TCS 2009 Grants

Travel Scholarship to Study Cycads and Associated Flora in Queensland, Australia

Felix Merklinger
Royal Botanic Garden, Kew


The applicant wishes to apply for funding through the Cycad Society to partially fund a journey to Queensland, Australia to study cycads and associated flora. Initially field work will be conducted, assisting the Millennium Seed Bank (Kew) and their partners in Brisbane collecting seed as part of the ‘Seeds for Life’ project.
The primary contact for the seed collecting trip will be through staff at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha. After spending twelve days of the three week journey on the collecting trip, the applicant will travel to Townsville and Flecker Botanic Gardens to establish links to those with the aim to learn about cultivation methods of cycads. Also these institutions will assist in seeing natural stands of cycads in the area.


The project is a three week travel scholarship to Queensland, Australia to observe cycads and associated flora in order to:

  • Identify possible improvements that can be made to benefit cycads in cultivation, with a view to introducing different horticultural techniques.

  • Learn more about the ecology and biology of these plants.

The applicant hopes to contribute to the conservation of cycads by assisting the Millennium Seed Bank project ‘Seeds for Life’. To take part in collecting seeds assisting the Seed Bank initiative means the applicant will be involved in ‘the promotion of responsible and ethical collection of cycad seeds.’

The knowledge gained from this trip would be of great benefit to the individual applying to the day to day work at RBG, Kew. Kew as a botanical garden has the mission “To inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life” (www.kew.org). The applicant will be fulfilling this mission by gaining knowledge and experience through working with experienced people. Furthermore this project will greatly assist in the development and future career of the individual.

It lies in the interest of the applicant to cooperate with other botanic gardens and the Cycad Society to share any experiences and knowledge gathered.

The applicant is happy to supply a report, give presentations, allow publication of images for the Cycad Society and submit a copy of the Diploma dissertation at the end of the course in the year 2010. If the society would like to suggest any way the applicant can contribute to the society through the trip, he would be happy to do so.

Click here for full proposal

Click here for final report (7 Mb)

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This page was updated on Sunday, 06 June 2010.