The John Ray Herbarium

Current curator: Dr. Murray Henwood

The Herbarium is located in the Biological Sciences. It was commenced by the first Professor of Botany, Prof. A Lawson, in 1916. It was conceived as a collection to which students and staff could refer, and as a repository for specimens collected during various research enterprises which staff and students undertook. Subsequently, it became a source of research material for taxonomic and morphologic research in the Biological Sciences. It has retained these roles to this day, and is now an integral part of the research and teaching programme in Plant Systematics and Plant Ecology in the School.

At present it is one of the largest University Herbaria in the country with about 50000 specimens. Amongst the holdings there are a number of significant historical collections. For example:

About 1500 specimens collected by R.H. Cambage (a geologist and amateur botanist early this century) some of which relate to published vegetation descriptions of various parts of NSW.

A complete set of W.H. Lucas' Algal collection which is an invaluable reference collection; c 1200 specimens. The John Ray Herbarium also houses collections relating to published research of previous and current staff and students of this School, for example:

  • Vickery and Fraser (Vegetation of analysis of Barrington Tops)
  • W.J. Peacock (Cytotaxonomy of Goodenia)
  • B.G. Briggs (taxonomy of Ranunculus and Darwinia)
  • Smith-White and Carter (Cytotaxonomy of Brachycome)
  • Weston (Phylogeny of Persoonia and relatives)
  • Carolin (Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Goodeniaceae)
  • Carolin and Myerscough (Vegetation of coastal sand masses)
  • Larkum (Ecology and physiology of algae)
  • Allaway (Epacridaceae) and Henwood et al. (Apiales)