Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Telopea special edition

Dr Elizabeth Brown - Botanist

Shortly before the sad death of Surrey Jacobs in November 2009 we started the organisation for an issue of Telopea in his honour. The lead time with such things meant that he would never see it completed but we were able to tell him about it. With Karen Wilson doing all the organising of contributors and referees he would have been confident that it would eventuate.

Karen wrote to colleagues throughout the world and organised tentative responses into definite promises. As deadlines approached she reminded and cajoled people and once they had submitted their papers she turned around and persuaded them to help referee other papers. It takes a lot of persistence and determination, usually on the part of one person, to bring a dedicated publication to the point where it can even be considered for publication.

More than 40 people contributed to the special issue and of the 25 papers, Surrey was co-author or lead author on four of them; a fitting tribute to his determination to finish as many projects as he possibly could. Poales experts contributed 11 papers covering a wide range of subjects, including three new species named in honour of Surrey; Walwhalleya jacobsiana R.D.B.Whalley & J.J.Bruhl, Aristida jacobsiana B.K.Simon & I.D.Cowie and Eragrostis surreyana K.A.Sheph & Trudgen (Surrey’s lovegrass being the common name).

Waterplant people produced eight papers with varied subjects including work on relationships in Nymphaea (water-lilies), hybridisation, wetland assessment (one of Surrey’s students) and another three new species named for Surrey, i.e. Nymphaea jacobsii Hellq., Myriophyllum jacobsii M.L.Moody and Eleocharis jacobsiana K.L.Wilson. The issue also included a Nymphaea species named for Surrey’s much loved grandson (N. lukei S.W.L.Jacobs & Hellq.).

Surrey’s contribution to work on chenopods was also marked by papers on the Camphorsomeae and Tecticornia. Colleagues Peter Bernhardt and Tony Orchard, simply wishing to remember and honour Surrey, also contributed papers. The editorial committee were of great assistance and Design and Editorial Services put in an enormous effort to produce the issue which exceeded 350 pages.

The cover of the special issue. A photograph of a water-lily, taken by Surrey and adapted by Helen Stevenson.