Council Minutes

Minutes from the 2019 IAB council meetings are copied below. These are also available as pdf.

International Association of Bryologists Council meeting Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid, Spain: 9thJuly 2019, 18h30 – 22h30; 10thJuly, 12h00-13h00.

Attendees: Bernard Goffinet (President), David Long (Vice-president), Matt von Konrat (Secretary Treasurer), Dietmar Quandt (Past president, Editor of BDE). Council members: Isabel Draper, Juan Larraín, Rafael Medina, Michelle Price (minutes), Catherine Reeb, Lars Söderström, Michael Stech and Juan Carlos Villarreal. Ad hocattendee: Irene Bisang, coordinator of the IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Group

Excused: Denise Pinheiro da Costa, Patrick Dalton (editor of BT, vote to BG); Claudine Ah-Peng (vote to BG), Yelitza León, Javier Martinez-Abigar (vote to BG), Juliana Rosa Oliveira (vote to DQ), and Kien Thai Yong (vote to MvK).

Note: The council continued to meet on the 10thof July. The only change in attendees was the absence of Juan-Carlos Villarreal and the presence of Denise Pinheiro da Costa.

Proposed Meeting Agenda

1. IAB council officer election

2. IUCN red-listing workshop and the IUCN BSG steering group (I. Bisang)

3. IAB 2019 awards

4. IAB 2021 award committees

5. IAB membership

6. IAB revenue and budget

7. IAB 2021 meeting

8. Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution

9. IAPT Names Registration Committee

10. IAB website

11. Bryological Times

12. IAB Social Media strategy

Summary of tasks

1. Elections: I. Draper, C. Reeb, M. von Konrat and M. Price will review candidate criteria, the voting processes and the mechanisms in place to ensure representation from the different continents and a correct gender and diversity balance. [Target date: November 30, 2020]

2. Elections: Matt von Konrat will put together draft guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of the council members in preparation for the next cycle of elections in 2021 [Target date: March 31, 2020] and will also review the Secretary-Treasurer role, with the possibility these could become separate roles in the future and be integrated as such in the constitution. This will be reported to the IAB council. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

3. IUCN red-listing workshop: I. Bisang will submit a report on the workshop for publication in the Bryological Times. [Date to be determined in consultation with Irene]

4. IUCN red-listing workshop: Information on the activities and outcomes of the workshop should be put on the website. Target date: November 31, 2020 [M. von Konrat will coordinate with Bisang] 

5. IUCN/IAB conservation award: Assessment of availability of funds for 2020 competition. [Target date: December 31, 2020; with announcement by January 15, 2020]

6. IAB awards: Grolle award: clarify eligibility criteria on website. [Propose L. Söderström; Target date: April 30, 2020]

7. IAB awards: Travel awards: Clarify ranking criteria and criteria for distribution of funds and time table to insure timely awards. [Coordinated by M. von Konrat in consultation with Committee Members to have set in place for 2021 round of travel funds; Target date: April 30, 2020]

8.     IAB 2021 awards: B. Goffinet will propose members for various committees. [Target date: January 31, 2020]

9.     IAB membership: M. von Konrat will investigate deployment of an online membership database; the prior online platform was discontinued by the vendor [Target date: December 31, 2020].

10. IAB membership: M. Price will provide examples of strategic partnerships that were developed under CETAF and will draft a preliminary IAB strategic partnership agreement. Bernard Goffinet and Michelle Price will work on compiling the list of potential partners and the strategic partnership plan. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

11. IAB membership: M. Price in collaboration with M. von Konrat, and L. Söderström if necessary, will develop a plan for student engagement in IAB. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

12. IAB student prizes: L. Söderström volunteered to write a proposal on the prizes for student posters and presentations, and to explore the possibilities of awarding a best publication prize. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

13. IAB 2021: The council should contact Brazilian colleagues and the hosts in preparation of the IAB 2023 meeting in Brazil. [B. Goffinet; Target date: June 30, 2020]

14. IAB 2021: Draft guidelines for proposals for hosting an IAB meeting (including the accommodation of IAB events, such as council meeting, social). [M. von Konrat in collaboration with I. Draper and J. C. Villarreal; Target date June 30, 2020]   

15. BDE: Conference proceeding issue: compilation of putative contributors? [D. Quant; Target date to be determined]

16. BDE: Current IAB council acts as BDE advisory board: Dietmar will notify all council members.

17. BDE: D. Quant will send out by August 1stthe headlines and information on the current BDE workflow with suggested reviewers alongside a work programme with a time-frame (working calendar) until 2023.

