IAB constitution

Constitution of the International Association of Bryologists

updated April 2014   Download

Section 1. Name and Affiliation
  • Article 1. The Association shall be called the International Association of Bryologists (IAB)
Section 2. Means and Objectives
  • Article 2. The Association is an international, non-profit society whose financial records reside with the current Secretary-Treasurer.
  • Article 3. The objectives of the Association shall be to promote international co-operation and communication among persons interested in bryophytes.
  • Article 4. The objectives of the Association shall be:
    • The facilitation and encouragement of fuller co-operation between individual workers;
    • The establishment of committees for special purposes;
    • The organization of meetings and symposia relating to bryology, in which bryologists should be involved and to which they can contribute:
    • The publication of a regular newsletter and items that are of general interest to bryologists other than original research papers.
    • The publication of original research papers in the society´s scientific journal.
Section 3. Membership
  • Article 5. All persons actively interested in any phase of bryology are eligible for membership of the Association.
  • Article 6. Membership is acquired by application in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer of the IAB and payment of the appropriate fee.
  • Article 7. Non-profit bryological societies can be affiliated to the IAB. Affiliated societies may use the newsletters and the other IAB channels free of charge. Commercial journals or publishers may use the IAB network by paying an amount decided at any time by the current Executive committee.
Section 4. Council
  • Article 8. The affairs of the Association shall be controlled by a Council which shall consist of a President, a First and Second Vice-President, the Immediate Past-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, the Editor of The Bryological Times, the Editor-inChief of Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution, and ten Councillors. Normally not more than three members of the Council shall be residents of the same country when elected.
  • Article 9. The President, Vice-Presidents, Past-President, and Secretary shall constitute the Executive Committee whose role will be to maintain general control over the affairs of the Association and carry out the duties that may be delegated to them by the Council.
  • Article 10. The President and Vice-Presidents shall hold office for four years and are eligible for re-election. The two Vice-Presidents shall not be elected simultaneously. The Councillors shall hold office for four years. The Councillors are eligible for immediate re-election to the same office; however, after serving two election periods an intermission of at least one election period is required. The Secretary-Treasurer shall hold office for six years and shall be eligible for re-election.
  • Article 11. The Editor of The Bryological Times shall be appointed by the council for two-year terms and be eligible for reappointment. The Editor-in-Chief of Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution shall be appointed by the council for four-year terms and be eligible for reappointment.
  • Article 12. Any vacancy occurring during the term of office of a Council member, other than that of President, shall be filled by the Council. In the case of a vacancy in the presidency, the Past-President shall fill the remaining term of office.
  • Article 13. The Council may at any time co-opt additional members for special purposes.
  • Article 14. The Council shall have power to appoint committees to further the objectives of the Association and shall define the composition, duties, and powers of such committees.
Section 5. Meetings and Elections
  • Article 15. The Association shall meet biennially, including if possible at each International Botanical Congress. Other meetings may be arranged by the Council when deemed appropriate. A Business Meeting shall be held at each biennial meeting. The time interval between Business Meetings shall normally be every two years. Notice of the Business Meetings shall be sent to members at least four months before the date of the meetings through the newsletter.
  • Article 16. The Council shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast by members in a mail ballot conducted at least four months prior to the Business Meeting of the Association. 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.
  • Article 17. At least seven months prior to a Business Meeting of the Association, the President shall appoint an Election Committee to conduct the election of Council. The Election Committee shall consist of at least three and not more than five members.
  • Article 18. The election Committee shall call for nominations of candidates for the ensuing period from the membership of the Association. Nominations shall be sent to the Chair of the Election committee and they shall form the basis of the ballot. If nominating additional candidates, the election Committee shall strive, as far as possible, to take account for the diverse interests of bryologists as well as the varied geographical areas of candidates’ residency. Ballots shall be sent to the election judge, appointed by the President.
Section 6. By-laws and Amendments
  • Article 19. The Council shall have the power to make by-laws for carrying into operation the terms of the Constitution.
  • Article 20. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed in writing by any member of the Association. Such amendments receiving the approval of a majority of the Council shall be submitted to the members for a mail ballot. Adoption shall require a favorable vote of two-thirds of the votes cast. However, amendments rejected by the council may be re-submitted by the mover for discussion at the next Business Meeting of the Association, and if a favorable decision is then obtained, they shall be voted upon by mail vote


