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IAPT's Council

The current Council and office-bearers were elected at the XIX Botanical Congress (Shenzhen) in July 2017. IAPT Council terms run for six years

Patrick Herendeen


Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, USA

Patrick Herendeen is a botanist and paleobotanist at Chicago Botanic Garden where he serves as Senior Director for Systematics and Evolutionary Biology. His research is focused on the systematics and fossil record of the Leguminosae, and on Cretaceous age fossil plants from Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, China.


His botanical bucket list includes visiting Madagascar to see all the interesting endemic legumes there. It would also be great to go back in time to see what those angiosperm-like cupules in Caytonia really looked like, but without a TARDIS that won’t be possible!


Sandy Knapp

Acting Past President

Natural History Museum, London, UK

Sandy Knapp is a research botanist at the Natural History Museum in London. She recently stepped down from leading the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division in the Department of Life Sciences to focus on other institution wide projects. She is a specialist in the nightshade family, Solanaceae, but came to the Natural History Museum to work on Flora Mesoamerica, the first Spanish language flora for the diverse isthmus of Central America and southern Mexico. In her taxonomic work she has focused mostly on the megadiverse genus Solanum, and, with colleagues worldwide has led the effort to produce a world monograph of its some 1,400 species. Fieldwork has taken her to some amazing places with a set of extraordinary colleagues – in both the New and Old World. She is the author of several popular books on botany and history of science and has been awarded medals in the USA and UK for public engagement with science.

Sandy has served as the President of the Bureau of Nomenclature for the past two Nomenclature Sections of the International Botanical Congress (Melbourne and Shenzhen) and is one of the editors of the Code. She is committed to making nomenclature accessible to everyone by improving governance and understandability of our rules.

She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (USA) and the Academia Nacional de Ciencias (Argentina) and is currently serving as the President of the Linnean Society of London. From 2011 to 2017 she served as IAPT’s Vice-President, and takes up the role of Acting Past President following the sad loss of Past President Vicki Funk in 2019.

Sandy doesn’t really have a bucket list – life has been fantastic so far – but would like to collect in New Guinea and visit what is left of Australia.

Gonzalo Nieto Feliner


Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid, Spain

Gonzalo Nieto Feliner is a senior research scientist at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), former director of the Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid (2006-2014) and former president of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematists (IOPB). He has also served as editor and contributor for Flora Iberica over 15 years.


His research interests center on the systematics of Plumbaginaceae and Caryophyllaceae, on hybridization as an evolutionary force and how this and other evolutionary processes contribute to generate new diversity. His research is centered in the Mediterranean region.


Gonzalo’s botanical bucket list includes, on the material side, visiting a number of world hotspots for plant diversity, especially New Zealand and its flora; on the abstract side, attaining a deeper understanding how hybridization drives evolution of angiosperm groups.

Karol Marhold


Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Karol Marhold is senior researcher at the Plant Science and Biodiversity Centre and Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia and Professor of Botany at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. He is currently also Vice-President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.


He works mainly on the taxa of the family Brassicaceae and particularly his pet genus Cardamine, but also on some genera of Compositae and other families. Methodical approaches include karyology, morphometrics, molecular systematics, but also nomenclature.

His botanical bucket list includes collecting Cardamine in China, Siberia, Altai and Russian Far East.

Valéry Malécot


Agrocampus Ouest, campus of Angers, France

Valéry Malécot is an Associate Professor at Agrocampus Ouest, campus of Angers, where he is adjunct director of the Department of Ecology.

His research interests focuses on systematics of woody cultivated angiosperms (particularly the genera Viburnum, Cytisus and Rosa), basal Santalales (Olacaceae s.l.), and plant nomenclature, as well as on history of science and botany teaching.

Valéry does not have a bucket list but any occasion is good to look a plants and to develop knowledge about their interactions with humans.

