AbstractTropical Botany in Aberdeen University. This was started by Professor J.W.H. Trail, who held the chair from 1877 to 1919, and travelled in the Amazon Valley (1873-75) mainly collecting cryptogams and studying palms. He was succeeded by Prof. W.G. Craib (1920-33) who was never in the tropics but devoted his work to the Flora of Siam, based on the collections of A.F.G. Kerr, and assisted by Miss E.C. Barnett. After a considerable lag, tropical botany was revived by the energetic efforts of Dr. P. Ashton as lecturer in systematics and ecology of the eastern tropics, establishing ties with Malayan colleges in teaching and research. This is at present perpetuated by two lecturers, Dr. K. Jong and Dr. M.D. Swaine, the latter’s experience lying largely in the tropics of West Africa. In addition Dr. N.M. Pritchard, Dr. J.B. Kenworthy and Dr. G. Hadley have been on secondment to the University of Malaya, while Dr. I. Alexander made research visits to India, Ghana and Peru. Over the years the Department has provided undergraduate and research training to innumerable students from many different tropical countries, some of which attained responsible posts, e.g. Prof. E. Soepadmo. Important courses in tropical biology are given, not available elsewhere in the U.K. (started 1973). The benefits for Aberdeen students is important: amongst others they led to expeditions to various parts of the tropics, recently to Sabah and to the Ivory Coast. Royal Society Tropical Rain Forest Collaborative Research Programme. Arising out of a feasibility study by Dr. T.C. Whitmore and P.F. Cockburn, the theme ’Recovery of tropical rain forest after disturbance’ was adopted as the initial basis of the programme. Possible territories for the research include Sabah and the Philippines. Detailed plans for a 5-year project are being prepared in consultation with colleagues in Southeast Asia.
TypeArticle / Letter to the editor