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University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) (1926 - )

Faculty of Science
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Function: Reference Collection and Teaching Facility
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The University of Melbourne Herbarium was established in the School of Botany in 1926 when a donation of plant specimens was given to the chool by the Reverend Herman Montague Rucker Rupp, a former student of Trinity College at the University. Thanks to additional donations, some dating back to the 1850s, today the collection totals approximately 100,000 specimens and is still growing. All major plant groups are housed in the Herbarium, including fungi, mosses, liverworts, lichens, algae, ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants. The main emphasis of the collection is the Victorian flora, however, for some plant groups interstate and overseas collections are included to adequately cover the range of variation within the group.

URL: The home page for this entity is located at http://www.botany.unimelb.edu.au/botanyunimelb/1pages/research/labs/Herbarium
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The Herbarium is a reference collection of predominantly Victorian plants, and serves as an important aid in the identification of plants collected in the field. A significant component of the collection consists of non-vascular plants, which makes it an extremely valuable and important research resource to the international botanical community. In addition to projects with a distinct systematic emphasis, research in the School of Botany encompassing plant ecology and reproductive biology depend on The Herbarium collection for confirmation of correct taxonomic determination, biogeographic information, etc

The School of Botany teaches courses in plant systematics and diversity to undergraduate students at second and third year level. This covers both practical (identification) and theoretical (methodological) aspects, and services students enrolled in the Faculty of Science and the Institute of Land and Food Resources. A component of these courses is training students in the use of a modern herbarium, as they are required to identify plants and compile fully documented plant collections for assessment. The Herbarium is used as a facility in this task.

The Plant Systematics and Evolution Research Group is a major strength in the School of Botany. It consists of three members of academic staff, postdoctorate staff, technical officer, herbarium curator, postgraduate students, volunteer and associate staff.

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Carolyn Rasmussen & Rachel Tropea
Created: 3 October 2001
Modified: 25 March 2003

Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, October 2001
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: http://www.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/about/inquiries.html#comment
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 16 November 2009

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