18. BDE: D. Quant will prepare a document on the BDE – structure, scope and functioning and the roles / responsibilities of each of the bodies (Advisory Board and Associate Editors group) and individuals (reviewers, secretary etc.). Once approved by the Advisory Board the Council will send the pre-prepared letter announcing the 50th Anniversary volume that seeks contributors. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

19. IAPT Registration Committee: M. von Konrat will contact the secretary of the IAPT registration Committee to announce that IAB nominated L. Söderström to represent the IAB (hepatics) on the committee and confirm J. Brinda. 

20. IAB website: R. Medina to take over as webmaster, and will develop a draft a plan. [Target date: December 31, 2020]

      * Chairs of all award committees to ensure announcements from 2020 are posted.

21. BT: IAB council should confirm Patrick Dalton intention to pursue his role as editor and in the case he wishes to step down, engage in the search for a new Bryological Times editor. [Date to be determined upon P. Dalton’s response]

22.  Strategize increasing country and bryological association individual contact to benefit membership, general communication and content for the Bryological Times [I. Draper and M. von Konrat; [Target date ongoing and report back on progress and success by December 31, 2020].

23. IAB is in urgent need of a coordinated social media strategy. [Led by J. Larraín and volunteers; [Target date ongoing and report back on progress and success by December 31, 2020].

1. IAB Council elections

Elections were held for the positions of President, Vice-president, Secretary-treasurer and for four ordinary council members. Outgoing officers were Bernard Goffinet (President), Lars Söderström (Vice President), Matt von Konrat (Secretary Treasurer) and the ordinary council members, Claudine Ah-Peng, Denise Pinheiro da Costa, Juan Larraín, and Michael Stech. The election committee was composed of Isabel Draper (chair), Jeff Duckett, Matt von Konrat and Bernard Goffinet. The two election judges were Catherine Reeb and Kien Thai Yong.

Election process

Nominations were sought and compiled by the election committee. Nominees were asked to confirm their acceptance of their nomination and to provide a short biography with a photograph. The biographies were reviewed/formatted by the committee. The election committee decided to develop a page to manage the ballots on the IAB website. The functionality of the site was tested by the election committee and judges. A four-digit voting identification number was generated for each member to ensure that every member only voted once and that ballots were secret. The electronic votes -with only the digital code marked- were sent directly to the two election judges, with no copies retained on the website or sent to anyone else. The judges screened entries against identification number and discarded duplicated votes as well as votes invalidated by the selection of more than 4 council members (ordinary members). Elections closed on the 30thJune 2019 and a total of 174 valid ballots were cast.

Election results

President: Bernard Goffinet (130 votes); Vice-President: David Long (74 votes); Secretary-Treasurer: Matt von Konrat (124 votes). According to Article 16 of the IAB constitution ‘The votes cast for nominated candidates for one of the offices of the Executive Committee shall count for their election as Council Members if they are not elected for an office.’ Applying this to the current elections, Lars Söderström (66 votes), Michelle Price (53), Juan Larraín (52 votes), Rafael Medina (43 votes) were elected to the IAB council.

Elections issues

The internet voting system and process were deemed to be successful and should be used in future elections to ensure voting confidentiality. 

B. Goffinet indicated a potential vote count bias resulting from the application of Article 16, in as much as the number of candidates for the positions of President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer are usually far fewer relative to the number of candidates for ordinary members and thus they are more likely to pass automatically to the council with a de factohigher vote count. L. Söderström indicated that this rule was introduced into the constitution to ensure that people who were motivated to engage in one of the 3 legal positions were not excluded from the council if they were not elected. One solution would be to have a two-step voting process with the votes for the legal positions held first, with the candidates that were nominated but not elected, with their agreement, being moved to the second round of voting for the ordinary member seats. This system is much easier to apply to scenarios where the voting takes place during a meeting by secret ballot but will be more difficult to run via electronic voting. In the absence of any alternatives for the moment, the council agreed that Article 16 should be left as it stands in the constitution. They also discussed the need to create more clear criteria for candidates that also outline the expectations of participation on the IAB Council. To ensure a smooth integration of new council members into the active council a “a care package” should be created and should include a copy of the constitution, the two previous minutes, an explanation of the different roles of the council members and the expectations.