Warren L. Wagner

Reserve Fund Manager

Smithsonian Institution

Warren Wagner is a research botanist and curator at the Smithsonian Institution. His research focuses on systematics, biogeography, and patterns of evolution of various angiosperm groups, especially of Pacific oceanic islands and the evening primrose family (Onagraceae).


His botanical bucket list includes seeing completion of two among many long-standing projects. The first is the flora of Micronesia, as completing this would bring most of the fragile oceanic pacific into a modern classification of its botanical diversity.


The second is to complete genetic analyses and a monograph of Hawaiian Cyrtandra (the most species-rich genus of the Old World members of the African violet family), which exhibits the most extensive levels of interspecific hybridization of any Hawaiian lineage, yet has diversified into at least 60 species.

Dirk C. Albach

Editor-in-Chief, Taxon

Carl von Ossietzky-University, Oldenburg, Germany

Dirk Albach is professor for plant biodiversity and evolution at the Carl von Ossietzky-University Oldenburg in northwestern Germany. The position is combined with the directorship of the Botanical Garden in Oldenburg. Dirk also chairs the biodiversity and evolution section of the German Botanical Society.


His main interests are questions of hybridization and polyploidy in plant systematics. Methodologically this involves phylogenetics, phylogeography, karyology and morphometrics but also includes aspects as divergent as genomics, ecophysiology, phytochemistry and plant-fungus interactions.


Dirk has been working for a long time on the genus Veronica (Plantaginaceae) but currently also works on Rhododendron, Salicornia and cultivated plants such as kale, yams and apple.

His botanical bucket list includes seeing all species of Veronica in the field, which fortunately coincides with his wish for peace in the Middle East.

Editor-in-Chief, Regnum Vegetabile

Position currently vacant

Nicholas J. Turland

Rapporteur-général (International Code of Nomenclature)

Botanischer Garten Berlin, Germany

Nicholas (Nick) Turland is a botanist at the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, where he works as head of publishing. He is also deeply involved in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, serving as Rapporteur-général for the Nomenclature Section of the International Botanical Congress (Shenzhen, 2017 and Madrid, 2024).


He worked for 16 years at the Missouri Botanical Garden on the huge Flora of China project, and has for even longer been fascinated by the Flora of the Mediterranean region, especially Greece and the largest Greek island, Crete, which is his favourite field work destination.


His botanical bucket list includes the World’s Mediterranean climate areas, with Chile still to see, and islands with specialized endemic-rich floras.

Ilse Breitwieser


Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand

Ilse Breitwieser was science leader of the Characterising Land Biota portfolio at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand, and Director of the Allan Herbarium (CHR) for more than two decades until June 2017. She has now stepped back from all her leadership duties and works as a senior plant systematist.


Her main research interests are systematics of New Zealand Compositae, particularly Gnaphalieae, and the development of the electronic Flora of New Zealand.

Her botanical bucket list includes completing the revision of New Zealand Craspedia and all kinds of other projects in New Zealand Compositae. She is very grateful that Manaaki Whenua supports her in this endeavour.

Alina Freire-Fierro


Universidad Técnica de Cotopaxi, Ecuador

Alina Freire-Fierro is a Curator at the newly created UTCEC Herbarium on Applied Botany at Universidad Técnica de Cotopaxi, in central Andes, Ecuador.


Her research focus is on the systematics and economic importance of Neotropical Polygalaceae and other Neotropical taxa.


Her botanical bucket list includes getting to collect in the Tepuis in South America and the fynbos vegetation from the Cape Peninsula  in Southern Africa.

Steffi Ickert-Bond


University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA

Steffi is Professor of Botany, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Curator of the Herbarium (ALA).


Her research focuses on phylogenetic relationships, biogeography, and gene evolution in three diverse groups of vascular plants: 1) arid shrub genus Ephedra (Mormon-Tea, Gnetales), 2) arctic members of the Old World- New World disjunct genus Oxytropis (Fabaceae) and 3) the Asian-North American disjunct family Altingiaceae (the sweet gums). 

