed as Research Associate at Butler University in Indianapolis, and taught plant ecology during summers at the same University of Montana field station at which he was first introduced to Mason Hale. In 1987, Bruce was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Science at Oregon State University, and in 1991 he moved to an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, where he continues to work. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993 and full Professor in 1999.

Bruce has published prolifically in journals and books. He is a polymath. His lichen research spans ecology, floristics, conservation, response to pollution, growth and development, and taxonomy. Bruce has described many new species, especially in the genus Hypogymnia, on which he is a world authority, but also in Bactrospora, Hypotrachyna, Letharia, Pseudocyphellaria, Rhizocarpon, Rinodina and Trapeliopsis. He was a contributor to each of the three volumes of the Sonoran Desert Lichen Flora.

His ecological and floristic interests have focused mainly on forest epiphytes and soil crust communities (both very well-represented in Oregon) but more recently have extended to the Alaskan tundra. One of Bruce's principal interests has been identifying drivers of epiphytic lichen diversity. His 1993 paper Gradients in Epiphytic Biomass in 3 Pseudotsuga-Tsuga forests of different ages in western Oregon and Washington is the most highly cited lichen paper published in The Bryologist since 1969 (ranks fourth if you add in bryophyte papers).

Bruce is possibly just as well known in plant ecology circles as he is as a lichenologist and he continues to publish research on ecology in the broad sense. In fact his most highly cited paper is Equations for potential annual direct incident radiation and heat load which he published in The Journal of Vegetation Science in 2002 with Dylan Keon. He is an expert on ecological analysis methods and modelling, and is of course the co-author with M.J. Mefford of PC-ORD. Multi-variate Analysis of Ecological Data and its numerous revisions (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2011). PC-ORD and Hyperniche have revolutionized the way ecologists approach community analysis.

His other books include: The Lichens of British Columbia, Part 1 (1994 - With Trevor Goward & Del Meidinger); Macrolichens of the Northern Rocky Mountains (1995 - with Trevor Goward); Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest (1997 - with Linda Geiser); Analysis of Ecological Communities (2002 - with James Grace); Biotic Soil Crust Lichens of the Columbia Basin (2007 - with Roger Rosentreter); Montana Lichens: An Annotated List (2014 - with several others).

His books have made field and laboratory identification of lichens much more accessible to citizens, students, and professional naturalists alike.

Throughout his career, Bruce has been an avid formal collector of plants, bryophytes and lichens, with over 37,000 accession numbers to his name. These specimens are largely deposited in the Oregon State University Herbarium (OSU) or in Bruce's private herbarium.

In addition to being a gifted and prolific researcher, Bruce has made an unstinting contribution to the promotion of lichenology and to the training of several generations of professional lichenologists. He is a founding member of, and the driving energy behind, the Northwest Lichenologists; he is currently their Secretary and Treasurer, and has also served as Editor in Chief of its associated journal Monographs in Lichenology. The Northwest Lichenologists works to mentor and train lichen fieldworkers from various sectors; it organizes annual field and written tests to provide certification for regional professional lichenologists. Bruce has also served on the Editorial Board of The Bryologist (since 2012) and on the IAL Council.

At a more local level Bruce--together with his wife Pat, his two daughters Sara and Myrica and their two cats called Alectoria and Bryoria--regularly hosts "bring and shares" or "potlucks" at his house for his students and other lichenologists who are in the vicinity. Here new research ideas are discussed over beer, after which there is frequently a game of whiffle ball or table tennis - the latter a sport in which I am told Bruce shows considerable prowess. I can imagine that Bruce's method for inoculating forest trees with Usnea longissima might well have been dreamt up at one of these gatherings after a few beers: this involves stuffing a fistful of U. longissima filaments into a condom, filling and inflating the condom with water for added weight, sealing it with a knot and then catapulting the lichen-loaded "French letter" high up into the canopy to inseminate the tree of choice-this takes tree-hugging to new heights! Bruce also hosts the Northwest Lichenologists' annual board meeting at his home which I am told is a well-attended and enjoyable social event.

Bruce is highly regarded by those who work with him. Adjectives used by his close associates to describe him include amazing, supportive, generous, humble, inspiring, brilliant, productive, kind, encouraging, and inquisitive. In correspondence with his collaborators, one person wrote "Bruce is one of my favourite people on the planet"; another, "Every conversation (with him) is a treasure because he is such a wonderful bank of knowledge and ideas". It is clear that Bruce is greatly appreciated by, and a friend to, all who have worked with him. For his outstanding contribution to lichenology, the IAL Council is delighted to award the Acharius Medal to Bruce McCune.

TOBY SPRIBILLE receives the Aino Henssen Award [The Aino Henssen Award for a prominent researcher early in the career, who has completed a Ph.D. within five years prior to the submission deadline.]

The Henssen Award Committee is honored to present the 2016 Henssen Award to Toby Spribille. Among the candidates for this award, Toby stood out in number, impact, and breadth of publications since his PhD (in 2011). He has published widely in such areas as taxonomy, phylogenetics, biogeography, ecology, mycobiont-photobiont interactions, and conservation of lichens. More recently, he has also begun to use genomics approaches in lichen biology. To pursue his diverse research interests, Toby collaborates with lichenologists all over the world. During his career he has switched research institutes frequently (including stays at Montana, Chicago, Graz, and others) and established a strong professional network. The committee feels that Toby creatively uses his unique combination of expertise in various disciplines, as well as his connectedness in the community, to both advance the field of lichenology and showcase lichens to a broader audience.


Re: BEN 498:
The initial push for donations to reach the minimum of $30,000 required for a fund endowed in perpetuity at the UBC has not been as successful as we hoped for, and we still need more contributions.

Phone donations to 604-827-4111 or toll free in North America 1-877-717-4483 Online donations can be made by using the following link: [Click on "Donate" and select "other" in the Designation field and enter the full name of fund, Oluna and Adolf Ceska Mycology Award (G1453).]

To donate by mail or fax, download the Printable Gift Form (PDF) from and send the completed form by mail or fax to:

UBC Annual Giving
500 - 5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3
Phone: 604-827-4111 or toll free in North America 1-877-717-4483
Fax: 604-822-8151

Be sure to make it clear (at the "Specific Fund of Choice:") that your donation is to go to the Oluna and Adolf Ceska Mycology Award (G1453). All donations will receive a tax receipt.

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