An election will be held in 2021 for the seats of the following members whose terms will end (Yelitza León [1stvice-president], Catherine Reeb, Isabel Draper, Javier Martinez-Abaigar, Juliana Rosa Oliveira and Juan Carlos Villarreal [all council members]). The Council should initiate the call for nominations in 2020 and constitute the nomination committee. The confirmation of willingness to appear on the ballot should highlight the commitment made to the office and signify a willingness to participate actively in IAB Council activities. The IAB Council needs members who will be active for the benefit of the association (e.g. who do not just fill a seat). M. von Konrat indicated that it would be useful to have guidelines on the different roles and expectations of the different positions on the council.

Decision: A group of council members will review candidate criteria, the voting processes and the mechanisms in place to ensure representation from the different continents and a correct gender balance. I. Draper, C. Reeb, M. von Konrat, M. Price volunteered for this task.

Decision:M. von Konrat will put together draft guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of the council members and will also review the Secretary-Treasurer role, with the idea that these could possibly become separate the roles in the future and be integrated as such in the constitution.

2. IUCN red-listing workshop, bryophyte conservation activities and the IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Group, Coordinator – Irene Bisang

B. Goffinet reminded the council that the IAB bryophyte conservation group had been dissolved in the 2017 IAB Council meeting in Shenzhen as there was overlap between the members / activities of the IAB group and the IUCN bryophyte specialist group. The council decided that there should be a representative of the IAB Council in the IUCN bryophyte specialist group to ensure active participation and information flow – L. Söderström was nominated in this role in Shenzhen.

I. Bisang reported that an IUCN red-listing workshop was held on the 7-8thJuly in Madrid involving staff from the IUCN, the IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Groupand the European Committee for Conservation of Bryophytes(ECCB). One of the IUCN targets is a global red-list and the organisation supports regional activities that work towards this goal. Regional or taxon specific specialist groups need to be aligned with the IUCN goals and report annually on their activities and progress.

A total of 28 participants attended the workshop that was financially supported by the IUCN and Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (I. Bisang) and the IAB (see under 6 below). The IAB also sponsored J. Larraín’s attendance of the workshop. Funding provided by Mohamed Bin Zayed Conservation Species Fund supported travel and accommodation for some participants. The workshop was co-organized by I. Bisang, J. van Rooy and M. von Konrat. I. Bisang also reported on the Top Ten Red List initiative by J. van Rooy – a list of lost or strongly threatened bryophyte species in sub-Saharan Africa and the East African islands.

The council discussed the need to clarify the representation and communication channels between the IAB and IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Group alongside the mutual expectations of both.

Decision: I. Bisang will submit a report on the workshop for publication in the Bryological Times. Information on the activities and outcomes of the workshop should be put on the website.

Motion: M. von Konrat. The IAB conservation prize should be managed by the IUCN Bryophyte Conservation group. Seconded M. Price. Unanimously approved by the council. The Conservation and Endangered Species Grants competition, based on availability of funds (the award is $600), is usually given in the years between IAB meetings. Once the final budget is known the council must decide whether they would like to give this award in 2020.

3. IAB Awards, see

Conservation and Endangered Species Grants. A call for proposals for the Conservation and Endangered Species Grantsaward was opened in2018. The committee was co-chaired by Irene Bisang and Jacques van Rooy, with Monica Suleiman, Neil Lockhart and Juan Larraín. The committee received three proposals and nominated Nirmala Pradhan (Nepal) for the award.

Action: N. Pradham is expected to submit a report in 2020 to the Conservation Committee.

The Spruce award. For important contributions to bryology in first 25 years of professional career.

