"UBC Department of Botany"
UBC Department of Botany Newsletter Number 5 January – December 2009 Edited by Iain Taylor WELCOME If you do remember or know someone Bisalputra, and sisters Margaret McGhie th I hope that this edition, the 5 , of the who does, please let me know so that I of Nevada, Evelyn Smith of Illinois, and UBC Department of Botany Newsletter can better document the early days of Mary (Frank) Fahrenkopf of Virginia. will reach you in early March 2010. At UBC Botany. I am making slow, but Predeceased by wife Inger (Van that time, the Winter Olympics will be steady progress to prepare a Nostrand) of 30 years, and siblings over and UBC students will have departmental history as well as a short Estelle Perry, Grace Bandoni and Alfred returned from a 2-week Reading Break. history of Science at UBC. I am happy Bandoni. Hardly had the Department paid to report that I have a few letters and e- A celebration of Bob’s life was held at tribute to Wilf Schofield (at a Memorial mail memories from former faculty, and the UBC Botanical Garden on Service on May 9th) when we had news students, but I always need more. I look September 13, 2009. that Bob Bandoni and Thana Bisalputra forward to hearing from you where ever As a biologist, Bob was drawn to had died. Bob's and Thana's families you are. Just tell me when you were strange, diverse, and inconspicuous held a combined Memorial for them in here, whom you knew and please share basidiomycete fungi. He was both a September. The attendance at both these your reminiscences. Send letters and superb naturalist and an attentive events, reminded us of the enormous pictures to the Botany department via scientist. By searching in places where affection and respect that we and the snail-mail or send e-mail correspondence no one else looked, he found many of the national and international botanical to me at email@example.com ; ‘duck-billed platypuses’ of the fungal community felt for these three giants of or even by telephone (604-822-0416) world, fungi with astonishing and Botany. Brief obituaries for Bob and unexpected combinations of characters Iain Taylor Thana follow, but no words can really that helped reveal patterns of early tell the impact that each of these scholars fungal evolution. Although never much had on UBC as well as their chosen IN MEMORIUM interested in mushrooms Bob was hired research and teaching fields. Robert (Bob) Joseph Bandoni at UBC as a mycologist and as Surely the development that has mycologists were expected to be thrilled us all has been the emergence of authorities on mushroom identification, the Biodiversity Research Centre and Bob fulfilled this duty with grace by Beaty Museum of Natural History. Just helping to found the mushroom club, the as those of the old guard will remember Vancouver Mycological Society, back in 'The Huts', the next generation will be the 1970’s and by writing the first field long in debt to Tony Sinclair for his guide to identification of B.C. vision that UBC would become a centre mushrooms, Guide to Common for biodiversity research in North Professor Emeritus Robert (Bob) Mushrooms of B.C., published by the America and the world. As construction Joseph Bandoni passed away peacefully Provincial Museum. in 1976. was underway, it seemed most on May 18, 2009 at Mountain View Jack Maze noted, "It was always appropriate that UBC should confer an Manor Extended Care Unit in Ladner, pleasant to encounter Bob. In the hall, he Honorary Degree on Buzz Holling, B.C. Bob was born November 11, 1926 could extract the glumness from a typical another of the founders of the in Weeks, Nevada to Giuseppe and day in academia with humor or just an community that put UBC ecology on the Albina Bandoni, and graduated from irreverent comment, often in more map. It did seem odd however, that high school in Hawthorne, Nevada. He colorful language than is commonly someone forgot to show Buzz that the earned degrees from the University of heard in the halls of academe. In huts were gone and that the building was Nevada at Reno and the University of meetings, Bob… usually kept his own under construction! Iowa, before joining the faculty of the counsel, aside from private remarks on The UBC Botany Department has Department of Botany at the University various things, some of them germane to flourished in 2009 and most, if not all, of of British Columbia in 1958. Following the meeting. His opinions were based on 2009 successes and contributions are his retirement from the Botany a combination of knowledge and recorded below. The University Department in 1989, Bob maintained an experience, things at which Bob celebrated the centenary of its charter in active presence both within the Botany excelled." 