Message from the President

Dear friends and members of the IAL!

I am very honoured to have been elected as the next IAL President! I look forward to working for the benefit of the IAL members and for international lichenology for the next four years, but I do that with humbleness and some anxiety – there is clearly a lot to do and to deal with. The IAL is an association made up of a number of very strong enthusiasts. Passion for our organisms is something that characterizes many, if not most members. IAL provides us with an arena for discussion and communication over the borders of research subjects and interests, and I think it is very fair to say that to many of us, the IAL Conferences are at least as important as venues for project discussions and informal exchange of ideas with old and new friends, as they are important as venues for formal talks and posters. The recent IAL8 Conference in Helsinki was a very successful meeting indeed and I want to thank the organization committee led by Marko Hyvärinen, including virtually every professional Finlandian lichenologist and many others at the Luomus museum, plus student volunteers and others who made this all work so well. You did an excellent job welcoming the participants and making us feel at home! Many thanks!!

The last IAL council, led by Thorsten Lumbsch, has worked hard and I want to thank them all for what they have done during the last four years. The new Council that you just elected have several important things in front of us. The situation in the world in general may seem dark and gloomy when I write this, but it has never been more important to work against further deterioration of our natural ecosystems and their biodiversity, and to secure as many important lichen habitats of different kinds as possible for the future. I think that the IAL’s lichen conservation work will become an extremely important contribution, and as such, one of the more significant parts of our Association’s future efforts.

I am very happy to see the great increase in the number of active lichenologists in tropical countries! The next International Mycological Conference (IMC11) will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico 16-21 July 2018. I expect that lichenology and the IAL will be well represented there! We traditionally have additional meetings (if needed) and IAL Dinners at the IMCs. The IAL9 meeting will be organized by Marcela Cáceres and her team in August 2020, and this exciting meeting will take place in Bonito, Brazil! I am very much looking forward to these meetings and I hope to meet many of you at the IMC11 and IAL9!!

Mats Wedin, IAL President 2016-2020