BSPP News Spring 1999 - Online Edition

The Newsletter of the British Society for Plant Pathology
Number 34, Spring 1999

Membership Database Update

I would like to thank all of those members who have returned database updates, and indicated whether they would be willing to have the information included on a database that doesn't have password protection.

As you may know, the International Society for Plant Pathology has an on-line database of plant pathologists from all over the world - except for members of BSPP. The reason the BSPP members aren't included is that U.K. data protection legislation means that we can't just give ISPP the data. Instead, BSPP members need to positively 'contract in', by making a positive statement that they wish to be included on the database. Although the response from BSPP members has been very good, and overwhelmingly in favour of such a move, we cannot make a decision on behalf of those members who haven't replied.

If you would like to be included on the ISPP database then please let me know. You can do this by returning the database update form or even by just sending me an e-mail indicating that you are happy for your data to be included.

At the same time, I am hoping to update BSPP's database records of members' addresses and also of their research, teaching and other interests, to make the database as useful as possible to members.

Please do take the little time needed to update your database entry - it helps to make it a worthwhile resource for all members.

Kevin O'Donnell, Membership Secretary

Professor David S Ingram OBE

David Ingram, President of BSPP in 1998, was awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours List for his contributions to plant science and education. David has recently retired as Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and was President of the 7th International Congress of Plant Pathology held in Edinburgh in August 1998. He is reported to be particularly delighted that education featured in the citation.

From the beginning of this year, Plant Pathology has had a new, eye-catching cover design, with a colour photo in the panel beneath the title. The picture will be different for each issue and it will usually be relevant to one of the papers included in that issue. Authors who submit papers to Plant Pathology are encouraged to send the Senior Editor attractive colour pictures which could be considered for use on the front cover. 

BioCISE - A Biological Collection Information Service in Europe

Help us to identify European biological resources!

BioCISE is a multidisciplinary Concerted Action project funded by the European Commission (DG XII). Its aim is to identify and analyse databases of biological collection objects in Europe. The results of the survey will be made public on the World Wide Web and will serve to formulate a proposal for the creation of a European Biological Collection Information Service. Project participants include 20 scientists from 10 EU states and Israel. The co-ordinating project secretariat with 4 members is housed by the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem.

The term "Biological Collection" is understood to include the following main categories: living collections (micro-organisms, botanical and zoological gardens), natural history collections (mainly in museums and universities), data collections (such as used in faunistic and floristic mapping projects), as well as new forms of biological collections (e.g. natural products, collections with the aim to preserve endangered species, and gene banks). The size of the collection is of secondary importance; on the contrary, we are specifically interested to include smaller and/or highly specialised collections.

By the end of 1999, the project is to develop specifications for a system serving both, the wide range of potential users of collection information as well as the researchers and curators of the collections themselves. For that purpose, a comprehensive survey is carried out, where possible in co-operation with other organisations and projects. Collection information database resources are to be identified and documented, potential users detected, and technical possibilities for the implementation of the service evaluated. The results will be made public by a constantly updated WWW documentation (see, which gives further details about the project). Beginning in 1999, the results will be used to formulate a project proposal to obtain funding for the implementation phase of the project.

We should like to ask all institutions and organisations holding biological collection databases to participate in the survey. In case you did not receive the questionnaire, you can either download it from or request it from the following address:

BioCISE, BGBM, Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, 14191 Berlin.
Fax: +49 30 84172 954Walter G Berendsohn, project co-ordinator