2008, but most teaching and research did Department and in the wider Of Bob’s papers, 71 appear in the not start until 1915. There are no mycological community. He is survived Web of Science. He always had an survivors of those who established the by wife Alice-Ann (Webb) of 20 years, experimental bent and some of his most arboretum at the Colony Farm with John daughter Susan (Thomas) Muench of highly cited papers were on culturing Davidson, but there may be someone Geneseo, New York, stepsons Danai and staining techniques, elucidation of who remembers the move to Point Grey. (Angela) Bisalputra and Rabin mating systems, and studies of spore dispersal. In the textbook chapters he animal, protist, fungal and plant cell PhD student Jennie McLaren (Roy wrote on fungi and slime molds, Bob had biology. He retired in 1989. Turkington's lab) had an interview with a knack for providing clear and He was a talented photographer and Cheryl Kawaja on CBC North, August interesting text, as well as answers to carpenter. Although he loved the beauty 27th, 2009 morning show about her student questions that are missing from of the west coast, he also missed his eco/biodiversity research in the Yukon. most other texts, such as ‘How fast do native Thailand. Charles Krebs' Yukon project continues slime molds move?’ (Ans: ~2 mm per and flourishes after more than a decade. hour). Bob was the first author of most DEPARTMENT NEWS of his papers and sole author of many. The Biodiversity Centre is built, The long tradition of ethnobotanical He had active and successful students operating and almost ready for the research at UBC continues with the but on principle, declined authorship on arrival of the Museum Centre piece, the Botanical Garden release of a booklet on student papers. Of his co-authorships, Blue Whale skeleton moved from the the History of Medicinal Plants. It several originated from collaborations east coast, cleaned and to be installed doubles as a guide to the Botanical with Neil Towers in studies of into Spring of 2010. Garden's Physic Garden and is available metabolites of fungi. in the Garden gatehouse for $4.95. In what his former high school teacher Thana Bisalputra must surely feel is a case of unintended Social activity is a major part of the consequences, Patrick Keeling Department's life – It was not always (Professor) wrote a letter to the Editor of so! Science, entitled "Creationists made me The Botany Enthusiast Club (BEC) do it" (Science 325: 945, Aug 21st 2009), hosted its second 'Meet the Profs and explaining how a dogmatic creationist Grad Students Night' that provided set Patrick on his research career as an faculty members and graduate students Thana Bisalputra passed away evolutionary biologist. from Botany, Forestry, and related peacefully on June 13, 2009 in Surrey, departments/faculties to spend an British Columbia. He is survived by his Kathy Nomme, Shona Ellis, Carol evening to chat and to get acquainted in brother, Thanit; his sister, Rasana; his Pollock and Ellen Rosenberg, a casual environment. Representatives sons Danai (and wife Angela) and Rabin; Instructors in the Biology Program, from UBC Farm, the Botanical Gardens, grandson, Jonathan; ex-wife, Alice-Ann; traveled to the Galapagos Islands to the Herbarium, and other related groups and several nieces and nephews in celebrate the 150th anniversary of provided brief introductions about their Thailand. His life was celebrated on Charles Darwin's, 'Origin'. No major own groups. Some lab researchers Sunday September 13, 2009 at the UBC publications emerged from their trip, but brought posters and gave brief talks Botanical Garden their images and stories of the amazing about them. Dr. Bisalputra was born January 6, flora and fauna encountered reminded us 1930 in Thonburi, Thailand, the of the benefits of being a biologist. The Botany Graduate Students youngest of seven children. He earned Association once again organized the B.Sc. (Hons.) and M.Sc. degrees from Greg Bole, an Instructor teaching weekly Summer BBQ lunches, the University of New England in Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics in the (including a performance by “Tree-O” Armidale, Australia, and a Ph.D. from departments of Zoology and Botany, has who are an impromptu assembly of the University of California, Davis, joined the internationally known group classically trained and seasoned where he worked under the supervision of talented thespian scientists. Greg performers