Australian Tropical Herbarium

North Queensland’s tropical mountains are home to an incredible diversity of plants, many found nowhere else in the world. For example, Australia’s only native Rhododendrons are found in these ever-wet cloudy forests, growing with ancient, gnarled Mountain Tea Trees and tiny orchids perched on twigs. However, all these plants are impacted by climate change, with rising temperatures and increasing drought threatening their survival.

The Australian Tropical Herbarium, in partnership with Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, is helping to ensure their survival through research and the establishment of living collections in southern botanic gardens. These plantings will be the focus of public education programs that highlight the threats to their high mountain homes.

The Australia Tropical Herbarium Fund:

Donations to the ATH Fund support critical conservation work undertaken by the Herbarium through:

  • Research into the genetic diversity of these threatened plants, which will help ensure that plantings conserve maximum genetic diversity;
  • Seed collecting activities; and
  • Training of land managers in the identification and conservation of these species.

Man looking at plant sample. Woman loading samples into test tubes.

JCU is a leading tertiary institution in Australia and the Asia Pacific and among the best universities in the world. Our strategic intent is to create a brighter future for life in the tropics worldwide, through graduates and discoveries that make a difference, and this is given effect through learning communities established throughout Queensland, South East Asia and the Pacific.

The Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH), based at the JCU Cairns campus, is a joint venture of the CSIRO, Australian and Queensland Governments and James Cook University. It boasts state of the art facilities and infrastructure for specimen processing and curation, photography, pest and climate control, and field, herbarium and laboratory research.

Research at the Herbarium covers a range of topics including tropical plant and fungal taxonomy and evolution, ethnobotany, ecology, climate change studies, development of identification tools, and regional ecosystem mapping.

Many of North Queensland’s native flora species are impacted by climate change, with rising temperatures and increasing drought threatening their survival. Your donation supports critical conservation work undertaken by the Australia Tropical Herbarium. Their vision is to be a leader in tropical plant biodiversity research that conducts diverse, relevant and innovative research; convert that research into useful products; offer training, inspiration and engagement with the community; and, by collaborating with others, achieve a greater understanding of sustainable tropical systems.

James Cook University is an Australian registered Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), which means donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.