Committee members: Lars Söderström (chair), Alison Downing and Hironori Deguchi.Awardee: Dr. Matt Renner (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia). The nomination was accompanied by substantial testimonials from John Braggins (Auckland), Matt von Konrat (Chicago) and Rui-Liang Zhu (Shanghai). The nomination was submitted by Christine Cargill. 

The Hattori prize. For the best publication or series of publications in the preceding two years.

Committee members: Yelitza León (chair), Noris Salazar, Nils Cronberg, Javier Martinez, and Masaki Shimamura. Awardee: Prof. Juan Guerra (University of Murcia, Spain) for Flora Briofítica Ibérica (Iberian Bryophyte Flora)

The Grolle award. For Excellence in Bryodiversity Research

Committee members: William R. Buck (chair), Rosa M. Ros and Hiroyuki Akiyama. Note:a discussion took place between the committee, the President and Secretary-Treasurer, in consultation with former presidents, to clarify the eligibility criteria, in particular whether the professional home institution and/or the geographic study area affected eligibility. The decision was that both criteria had to be met. Perhaps this should specifically clarified in the award description. The country eligibility is now listed on the IAB website. Awardee: Dr. Juan Larraín (Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile) for his bryophyte research and activities in Chile.

The Stanley Green awardResearch proposal on bryophytes.

Committee members: Matt von Konrat (chair), Annick Lang, Claudine Ah-Peng, Masanobu Higuchi.

Two awards were granted, one to Eugene Lorence R. Logatoc (University of the Philippines, Los Baños) for a project on bryophyte diversity and conservation in the Kaigangan Forest of Samar Island, Philippines, and one to Brian Espinoza–Prieto (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru) for a project on the taxonomy and distribution of the genus Frullaniain Peru. Both awardees will be expected to submit a report in 2020 for publication in the BT. 

Student Travel awards

Committee: Matt von Konrat (chair), Catherine Reeb, Juan Carlos Villarreal and Bernard Goffinet, with a total amount awarded of $3,400 – this is more than the expected $2400 as some registration waivers by the invited speakers for the Golden Oldies seminar were transferred to the student travel fund. 10 applicants received financial support: Yoira Rivera Queralta – Cuba ($900); Mathilde Ruche –Switzerland ($500); Marta Nieto-Lugilde – Spain ($500); Eyvar Elias Rodriguez Quiel – Germany ($400); Athita Senayai – Thailand ($300); Sonja Thielen – Germany ($300); Kavita Negi – India ($200); Ainun Nadhifah – Indonesia ($100); Mohamed Farag – Egypt ($100).  The committee noted to formalize the student travel awards, possibly to include early career researchers/scientists. Factors should include active contribution (poster, oral etc.), distance to travel, other financial funding opportunities.

Council discussion: C. Reeb indicated that it would be preferable if the IAB student travel awards were announced and prepared much earlier as African, Asian or South American participants often need time for administrative issues and to organize travel and visa requirements. 

Action: M. von Konrat will collaborate with council members to develop eligibility, criteria, appropriate posting, and the review process. The travel awards committee should plan ahead for the 2021 meeting and add information to the website to guide student applications.

4. IAB 2021 award committees

In 2021, the IAB will run the following competitions:

  • Spruce award:for important contributions to bryology in first 25 years of professional career. Selection Committee chaired by Vice President Number 1 (David Long), with two members appointed by the IAB Council. 
  • Hattori prize:for best publication or series of publication in the preceding two years. Selection Committee chaired by Vice President Number 2 (Yelitza León), with three members appointed by the IAB Council at each IAB meeting. 
  • Grolle award:for Excellence in Bryodiversity Research. Evaluation committee should include at least three recognized specialists designated by IAB President with approval of Executive Committee, to be appointed at least one year before each IAB meeting.
  • Stanley Green award:Research proposal on bryophytes. Chaired by Secretary-Treasurer (Matt von Konrat), with two members appointed by council.

Conservation and Endangered Species Grant:Whether IAB can hold a competition in 2020 or 2021 will depend on the availability of funds. The Secretary-Treasurer will inform the Council on the available funds and upon approval, the award will be under the responsibility of the IUCN Specialist group and the appointed IAB representative in this group.

