Prof. Li Zhang Receives Award for Excellence in Bryodiversity Research

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On July 9, 2021, at the general assembly of the 2021 International Association of Bryologists (IAB) Conference which was virtually hosted in Université Laval, Québec, Canada, Bernard Goffinet, president of the IAB and professor at the University of Connecticut, USA, announced that Prof. Li ZHANG of the Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, China, was awarded the Grolle Award.

The award, known as the Riclef Grolle Award for Excellence in Bryodiversity Research, is named after Riclef Grolle, one of the most eminent hepaticologists of the 20th century, and is awarded every two years to a bryologist who has contributed significantly to the knowledge of bryodiversity. So far, there are 7 recipients worldwide, and Prof. ZHANG is the second Chinese bryologist to receive this award.

The International Association of Bryologists, founded in 1969 in Seattle, USA, is the world’s largest academic society of bryology, with members from all over the world. It holds an academic conference every two years, and this year’s meeting was held in Canada (mainly online due to the pandemic).

Prof. ZHANG is currently the Deputy Director and research professor of Fairy Lake Botanical Garden. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong in 2001. He was Research Intern, Assistant Researcher, and Associate Researcher at the South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (1990-2005), Research Associate at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2002-2003), and Postdoctoral Fellow at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, USA (2004-2005). He is also the Chair of the Bryological Committee, Botanical Society of China (since 2018), Associate Editor of the journal HATTORI (since 2018), and member of the editorial board of the Plant Science Journal (since 2014).

Prof. ZHANG has long been engaged in bryodiversity investigation, research, and science education. He has carried out extensive field surveys covering most of the provinces and regions in China, and parts of six continents, with special attention to the bryodiversity in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the southwest karst region of SW China. Together with his team, he has published more than ten books and hundreds of scientific papers and science education articles, such as “Bryophyte Flora of Macao”, “Bryophyte Flora of Guangdong”, “Higher Plants of China in Colour (Volume I)”, “Field Guide to Wild Plants of China (Bryophytes)”, “The Miniature Angles in the Plant Kingdom: An Introduction to Bryophytes” (First, Second, and Chinese-English editions) and “The Magic and Enchantment of Bryophytes” (Chinese-English, Chinese-Portuguese, and Extended editions). Among them, “The Miniature Angles in the Plant Kingdom: An Introduction to Bryophytes” is regarded as one of the best introductory books to bryophytes. He was awarded one of the “Top Ten Science Communication Experts in Guangdong in 2017”, and was appointed as “Chief Science Communication Expert in the field of bryology research, scientific research management and science education” by the China Association for Science and Technology in 2019.

Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, China (, is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is a Patron member of BGCI. It is a not-for-profit institution supported by the local government and covers an area of 668 hectares. The mission of the Garden is to preserve tropical and subtropical plants ex situ, to carry out both basic and applied research, to provide insights about urban greening and landscape, and to supply innovative environmental education

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