A total of 50 participants from 9 countries gathered during a one-day Regional Symposium on Bryology and Lichenology in Malesiana at SEAMEO BIOTROP on 18 July 2011 highlighting “A Decade of Study of Bryophytes and Lichens at SEAMEO BIOTROP” as the theme. The symposium was held back-to-back with SEAMEO BIOTROP’s 6th Regional Training-Workshop on Biodiversity and Conservation of Bryophytes and Lichens held on 11-17 July 2011.
The idea of having the symposium, back-to-back with the regional training-workshop, was suggested by the participants attending the bryophytes session during the Flora Malesiana Symposium in August 2010 in Singapore. Most of the participants in this session are alumni of the regional training-workshops of SEAMEO BIOTROP. The symposium was aimed to showcase the impacts and relevance of the Centre’s training-workshops in building the interest and capacities of young researchers in the Southeast Asian region to study Malesiana bryophytes and lichens, which have long been neglected despite their environmental importance.
The symposium featured plenary lectures from invited experts and 13 individual paper presentations of research results of SEAMEO BIOTROP training alumni on biodiversity and conservation of bryophytes and lichens. During the morning session, the two plenary lectures were on “Overview of SEAMEO BIOTROP Training-Workshop on Malesian Bryophytes and Lichens” by Dr. Sri S. Tjitrosoedirdjo, SEAMEO BIOTROP scientist, and “What We Know about the Liverworts and Hornworts of Java?” by Prof. S. R. Gradstein from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturalle in France. Five paper presentations from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam on several aspect of mosses and liverworts wrapped up the morning session. On the other hand, the afternoon session was highligthed by a the lecture of Prof. Erik Smets from the Netherlands Center for Biodiversity Naturalis & Leiden University in Netherlands on “Plant Systematics: Past and Future Perspective”. Eight papers on bryophytes and lichens from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were presented during the afternoon session. The morning session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Benito C. Tan from National University of Singapore while Dr. Monica Suleiman from University Malaysia Sabah moderated the afternoon session. The day after the symposium, the participants enjoyed a field trip to Cibodas Botanic Garden and Mount Gede Pangrango National Park.
The symposium also served as a fitting occasion for the participants to show their appreciation and honor Dr. Sri S. Tjitrosoedirdjo with a bouquet of flowers for her untiring efforts to promote the bryology and lichenology in the region through coordinating six regional training-workshops on the subject matter since 2001.