playing a mix of classical and of Professors Katherine Esau and T.E. presents his characterization of a young contemporary music), the Pumpkin Weier. His thesis work provided him Charles Darwin, naturalist, explorer, Carving Contest and the Annual with training in electron microscopy, and reluctant revolutionary and exponent of Christmas Party. All great opportunities he came to UBC to establish a program "The Origin of Species by Means of to find out who really does work in in electron microscopy and modern Natural Selection" and tells the story of Botany! One highlight was Garnet cytology. He was exceptional at both the his life and works in his own words. Martens (BioImaging Facility) technical and interpretive aspects of Recent performances were sponsored by organized his annual BBQ and cytology. His research area was algal VanDusen Gardens and at UBC by the headshaving in support of the Weekend cell structure but he had broad interests Beaty Museum. Greg received his Ph.D. to End Breast Cancer in Cell Biology including studies of cell in Ecology and Evolution from Stony structure in vascular plants and animals. Brook University. He has worked in the The Botany soccer team “Botany FC” Over the years, he published papers with Biology Program at UBC for 7 years and won 2nd place in the GSS summer his colleagues at UBC including J.R. was awarded the 2007/08 Faculty of league, and Jorg Bohlmann’s team Stein, F.J.R. Taylor, R.J. Bandoni and Science Killam Prize for Excellence in “Try and Pass us!” won the ½ Ironman G.N.H. Towers and had a long and Teaching. Greg started acting when he Relay in The Subaru Vancouver productive collaboration with N.J. Antia, was 12 years old and continues it as a International Triathlon on July 12th, of the Fisheries Research Board in West hobby. He has been portraying and 2009. Vancouver. He taught Introduction to speaking about Charles Darwin for the Cytology (Biology 200) and advanced past four years on the radio, and to The Botany Curling Bonspiel 2009 Cell Biology (Biology 340), which was public groups, classes and conferences in ended with a clear and convincing an intensive and stimulating synthesis of a wide variety of locations. victory for “Scotts on the Rocks”, with Undergraduate Prize winners in Innovation and led by Dr. Anne team members George Haughn, Ljerka 2009 were: Bruneau (Université de Montréal, Dept. Kunst, Lebby and Mike Balakshin. It Hilary Smyth - Thomas M.C. Taylor of Biological Sciences, IRBV: Institut de seems that challenges from Physics and Prize in Botany recherché en biologie végétale). The the Botanical Garden have finally been Brett Latulippe - Clayton Person goal is to develop and provide a overcome. Memorial Prize in Biology Canadian portal to university biological Benjamin Anderson - E. Bruce collections information. Dr. Randal AWARDS Tregunna Prize in Plant Physiology Mindell (Ph.D. Alberta) post-doctoral Lacey Samuels won one of the Steven Joya - Adam F. Szczawinski fellow and former Ph.D. student with 2008/9 Faculty of Science Killam Prizes Prize in Botany Ruth Stockey, made an outstanding, if for Excellence in Teaching. In addition Lylie McLeod - Vladimir J. Krajina brief, contribution to the Botanical Lacey is developing an exciting Prize in Plant Ecology Garden. He was the first fully committed mentorship program for graduate researcher in the Garden for a very long students that has attracted serious Graduate Award winners for 2008/09 time. The department of Earth and interest from other departments. were: Ocean Sciences will benefit from his Heather Esson (Leander Lab) - Edith contribution to their teaching program Ashton Memorial Scholarship during the Winter term of 2010. Graduate students, Gillian Gile and Graeme Bell (Adams Lab) - Frances Chris Sears, were recipients of Chave Memorial Scholarship A team of researchers at UBC and 2008/2009 Faculty of Graduate Studies, Scott Liang (Kunst Lab) - Frances Stanford University have shown that Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Chave Memorial Scholarship marine algae produce lignin. In a study Awards. These annual awards recognize Christopher Buschhaus (Jetter Lab) published in Current Biology, lead graduate students who have made an - Craig Adams Sandercock Memorial author Patrick Martone (Assistant outstanding contribution to teaching and Scholarship Professor at UBC) and colleagues learning at UBC. Bill Harrower (Turkington Lab) - describe powerful chemical and Vladimir J. Krajina Scholarship in Plant microscopic anatomy techniques to Two of Botany’s own won service Ecology identify and localize lignin