The Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium is legally responsible for the State Herbarium of South Australia and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. However, for over a decade, the State Herbarium has been more closely linked to science-focussed groups in DEWNR. This enabled the institution to forge better links with other scientists in the Department.
With the appointment of Dr Lucy Sutherland as the new Director of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, announced recently by the Envirionment Minister Ian Hunter, the State Herbarium and the Botanic Gardens will also formally be combined into one Branch. Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive of DEWNR, stated that this was a great new opportunity for the State Herbarium and its staff. The move would assist them to raise the Herbarium’s profile in line with that of the Gardens, which should bring opportunities that would otherwise not be possible.
Dr Sutherland will be the ninth Director of the Gardens in its 160 year history. She is currently national coordinator of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership, a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru and has previously worked as acting director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. She holds a MAppSci (Charles Sturt University) and PhD (London Metropolitan University) in botanic gardens management and has integrated her academic studies in ecology and the social sciences with her practical experience in botanic gardens and protected area management, policy and practice. Dr Sutherland published and presented papers on botanic gardens focusing on such topics as collections management, biodiversity and plant conservation, nature-based tourism, education and interpretation policy and practice. She will take up her appointment in October 2016.