History

Flora of Thailand – History 

Danish botanists have visited Thailand for centuries. Johan Gerhard König (1728-1785), a student of Linnaeus, got a doctor's thesis accepted by the University of Copenhagen in 1773, and worked side by the Danish trade mission in Tranquebar until 1785, and visited Siam during the period for botanical expeditions. Johannes Schmidt (1877-1933) explored the flora of Koh Chang Island in Siam with support from the Carlsberg Foundation. Later, the Danish Ambassador to Thailand (1955-59), Gunnar Seidenfaden (1908-2001) initiated the first Danish-Thai botanical expedition which was conducted in the years 1958-1959. Kai Larsen (1921-2012) was appointed as the leader of the expedition, and later in 1963 was hired as the first botanical professor at the new Aarhus University.

 

The project, Flora of Thailand, was started by a former member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (1974-2001), Ambassador Gunnar Seidenfaden, and since continued under the leadership of Kai Larsen, also a member of the Academy of Sciences (1979-2012). From the Thai side Prof. Tem Smithinand was the leading power and after his death in 1995 Prof. Thawatchai Santisuk took over the Thai leadership in the project. In addition to the Danish and Thai chief editors, the project is supported by an international Editorial Board, with representatives from Edinburg, London, Dublin, Leiden, Paris, Munich, Tsukuba and Kyoto. The Flora of Thailand was led by Kai Larsen until his demise in 2012. At the recent Flora of Thailand Meeting, held in London from 7-12 September 2014, Prof. Henrik Balslev of Aarhus University was formally appointed new Editor-in-Chief of Flora of Thailand and Anders Barfod (associate professor at Aarhus University), was appointed new editor. 

Upcoming events

  • 3-5 June 2015: Thailand Botanical Society Congress, in Bangkok
  • 8-12 June 2015: Scratchpads workshop, in Khon Kaen University, Thailand
  • 15 August 2015: Flora of Thailand Editorial Board Meeting, in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • 7-20 August 2015: The 7th International Symposium on the Family Zingiberaceae and World Gingers Expo: Gingers for Life, in Chiang Mai, Thailand