within cell Achievement Awards from the Faculty walls of a red alga, Calliarthron of Science for 2008/2009. SPOTLIGHT ON BOTANY cheilosporioides, that thrives along the Congratulations Lebby Balakshin and RESEARCH wave-swept California coast. Because Ellen Rosenberg for their superb 2009 saw several research workshops red and green algae likely diverged more service. start or be repeated. Mary Berbee and than a billion years ago, the discovery of Sean Graham presented an advanced lignin in red algae suggests that the basic Iain Taylor is the winner of the 2009 Phylogenetic Workshop to support the machinery for producing lignin may Slonecker Award for Outstanding department-wide increasing interest and have existed long before algae moved to Volunteer Contributions to UBC need for theoretical and practical in land. Vancouver. phylogenetic analysis. Working on Walls (WoW) is a new Congratulations to Yana Eglit on her Mary Berbee and Oluna Czeska training project funded by the NSERC honourable mention for her talk at the organized the "Little Brown Mushroom CREATE Program to provide support MURC forum titled "Mutants on Drugs Workshop" held November 13-15 and for graduate students in a network of - Membranes, Cytoskeletal Drugs and intended for those with an interest in labs investigating cell wall biosynthesis. Cell Cycle Regulators in Stomatal mycology. This workshop will help The goal is to provide a high level of Development". participants learn about and identify both scientific and professional post- cryptic species of (non-edible) little graduate mentoring for students and Congratulations to Soroush Liaghat, brown mushrooms found locally, using post-doctoral fellows interested in plant a second year volunteer research student microscopic techniques. Your editor cell wall biology. Funding is available in Biology, on his honourable mention at hoped that the workshop would start the for WoW trainees to carry out part of MURC for the Sustainability SEEDs long-awaited inventory study of fungi in their research. WoW is now actively poster under the supervision of Santokh the Botanical Garden, but the weather recruiting new graduate students and Singh. and other obstructions inhibited the postdoctoral fellows for 2010 and cause and so the Garden must wait until onwards. Your humble editor is truly Julia Nowak received two travel next time. thrilled that our community continues to awards at the 2009 Botanical Society of see the importance of cell walls. I America meeting: The Vernon I. Members of the Botany Department, suspect that Carl Douglas, Lacey Cheadle Student Travel Award and the Biodiversity Research Centre, and the Samuels and Geoff Wasteneys are at Triarch (Conant) Botanical Images Botanical Garden, Sean Graham, least partly responsible for this initiative. award for outstanding student work in Jeannette Whitton, Wayne Maddison and the area of creating botanical digital Quentin Cronk, are deeply involved in The Botany Graduate Symposium in images. Canadensys, a nationwide project March was the highlight of the Winter funded by Canadian Foundation for Term. Dr. George Haughn’s keynote presentation, titled “Serendipity and the continue to unfold as it should. There is ALUMNI NEWS Scientific Career” was an excellent still need for budgetary miracles, so we Dorothy Fletcher (née Elvidge) died in finale to a great day of talks and posters. know they will happen as they have done Victoria on May 25th 2009. She thanks to the amazingly smooth graduated in the 1940s . TEACHING operations that Elaine and Lebby seem Botany faculty and graduate students always able to maintain. Rolf Mathewes (PhD Rouse) is continue to make outstanding Welcome to Aven Bendickson who Professor of Biological Sciences and contribution to teaching both in the was appointed Botany Head Secretary. Associate Dean of Science at Simon department and throughout the Fraser University. He gave a talk at the University. Botanical Garden, entitled “Forensic Welcome to Kathryn Zeiler, Liane Botany – Past, Present and Future”. Iain Taylor (Faculty 1968-2003) Chen, Jennifer Klenz and Greg Bole, continues to present workshops to assist who were recently appointed faculty Nishanta Rajakaruna (PhD Bohm) is researchers in all disciplines to prepare members/Instructors joint Botany and an Assistant Professor of Plant Biology for the poorly charted road to publishing Zoology. at San José State University. their work. Over 700 graduates, post- docs and even some faculty have taken RECENT GRADUATES Jeff Saarela (PhD Graham) and a group part in these workshops since 1993. May 2009 of Canadian