Action: Guidelines / Instructions for distribution to the Chairs of the different award committees should be prepared. Information on the processes involved in the selection and assessment of the candidates is also needed to address an apparent gender bias in the granting of IAB awards.

5. IAB membership

At the Shenzhen IAB council meeting membership was discussed and a target of reaching 300 members by 2019 was set. The membership increased from 238 in 2017, 301 in 2018 to 352 in 2019, a dramatic increase reflecting the implementation of the two-level subscription model that was agreed in Shenzhen (members from IMF listed countries pay 50% of the current 16 membership fee). In 2019, membership based on a calendar year was implemented, to facilitate tracking membership by IAB and organising membership renewal. B. Goffinet thanked M. von Konrat for his enormous efforts and investment over the last two years. M. von Konrat noted that only a few members had objected to the membership based on a calendar year.  A new goal of 400 members by 2021 was set, with the aim of exploring how to promote bryologists (young and old) supporting the values of the society and of community spirit. The annual increase in subscription rates remains low and more thought on how to engage with the community, after the first wave of out-reach, is needed. M. Price noted that there has been a significant social change with the development of the internet and social media that affects the way things happen around membership of professional societies. J. Larraín added that the change in the behaviour, expectations and patterns among the users. M. Price explained the system of strategic partnership agreements that she used in CETAF to increase the networking capacity. This could be a good model to use for the IAB such that it could target strategic partnership associations (e.g. with national or regional bryological associations) and create a communication/outreach network. J. Larraín indicated that providing a map of people and where they come on the website could help to generate interest. M. von Konrat indicated that an online membership directory had been created previously but the online platform was discontinued by the vendor. Development of an online membership database will be explored. During the afternoon session, Robb Gradstein had mentioned that a membership and expertise compendium could fall under the remit of the IAB and be a useful tool for the bryological community. The council should look into this issue. M. von Konrat also noted sponsoring students and young scientists would also increase membership as well as increasing diversity and gender balance in representation of IAB.

Motion: B. Goffinet. The council will look into developing a draft of a strategic partnership concept and develop a strategic partnership plan, identify what the IAB would like and can offer within the framework of such an agreement as well as compile a list of potential sister organisations. D. Quandt seconded. 

Action:M. Price will provide examples of strategic partnerships that were developed under CETAF and will draft a preliminary IAB strategic partnership agreement. B. Goffinet/M. Price will work on compiling the list of potential partners and the strategic partnership plan.

6. IAB revenue and budget

The financial report and financial projections are in Annex 1. M. von Konrat indicated that since the decision to have membership fees by calendar year this is a transition phase and the final income from membership fees is not yet stable. He also indicated that BDE subscriptions were going up. Related to this issue, predictions of projected incomes from 1 year versus 5 year membership fees were not included in the current budget proposal. B. Goffinet indicated that all and any financial decisions that need to be made on behalf of the association (e.g. committee expenses, BDE management issues) must be presented to the council, in consultation with the Secretary-Treasurer, with the final decision made by the president. 

Incomes: M. von Konrat indicated that although membership fees are very low it is these fees, and donations from members, that facilitate IAB activities. Efforts to increase membership over the last two-years have been time consuming but it would be good continue outreach activities, especially to other associations. As an aside, there are 1000 members of Bryonet but only 352 IAB members.

Council discussion followed on possible ways to boost membership, including giving a discount to persons who recruit a new person to join, but it was pointed out that such a benefit would depend on the salary level and that the people who bring in new members are often the more senior and/or highly paid people who do not need such a discount. The council felt that it would be good to remind young bryologists of their professional and community engagement responsibilities (see also under point 5). The council should look into membership benefits (what is the added value of being part of the IAB) as well as producing IAB “merchandise” for distribution to members (stickers, badges-pins, bags). A discussion on the engagement of students in IAB meetings followed with general agreement that, although it is a shame that a best student poster award / student talk award was not organized for this meeting it was decided that it would be too complicated to do this retrospectively, and not fair to participants. A possible student publication award was also discussed, but was not so favourably received as the judgement of the “quality” of a publication is subjective and could be strongly influenced by the selection committee composition. Thesis and masters projects are collated by Bill Buck and this activity should be promoted within the IAB / BT.