De-zhu Li


Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China

De-zhu Li is Professor of Botany and Director of the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIB/CAS).


His major research interests include 1) phylogenetics, evolution, and biogeography of selected families or genera of vascular plants in China and adjacent regions, with emphasis on Bambusoideae (Poaceae), Cucurbitaceae, Ericaceae and Taxaceae; 2) population genetics and phylogeography of plant species of conservational or evolutionary significance, such as the Taxus wallichiana complex; 3) pollination biology and ecological adaptation of plants in the Sino-Himalayan region; and 4) plant germplasm conservation and plant DNA barcoding.

Muthama Muasya


University of Cape Town

Muthama's career began in Kenya, where he was a Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya (1993-2008). He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, teaching courses in biodiversity, evolutionary biology and angiosperm systematics.


His ongoing research focuses on southern African Cyperaceae, floristic composition and biogeographic patterns in wetland floras, taxonomy, ecology & evolution of legumes, and the origin and evolution of the African savannas.

Jefferson Prado


Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais, São Paulo, Brazil

Jefferson Prado is a biologist and botanist at Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais, São Paulo, Brazil where he serves as Senior Researcher, Curator of the fern and lycophyte collections of SP Herbarium. His research is focused on the systematics of ferns and lycophytes, as well as on nomenclature, acting as a member of the Editorial Committee of three editions of the Code (2006, 2012, and 2018) and Nomenclature Editor of TAXON (since 2014). 

His favorites places for visiting nature are the Brazilian Amazonia and the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, where the ferns are abundant and wonderful.

Michelle Price


Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland

Michelle Price is Head of Science and Curator of bryophytes, ferns and gymnosperms at the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, and a professor in systematic botany at the University of Geneva, Department of Botany and Plant Biology.

She is a bryophyte taxonomist with an interest in bryophyte nomenclature. Her research focuses on the taxonomy and systematics of members of the Dicranales, and more recently on elucidating patterns in peristome architecture in this group of plants to explore their potential phylogenetic signal.


She is also the current Chair of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) that encompasses over 60 of Europe’s natural history museums and botanical gardens, with the aim of promoting systematics research and natural history collections within and across Europe.

Susanne Renner


University of Munich and Munich Botanical Garden

Susanne is a botanist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians U) and also the director of the Munich herbaria (3.2 million specimens) and the Munich Botanical Garden.


Her research is focused on the evolution of plant sexual systems, plant/animal interactions, biogeography, and the systematics of Melastomataceae, Siparunaceae, and Cucurbitaceae.


Mauricio Bonifacino


Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay

Mauricio Bonifacino is an associate professor at Universidad de la República in Montevideo at the schools of Agronomy and Natural Sciences. He specializes in the systematics of the flowering plant family Compositae. He has conducted fieldwork in Uruguay and also along the Andes, especially in Argentina and Chile. His research interests cover systematics of Compositae, and floristics. He teaches botany, plant biology and plant systematics in Uruguay, and also the OTS tropical plant systematics course in Costa Rica. 


Mauricio is a member of The International Compositae Alliance (TICA) and is currently collaborating with researchers across the globe to produce the Global Compositae Checklist, a project started by Vicki Funk.  


Mauricio does not have a bucket list but he loves to go into the field collecting and photographing comps and would like to visit Namaqualand and return to Patagonia.

Kevin Thiele, Perth, Australia


Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, Australia

Kevin Thiele was Head of the Western Australian Herbarium for a decade until 2016. In 2017 he joined the Australian Academy of Science, where he is leading the development and implementation of a decadal plan for taxonomy and biosystematics in Australia and New Zealand.


He has a long-standing research interest in Proteaceae, Viola in Australia, and Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae).


Kevin's botanical bucket list includes visiting the New Zealand subantarctic islands to see the megaherbs there, and finding Glaucocystis, the rarely seen sister group to all other plants

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