Cairns is a subtropical city in Far North Queensland consisting of 150,000 people and the city is often referred to as the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The nearby Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park pays tribute to the rich history of the indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, while the bustling Cairns Esplanade is lined with bars and restaurants and has a swimming lagoon. To the northwest lies the Daintree National Park with its mountain rainforests, stunning gorges and pristine beaches.
Founded in 1958, the Australian Society of Plant Scientists (ASPS, www.asps.org.au) is an incorporated society (ABN: 19 612 119 821) that promotes Plant Science in Australia. Membership (currently over 500) is open to all professional plant scientists and plant science students in Australia. We have the support of the current ASPS President Sergey Shabala, who has agreed to be on our advisory panel. We also have full support from the incoming ASPS President Kathy Soole, who will serve her 3-year term from mid-2018 until mid-2021. In her own words, this ensures that “all through preparation time and at the meeting the Society will be giving full support to the bid”. We also have formal support from Professor Leann Tilley, the current president of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB, www.asbmb.org.au). The ASBMB was established in 1955 and unites biochemists and molecular biologists from around Australia.
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is a professional scientific society, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, U.S.A. devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences worldwide. ASPB will serve as the conference management company on behalf of the International Plant Molecular Biology Society. As the conference managers under the direction of the IPMB board they will provide financial management and oversite for the meeting as well as provide onsite management services as well as registration, abstract and website development. They will assist in marketing the conference as well as sponsorship sales.
To bring IPMB2021 down under we presented a bid with substantial and nation-wide support for this conference from the Australian plant science community. This included formal support from 50 leading Australian plant scientists including: Allan Green, Anna Koltunow, Barry Pogson, Bernard Carroll, Bob Furbank, Bostjan Kobe, Chris Grof, Christine Beveridge, Dave Edwards, Ed Newbigin, Geoff Fincher, Harvey Millar, Ian Small, Jacqueline Batley , James Dale, James Whelan, Jimmy Botella, John Bowman, John Evans, John Manners, John Patrick, John Rathjen, Josh Heazlewood, Karam Singh, Liz Dennis, Marcus Heisler, Marilyn Anderson, Martha Ludwig, Mary Byrne, Matthew Gilliham, Min Chen, Owen Atkin, Paul Haynes, Peter Waterhouse, Rachel Burton, Robert Henry, Roger Hellens, Ros Gleadow, Sergey Shabala, Spencer Whitney, Staffan Persson, Steve Swain, Steven Smith, Sureshkumar Balasubramanian, Surinder Singh, TJ Higgins, Tony Bacic, Tony Millar, Ulrike Mathesius, and Ute Roessner.
For the operational organisation, we have a team of enthusiastic plant scientists that are mostly recently tenured or tenure-track. These include a ‘man on the ground’ in Cairns (Australian Tropical Herbarium Director, Darren Crayn), the ASPS President (Kathy Soole), a group of early career researchers on nationally competitive Australian Research Council Future Fellowships (Mark Waters, Monika Murcha, Matt Tucker, Berit Ebert) and includes experts that apply molecular biology beyond the usual fields into ecology and evolution (Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos, Rose Andrew). This team have a broad network as well as the time and energy to ensure the meeting is a success.
As the chair for IPMB2021 Cairns (Joshua Mylne), I am certain that with the aforementioned support and working with a steering group appointed by IPMB, we can deliver a fantastic IPMB conference in Cairns in 2021. Join us!