Australian Academy of Science Fenner Conference on the Environment 2021: Exceptional times, exceptional plants

A workshop on identification and conservation of plant species that are difficult to bank using conventional techniques

This Australian Academy of Science Fenner Conference on the Environment will provide an opportunity for scientists working on conservation of Australia’s diverse flora, including some of our most threatened species, to evaluate methods for conserving plant germplasm – seeds, plants and other plant tissues – so they are available for species recovery and protected from extinction.

The conference is timely for securing surviving germplasm, particularly in rainforest habitats impacted by bushfires in 2019/20; and plant communities devastated by diseases such as Phytophthora Dieback and Myrtle Rust. Many of these species cannot be conserved using conventional seed banking techniques. Significant advances to identify and conserve these ‘exceptional plants’ ex situ have been made in the last decade. Knowledge-sharing will support conservation in this critical “window of opportunity” before extinction may occur.

The new third edition of the Guidelines ‘Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia’ (, to be launched earlier in the ASSC program, provide science-based best-practice methods and case studies for assessing and conserving plant germplasm using a variety of ex situ techniques. These Guidelines are an ideal ‘handbook’ for those involved in conserving exceptional plant species in Australia.

This workshop is funded by a grant from the Australian Academy of Science. Funding for Fenner Conferences on the Environment is offered for conferences that bring together those with relevant scientific, administrative and policy expertise to consider current environmental and conservation problems in Australia, with the aim of contributing to the formation of policies that can alleviate some of these problems.

You can register free for this day only