botanists undertook a Ph.D. month-long canoe expedition in a remote COMINGS AND GOINGS Heather Esson (Leander Lab) corner of Canada’s North to gather more Ellen Rosenberg retired on December Miki Fujita (Wasteneys Lab) than 1,000 plant samples, in part to track 31st 2009. She came to UBC as an Minako Kanada (Samuels Lab) the impacts of climate change. Instructor in 1983 and was among the John Laurie (Bakkeren Lab, first group of Biology Lecturers who AAFC-PARC, Summerland) Stacey Thompson (PhD Whitton) is an were moved to the rank of Instructor Eryang Li (Douglas Lab) Assistant Professor in the Department of then Senior Instructor. All who worked Hardeep Rai (Graham Lab) Biological Sciences at California State with her and were taught by her knew University, Los Angeles. Stacey wrote the enormous commitment that she had M.Sc. "I've been busy setting up my new Plant for students. She cared that Biology be Heather Ramsay (Rieseberg/Ritland Evolutionary Genomics lab (we're fun and that our teaching should be the Labs) extending the Canadian Forest best we could make it. Her crowning Anne Bjorkman (Vellend) Service work to the California Populus achievement was the creation of Jia Cheng (Ellis/Chen Labs) species). As we are a Minority Serving laboratories in the 2nd year Cell Biology Carolyn Marshall (Turkington Lab) Institution in East Los Angeles, I can course (Biology 200). On occasions she Yuanyuan (Echo) Yu (Haughn Lab) satisfy my pedagogical interest in the carried the laboratory torch for upper role that the affective domain can play in level cytogenetics and cytology. Outside B.Sc. Plant Biology improving minority participation within the campus she had a major commitment Yee-Chi (Christina) Chen the sciences. It was inspired Botany to public education working as a cruise Ashley Fontaine faculty, including Shona Ellis, Lacey ship naturalist and bringing the biology Steven Joya Samuels and Tony Griffiths, that helped laboratory experience to the Downtown Dawid Nogas to foster my development and my values East Side. concerning a balanced interplay between Ellen was one of the early graduates November 2009 Teaching and Scholarship. of the UBC Certificate in Higher Ph.D. Education and gave much of her time to Gillian Gile (Keeling Lab) Nancy Turner, OBC (PhD R.L. Taylor), young faculty members through her Sarah McKim (Haughn Lab) now a Distinguished Professor at UVic work as a facilitator and trainer in the Robin Young (Samuels/Haughn Labs) was appointed to the Order of Canada in Teaching Assistance Group’s Songhua Zhu (Green/Chen Labs) July 2009. Instructional Skills Workshop. Botany will miss her, but her legacy will M.Sc. 50 YEARS AGO - GLEANINGS continue. Solveig Adair (Graham Lab) FROM UBC ARCHIVES Scott Black (Bradfield Lab) Lebby Balakshin left the department Angela Knopp (Turkington Lab) Ph.D. (1959) Walter Bruce Glenn to become the Administration Manager Lifang Zhao (Kunst Lab) Denyer. Thesis: The biology of of the Biodiversity Research Centre. Flammula alnicola (Fr.) Kummer. She worked as Head Secretary and acted B.Sc. Plant Biology as Administration Manager when Elaine M.Sc. (1959) Gertrude Draper Pentland. Carolina Chanis Morales Simons was on maternity leave. We Thesis: An investigation of the Connor Fitzpatrick wish her well. She has only moved 200 mycorrhiza of Douglas-fir seedlings. Alison Graham metres away so we hope that we will not lose all contact. BSc (1st class honours in Botany). Donald Emanuel La Berge. Elaine Simons is back at the Admin. Manager's desk. No doubt life will Donald La Berge received an NRC Graduate Award. Robert C. Brooke received an NRC Graduate Award. He spent most of his career at SFU. Laszlo Orloci received an NRC Graduate Award. He retired some years ago from the University of Western Ontario. Tom Widdowson received an NRC Graduate Award. Tom is very active in work on west coast algae. To receive an email version of future newsletters or to send us any news, personal or professional, as well as news of other alumna and friends of the department with whom you are in touch, especially those who graduated in the pre- and immediate post-WWII eras, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org In particular, we need addresses and e- mail contacts so that we can remake connections that have been lost over the years. Second reminder: Please take a few moments to record your memories of time in the Department and at UBC. Send them to me by e-mail botalumn@interchange,ubc.ca or snail mail to: Iain Taylor, UBC, Department of Botany, #3529 – 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4