The 4th User Conference was held at Gothenburg Botanical Garden on 29th and 30th of April 2019.

This year, roughly 55 delegates from 22 institutions including Australia, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US came together to learn from each other and cultivate the collective expertise.

Since it is our ambition to make this conference a platform for everyone involved in record keeping, we are very pleased that this year more than one third of the participants were horticulture staff. We would like to thank all the gardens that recognised the importance of ‘inclusive collection management’ and walked the talk by bringing a broader delegation of their organisation to the conference. We would also like to thank Oslo Botanic Garden and Bergen Botanic Garden for their commitment by enabling a large part of their curation and horticulture staff to attend the conference.

* December 2019: This post was originally published under the title “4th IrisBG User Conference…”. After the collaboration on the IrisBG software package ended on December 6th 2019, Botanical Software changed the name of its products and services to Floria. To avoid confusion about Botanical Software’s current involvement with IrisBG, we felt we needed to change the title of this post. The conference covers many generic topics about collection management and record keeping. We have for this reason decided to keep this material available as a useful resource. Strongly committed to our collaboration with the community, we will continue to organize conferences, workshops and other events.

Mari Källersjö, Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, opened the conference with a keynote speech on “Plant collections – a global research infrastructure” and a plea for the publication of biodiversity collections. This reminded us, just before diving into the nuts and bolts of record keeping, of the ultimate goal of most botanic gardens – protecting the biodiversity of our world.

For the 4th time the users contributed by speaking about the challenges they face in their daily work. We would like to thank our speakers for their courage to discuss ‘work in progress’, and actively collect feedback from other community members. Again, this model proves to be the right recipe to spark constructive discussions leading to better understanding of the plant record system with both users and developers. This made all of us grow!

The conference was followed by half a day of training for beginners and advanced users. We would like to thank Gregory Payton from the Dawes Arboretum for giving the introductory training.

Please, have a look at the programme below, the presentations and the recordings.

Special thanks go to Mats Havström, Stina Westrand and the Gothenburg Botanical Garden for providing a very special location and being warm-hearted and extremely professional hosts. Last but not least, we would like to thank Reinout Havinga and the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam for having a key role in representing the user community. Since our first user conference in Amsterdam 4 years ago, Reinout has made sure that every conference has kept the focus on the users in our community and the challenges they are trying to overcome.

We would also like to thank Swedish Lifewatch for supporting this event.

Join us next year in Mainz on 11 & 12 May 2020!

Margherita Tinti & Havard Ostgaard

4th User Conference – Monday 29th April

Opening and Welcome
Margherita Tinti, Community Manager, Botanical Software
Mats Havström, Head of Research and Collections, Gothenburg Botanic Garden
Havard Ostgaard, Botanical Software

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View recording

Key Note Speech
Plant collections – a global research infrastructure
Mari Källersjö, Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg

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View recording

Introduction to the programme
Reinout Havinga, Head of Garden and Collection, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Reference Garden

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Session 1 – records are teamwork

“We’ve always done it this way” – Resetting the status quo.
Benedict Lyte, Senior Plant Mapping and Records Officer, Royal Botanic Garden of Sydney

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“Seeing the forest and the trees“ – Collaborative tree assessment
Andreas Løvold, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

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Workshop: The introduction of the Handheld App
Martin Smit, Collections Manager, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Reference Garden
Pete Atkinson, Plant Records Officer, Cambridge University Botanic Garden

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View presentation – Smit
View presentation – Atkinson

Session 2 – the Nuts and Bolts

Finding ways to record historic plant records
Christopher Weddell, Senior Gardens Advisor, English Heritage

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Background research (Jaskirit Bahmra 2018)

The complex locations of the Clusius Garden
Wouter Koopman, Horticulturalist, Hortus botanicus Leiden

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Tag, you’re it! – labeling techniques
Gregory Payton, Director of Living Collections, Dawes Arboretum

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Using attributes to customise
Stina Weststrand, Scientific curator, Gothenburg Botanic Garden

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Workshop: Inventories and labeling in practice
Johan Nilson & Erik Vidstige, Horticulturalists, Gothenburg Botanic Garden
Mats Havström, Head of Research and Collections, Gothenburg Botanic Garden
Margherita Tinti
, Botanical Software

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View recording
View group work

Margherita Tinti, Botanical Software

Listen to recording
View summary sheet

Introductory & Advanced training – 30th April 2019

Introductory training

Gregory Payton, Dawes Arboretum

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View recording

Advanced training
Havard Ostgaard, Botanical Software

View recording – part I
View (re-)recording – part II

Impressions of the day

4th User Conference – Summary, Slides and Recordings*