Motion:M. Price. The IAB will prepare a plan for student engagement in the IAB and for the awarding of prizes for the best student posters and talks, including a proposition on developing a student symposium session for 2021, or how to manage the awarding of the student prize if talks are scattered through the programme. L. Söderström seconded. 

Action: M. Price with collaboration with L. Söderström if necessary, will develop a plan for student engagement in IAB. L. Söderström volunteered to write a proposal on the prizes for student posters and presentations, and to explore the possibilities of awarding a best publication prize. 

Outgoings: During the previous council meeting it was agreed to pay legal fees to change the status of the Association to one with USA Federal non-profit recognition and the associated transfer of the legal seat from Michigan to Illinois. In addition to the awards (Stanley Green – $1500; Hattori Prize – $400) and student travel fund ($3400), the IAB contributed funds to the organization of the IAB Madrid 2019 meeting ($1058) and IUCN workshop ($1200), and for the Golden Oldies seminar ($1200) a one off expense that was approved by the council for the 50thAnniversary.

7. The IAB meeting in 2021

One proposal from Line Rochefort and Juan Carlos Villarreal (Laval University, Quebec City, Canada) was received. The proposal was detailed and extremely well-prepared, with professional commitment demonstrated by the proposers. The proposal had endorsed by the mayor of Quebec City, the President of the University of Laval, Chief Scientist of Quebec, The Quebec Society of Bryology, the President of FloraQuebeca, the General Manager of Tourism Quebec, the Chief Officer of the Convention Center of Quebec and the President and Chief Officer of the International Airport of Quebec. The meeting will be held on the 6—8thJuly 2021 and is a joint meeting between IAB, ABLS, iMOSS, Marchantia and EMBO. It will be hosted / organized by Laval University, with the support of Quebec City, and held in the Quebec Conference Centre. The proposal was submitted to the council on 13 May, with no objections raised. B. Goffinet saw no obstacles in presenting the proposal directly to the council for a vote so that it could be presented to IAB members on Wednesday evening.

Motion:B. Goffinet. The next IAB council meeting will be held in Quebec City, Canada on the 6-8thJuly 2021. Seconded by M. von Konrat. Unanimously approved by the council.

Discussion followed on the importance of the various events that needed to take place during an IAB meeting and on the importance of communicating expectations to the host institution. The next IAB meeting will take place in 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The council should start to contact Brazilian colleagues and the hosts. 

Motion: M. von Konrat. Guidelines for hosting an IAB meeting should be drafted. L. Söderström seconded. B. Goffinet amended the motion to include the creation of guidelines on the requirements for proposals to host IAB meetings. The council unanimously approved the motion.

Action:M. Price offered to share the CETAF meeting host guidelines and to use these to draft a proposal for the IAB. B. Goffinet to send M. Price proposal from Laval Uni who will provide a first draft.

8. Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution – Editorial Board, Special Issue