  1. Such Committees as may be required to fulfill IAB’s purposes shall be created on a temporary or unlimited basis, upon the decision of the Council.
  2. The Chair and Members of each Committee shall be appointed (and can be dismissed) by the Executive committee. Unless otherwise specified, their commissions end with that of the Council, during which they were appointed; it can be renewed. The President and the Secretary-Treasurer of the I.A.B. are ex-officio members of each Committee.
  3. Within the limits of their tasks and competencies, as defined by the Council, the Committees are autonomous in their action.
  4. Every January, the Committees shall submit annual reports of their activities to Council through the Secretary-Treasurer of IAB who shall circulate them and report back to the Committees and comments received from Council members.
  5. Funds that may be put at the disposal of a Committee shall be administered under the personal liability of the Chair of that Committee, their use being fully accounted for in the Committee’s reports.
Quorum of Council
  1. A quorum of nine persons is necessary for making decisions that require voting.
  2. Both finishing and newly elected Council members shall be invited to participate in the biennial Council meeting. Both outgoing and newly elected members of the council shall be included in constituting a quorum and in voting.  Members who are unable to be present for the Council meeting may name another IAB member who will attend to serve as substitute/proxy. The President must be informed of such designee prior to the meeting.
  3. When practical, business may be conducted by including absent members by phone or other electronic means during the council meeting.
  4. There shall be no upper limit on the number of persons allowed to vote from among this group.
  5. In the event that a quorum is not reached, or business cannot be completed during the meeting, the President shall complete the business through email discussion and voting.
  6. When Council meets, but a quorum is not present (including those participating electronically), business shall be presented by email to the Council for discussion, followed by an email vote. This shall be conducted by the President (or President’s designee) who shall be in office at the close of the meeting.
  7. Business may also be conducted between meetings, when necessary, by email vote of the Council. Ample time should be provided for email discussion before a final vote.
Incoming and Outgoing Councillors and Officers
  1. The incoming and outgoing Presidents shall decide which Council business will fall under the jurisdiction of each. Generally, old business shall be the responsibility of the outgoing President and new business shall be the responsibility of both Presidents. Other officers shall assume responsibilities when the new President does. In years when there is no new President, the new officers shall assume responsibilities as needed during the Council meeting.
  1. The election committee, which does not include the judge, shall prepare a slate of nominees, normally with at least two candidates for each position. In addition to their own nominations, the committee shall solicit nominations from the membership through the Bryological Times or email. The committee shall be responsible for preparing ballots and collecting the statements from the candidates. Each candidate for President shall submit a photograph and short biographical sketch including country and professional position, and a statement of no more than 200 words stating their contributions to IAB, their goals during presidency, and why they want to serve as president. All other candidates shall submit a photograph and short biographical sketch including country, professional position, contributions to IAB, and one sentence of why they want the IAB position designated. Statements from all nominees shall be included with the ballot or placed on the IAB website. If feasible, electronic passport-style pictures should be provided for each candidate. The location of these statements shall be indicated on the ballot. The judge shall notify the President as soon as election results are known and the President shall notify the candidates and the Executive Council of the results of the election in a timely manner.
  2. If a tie  occurs for a position on the Council (position #5), both candidates will be considered elected council members. Both terms will expire at the same time and only one position will be considered vacant.  Likewise, if a tie occurs for the position of Vice President, both candidates will be considered elected Vice Presidents.  Both terms will expire at the same time and only one position will be considered vacant.  The President shall determine which Award Committees shall be chaired by these two Vice Presidents.  (See Awards for assignment of Award Chairs).  The President at the time of election shall not vote unless needed to break a tie.  If there is a tie for President, the Judge of Elections shall notify the President of the top two contenders and the President shall notify the Judge of Elections of his/her vote.  If there is a 3-way tie, the President shall choose among the three.
  3. Geographic representation on council. Vice President: The ballot for the election of an open Vice President position must include nominees from regions other than that of the sitting Vice President. Nominations from the same region as the sitting Vice President will not be considered for the ballot, unless there are no nominations from other regions.Council Members: In each election cycle the council membership will ideally consist of representation across all six regions as defined as North America (including Mexico), Europe (including Russia), Asia, Central & South America, Africa & Middle East, Australasia (including the islands of the South Pacific).

    To ensure broad geographical representation of council members, the International Association of Bryologists ballot for voting council members will be in two parts:

    Ballot paper: To accommodate the goal of maintaining broad geographical representation across six regions, the ballot paper for Council Member  will be in two parts. That is:

    Part A Restricted to those geographical regions that are open, i.e., with no representation in the council.

    Part B Open to nominations from any regions, with no restrictions.

    Outcome: The winners of each regional elections of Part A and the two candidates of Part B with the most votes will be elected to council for one term. In the event of a draw, this is outlined above (No. 2).

Informing Members
  1. The membership shall be informed by email or The Bryological Times of the agenda and proposals to be discussed by the Executive Council at a meeting. The membership shall be informed of the decisions of Council.