International Association for Lichenology

History of IAL

One of the main purposes of the International Association for Lichenology (IAL), inaugurated in 1967, was to establish a Newsletter in order to provide a forum for lichenologists worldwide to communicate with each other. In consequence, the early history of the IAL is in large degree the story of the International Lichenological Newsletter (ILN).

Those responsible for organising the IAL at this time were essentially the editors of the Newsletter, hard-working people, collating hundreds of short notes on lichenologists and their current projects and opinions from all over the world, as well as reports of meetings and social events.  The idea of an international lichenological association arose during the 10th International Botanical Congress in Edinburgh in 1964, when a small group of lichenologists met and approved a motion to initiate an International Association of Lichenologists. At the same time, a Newsletter was proposed to spread information among lichenologists quickly and easily.

The official inauguration of IAL did not take place until the 11th IBC in Seattle in 1969 when the General Assembly of IUBS officially recognized the new organization. An executive Council of five members was elected, with Peter James as its Chairman, Hildur Krog as Secretary, Vernon Ahmadjian as Editor, Irwin Brodo as Associate Editor, and Gerhard Follman.

Although the possibilities of communication have increased enormously in recent years, the function of IAL and its Newsletter remain the same, and the initial enthusiasm for exchanging ideas and results and reporting meetings continues undiminished.

You can read about the history of the IAL in more detail in the following PDF documents: