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Posted: Tue, 03 Sep 2013 09:56
NUS Professor Speaks at BIOTROP’s First Quarterly Technical Seminar Series - 363 time(s) visited
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Dr. Benito C. Tan, an Associate Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore (NUS), became the first speaker in the launching of BIOTROP’s Quarterly Technical Seminar Series held on 26 August 2013 at the Centre’s headquarter in Bogor. Dr. Tan’s topic was “What you need to know about botanical nomenclature in taxonomy and related plant species.”

Dr. Tan’s talk was based on his experiences as a member of the Nomenclature Committee on Bryology for more than 12 years and his participation in nomenclature sessions in three International Botanical Congresses i.e. in Berlin, Germany (1987), St. Louise, USA (1999) and Vienna, Austria (2005).  He specifically discussed about (1) the important nomenclature rules outlined in the newly revised and published International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants (ICN or Melbourne Code),  and (2) the application of botanical rules of naming plants.  He also shared two controversial cases on nomenclature involving a fungus and a moss found in Southeast Asia. Both these two cases illustrated the scientific challenges which a plant taxonomist can encounter in the application of the ICN code rulings brought by the different reading of the complex sentences of the codified rule(s) and the influences of personal "emotion preference" and even national politics on the correct usage of a plant name in science. He also described the processes and procedures on how to modify or change of a coded rule of nomenclature of ICN at the International Botanical Congress held once every six years.

Dr. Jess C. Fernandez, SEAMEO BIOTROP Deputy Director for Program, welcomed the 63 participants from various universities and research institutions within and outside Bogor who attended the seminar. He also expressed BIOTROP’s appreciation to Dr. Tan for accepting the invitation to become the first speaker for the seminar. 

Dr. Tan is a practicing taxonomist for more than three decades studying the biodiversity, biogeography and conservation of continental and tropical Southeast Asian mosses.  He holds a PhD degree in Botany from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.  He is from the Philippines.

The seminar is one of the special initiatives of BIOTROP under its 9th Five-Year Development Plan (2012-2017). It is aimed to provide a venue for scientists and other enthusiasts to share their research and training knowledge and experiences in tropical biology. The Centre welcomes other speakers for the succeeding seminars.  They could contact Dr. Fernandez ( for this purpose.