Previous discussions on the functioning of the BDE took place in Shenzhen, with decisions made that laid out the expectations and expected functioning of the journal. B. Goffinet read out the minutes of the Shenzhen meeting to be sure that the situation was clear for the newly elected council members. D. Quandt briefly outlined the activities of the journal, indicating that volume 1 of the BDE for 2019 is just being finished and that volume 2 could be dedicated to showcasing the talks given during the Madrid IAB meeting. He stated that he was committed to producing the 2019 volumes and a volume on the IAB 50th Anniversary, but that after this – if changes were not made in the editorial and decisions-making processes – he would step down as Editor in Chief. B. Goffinet indicated that he would prefer if the 50thAnniversary edition was pushed to 2020 and included a managed programme of contributions according to an editorial plan with clear editorial lines and special editors. D. Quandt stressed the need to change the editorial board and review the BDE scope and create headlines for the editorial lines in the journal. B. Goffinet stated that the IAB council needs to be clear about what we want for BDE and how it should be managed. Do we need an Editorial Board (to be called the Advisory Board – e.g. a strategic group, headed by the Editor in Chief) and a group of Associate Editors (a doing group headed by the Editor in Chief) or one body that does everything. We need to ensure that we set up a clear and functional system. The Associate Editors need to be on-board and should be able to ensure the rapid turn-over of manuscripts and rapid follow-up. General discussion followed on the creation of “normal” and “special” issues, with several council members remarking that special issues can be very time-consuming to organize /manage, and is not necessarily a sustainable process either. D. Long suggested that – if no solution is found to the current apparent impasse – the journal could be stopped after the 50thAnniversary issue. J. C. Villarreal suggested that the editors or IAB members should be encouraged to publish in BDE. D. Quandt indicated that this had been previously requested but nothing happened. B. Goffinet is completely against this proposal as he believes in freedom to publish where one wants and stated that he could not expect his students to publish in journals that are not indexed. J. Larraín mentioned that as the BDE is not an indexed journal and that, for certain countries or institutions, who are more strongly influenced by the impact factor, it is complicated for people to publish in it as it does not get counted in researcher reviews. M. Stech indicated that, in the Netherlands, the use of impact factor is no longer a major part of the assessment process of researchers. M. Price indicated that this is a growing trend across Europe, with science foundations and institutions moving to a more holistic approach to assessing researchers. M. Price, L. Söderström & M. Stech indicated that open access has and will become an issue with European legislation governing open access in science publishing. Change is already happening with more shifts in publishing models expected over the next few years. There is a growing likelihood that our publishing practices will change drastically and it is not a good time to abandon such a journal as the BDE. M. Price mentioned that an offer was made to the community to publish in Frontiers in Plant Sciencewith its associated Open Access fees. Should the IAB not offer the BDE also publishes contributions from the meeting for are not able or do not want to pay for open access fees, or even if they are halved for the special issue. M. von Konrat requested a time-frame for the new strategy to be discussed, the role of the advisory board, and the metrics of success. Discussion proposed that a review of the journal take place in 2021 and that the council in 2023 considers its success and future.

Action:M. von Konrat proposed that B. Goffinet should make an announcement at the meeting that IAB symposium papers could be submitted to the BDE.

Motion:M. Price: In this interim period, the IAB Council should act as the Advisory Board of the BDE, for the volume 2 and the 50th Anniversary Edition. M. von Konrat seconded. The Council agreed and passed this motion in the majority. B. Goffinet abstained. B. Goffinet indicated that this new model should be tried until 2023 (Rio de Janeiro meeting) when the BDE should be reviewed by the council. 

Motion:B. Goffinet. The Editor in Chief is the nominated Chair of the Advisory Board of the BDE. M. von Konrat seconded. The council unanimously approved the motion.

Action: D. Quant will send out the headlines and information on the current BDE workflow with suggested reviewers alongside a work programme with a time-frame (working calendar) until 2023 for 1 August.

Action: D. Quant will prepare a document on the BDE – structure, scope and functioning and the roles / responsibilities of each of the bodies (Advisory Board and Associate Editors group) and individuals (reviewers, secretary etc.). The Advisory Board can then discuss and approve the plan, adding suggestions for members of the Associate Editors group. Once this has been done the Council will send the pre-prepared letter announcing the 50th Anniversary volume that seeks engagement and attempts to get people on board. 

Action:B. Goffinet. In the president executive report of the IAB meeting, the BDE should be mentioned and volunteers requested to join the Associate Editors group.

M. von Konrat reminded the council that IAB membership offers the possibility to subscribe to the IAB BDE journal. However, the process could be streamlined as it currently entails an email exchange with each individual member to give registration details and this takes time. This should effectively come under the responsibility of journal – e.g. the membership (new members) would be added by the journal secretary (role not yet created). M. Stech – volunteered to remain as Associate Editor.

9. IAPT Registration Committee 

The IAPT set up a Registration Committee at the IBC nomenclatural sessions in Shenzhen in 2017 with the aim of preparing for name registration that will come into effect within the next iteration of the code in 2023 at the IBC that will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The director of the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of the City of Geneva (Pierre-André Loizeau) is the Chair of this committee. Work on setting up the committee began recently and M. Price was approached as a bryologist to recommend members and also to ensure that the correct contact details were given for the IAB (president) to ensure that the IAB could nominate a representative to this committee. John Brinda (MO – mosses) and Matt von Konrat (F-hepatics) were suggested. The council should now discuss this issue and more formally nominate an IAB representative(s). M. von Konrat stated that he had received the initial email contacts from this committee and that, due to time constraints, would be very happy if someone could replace him to represent the hepatics. M. Price noted that this issue is part of the larger Unified Bryophyte Names Index idea that was presented at the meeting.

Motion:B. Goffinet proposed that L. Söderström be nominated to represent the IAB (hepatics) in the IAPT Registration Committee. B. Goffinet will also invite John Brinda to become IAB representative for the mosses. Seconded by M. Price & M. von Konrat. Unanimously approved by the council. Note:This information should be added to the IAB website.

Action: M. von Konrat to contact the secretary of the IAPT registration Committee to announce the change in representative. B. Goffinet will contact John Brinda to invite him to become IAB representative for the mosses. M. von Konrat noted J. Brinda is already serving that role and on the committee, but this should be validated and confirmed.

10. IAB website

B. Goffinet indicated that the IAB website had been transferred from the University of Bonn to a new host server [WordPress]. The webpages were redesigned, primarily by B. Goffinet, and populated and updated by M. von Konrat and B. Goffinet. B. Goffinet had previously put out a call for an official webmaster. I. Draper had previously indicated that she may take over as webmaster but does not think that she is the best person for this task. R. Medina volunteered to take over the role of webmaster. 

Action:The new webmaster should draft a plan of IAB website content and a vision for the growth and evolution of the site (content etc.) to be submitted for discussion by the council. 

11. Bryological Times

Patrick Dalton took over as editor in 2018, and his term should end in 2021. To facilitate changes between editors the council could appoint co-editor (or editor elect) who would work with the outgoing editor to ensure a smooth transfer to the incoming one. 2 issues have been edited to date, 147 (January 2019) and 148 (June 2019). In his report, P. Dalton indicated that he would like to have 3 volumes per year, with the next issue for 2019 to be dedicated to celebrating the 50-year anniversary of IAB as well to report on the diverse proceedings of the Madrid conference. This issue will require input not only from senior bryologists who can reflect on the bryological achievements over the past fifty years, but it would be highly desirable to have input from key members of societies and interest groups to illustrate our diverse global activities. He also expressed the need to establish a network of trusted contributors and to have contacts (country contacts, or contacts within associations). 

Council discussion followed and B. Goffinet indicated that he had approached Jesús Muñoz to obtain the abstracts from the current meeting which could go into the BT. It was also mentioned that making the pdf’s of the posters and presentations would be a great contribution to the IAB website. The council generally agreed that having country editors who could more proactively request contributions should be explored. Designating country editors from the IAB Madrid meeting could also help channel efforts. D. Long indicated that the editor could reach out to the societies to request news items and articles and it was agreed that this element should be added to the IAB strategic partnership agreement. I. Draper mentioned that having country and bryological association contact points is really important as it means that communications are personalized and that this approach could be used more widely within the IAB, and not just for the BT. 

Action:In 2020, the IAB council will need to engage in the search for a new Bryological Times editor to replace Paddy Dalton, if he were to decide to step down at the end of the current mandate.

12. Social Media strategy

At present, there is no IAB social media strategy. J. Larraín is currently running IAB Facebook page and could create an IAB Instagram account. A Twitter account was organized for the current meeting by R. Medina. A strategic communication and social media plan is urgently needed. Time constraints prevented further discussion but the council should try to work on this issue to have something in place for 2021. 

13. General council discussion

B. Goffinet indicated that the lack of responses on issues from the council is frustrating and slows down progress. It would be highly appreciated if the council could respond to requests and especially for voting matters. M. von Konrat added that active engagement on behalf of the council members is essential for the success of the IAB, and that an equitable division of some of the tasks would be possible under these conditions. This might be rectified by development of explicit roles of council members and guidelines for members to accompany the IAB constitution.

* Briefly discussed IAB Mission Statement, and the possibility for reviewing and re-evaluating.

PS: for appendices please download the pdf of the minutes.