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News Article | January 7, 2016
Site: phys.org

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the University of Adelaide research, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, highlights six biodiversity hotspots. They are western Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands, southern Flinders Ranges, southern Eyre Peninsula and the Lower South East. The researchers used detailed biological data collected over time, including from the State's Biological Survey and the State Herbarium, and a suite of sophisticated metrics to identify biodiverse regions and the potential threats to their conservation. "We also looked at the extent to which the vegetation of each site was likely to change under future climates," says lead author Dr Greg Guerin. "We concluded that all of the state's ecosystems are expected to be impacted but the southern Flinders Ranges location is expected to be the most sensitive of these regions to climate change. "All of the 'hotspots', however, are subject to serious conservation issues, such as habitat fragmentation, weed invasion and altered fire regimes." The study found that the southern Mount Lofty Ranges region contained a high proportion of unique species and had high overall diversity but it has been subjected to the highest levels of disturbance since European settlement. The western side of Kangaroo Island has perhaps the most significant plant biodiversity in South Australia, but was rated as less vulnerable due to higher reservation levels and lower incidences of weed species. DEWNR's principal Ecologist Dr Dan Rogers says "This study has contributed to our understanding of South Australia's native biodiversity, particularly in relation to the relative impacts of climate change" "By improving our understanding of potential ecosystem change under future climates, we are able to better inform the management of native biodiversity that reflects these climate-induced changes." Co-author Professor Andrew Lowe, Chair of Plant Conservation Biology at the University of Adelaide, says: "Importantly, this study measures biodiversity at ecosystem rather than individual species level, and it uses numerical methods which can now be repeated and updated to meet future conservation management requirements. "Now we have a tool in place that can contribute to how we assess South Australia's biodiversity." Explore further: Major changes needed to protect Australia's species and ecosystems More information: Greg R. Guerin et al. Identifying Centres of Plant Biodiversity in South Australia, PLOS ONE (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144779


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Humans have long had a knack for concentrating heavy metals that would otherwise remain at low concentrations within the environment. These human-produced pollutants can be found going back as far as one million years ago with fires in caves during the Paleolithic Era, to industrial development in the 19th century, to increased concentrations of contaminants like cadmium and lead in the 20th century. Because of the effects of heavy metal pollution on environmental and human health, measurement is critical--both in determining current levels and in documenting historical levels. It can be challenging, though, to gather and analyze retrospective data, with methods including chemical analyses of archeological sites and comparison of historical records to sedimentary cores. In a recent article published in Applications in Plant Sciences, researchers at Brown University have demonstrated a unique resource that has been under our feet for decades: pressed herbaceous plants, labeled and stored as herbarium specimens. Herbaria have long been a valuable resource--traditionally to aid in identification of local flora--but more recently to address ecological questions including invasive species and the effects of climate change. Likewise, plants have been used for decades as indicators of heavy metal pollution. This is one of the first studies, however, to demonstrate the efficacy of using herbarium specimens of herbaceous plants to track changes in heavy metal concentrations over time. Using herbaceous plant specimens from Brown University's herbarium collected from 1846 to 1916, Dr. Tim Whitfeld, senior author of the study, and his colleagues extracted and quantified heavy metal concentrations including copper, lead, and zinc. The plant specimens used were collected from different areas around Providence, RI. Looking both across time and around a bustling industrial town at the turn of the 19th century, the authors were able to show that zinc and copper concentrations remained relatively consistent across time, and that lead concentrations reduced significantly from historical records compared to collections from the same areas in 2015. The lead author on the study, Sofia Rudin, an undergraduate at Brown University, was the main motivation for the study. "While working as a herbarium assistant, digitizing our collection, she noticed many of the specimens had specific locality information for various sites around Providence that she knew were former industrial areas. This prompted her to ask whether these specimens could be used for the study we eventually completed," recalls Dr. Whitfeld. Different plant species accumulate heavy metals in unique ways, which makes it challenging to take a broad swathe of plant samples for a simple side-by-side comparison. To control for this variability, it was important to match the species of historical samples with those found in the same area today. In a few instances this was not possible, and therefore the researchers were limited to sampling within the same genus. Additional challenges arose because of the nature of utilizing historical collections. Whitfeld explains, "Sofia encountered particular problems with the analysis of mercury concentrations because of the historical use of mercuric chloride as an insecticide in herbarium collections. It was impossible to accurately assess Hg [mercury] concentrations in the plant because the insecticide treatment saturated the sensor. This was unfortunate because documenting changes to Hg [mercury] through time was originally one of our research goals." Despite these challenges, the authors were still able to emphasize broader trends in heavy metal accumulation in the Providence area, namely decreases in lead concentrations due in part to Environmental Protection Agency regulations but also to targeted remediation efforts in a historically active industrial area. Whitfeld and his colleagues aren't finished yet. According to Whitfeld, "Sofia is building on this project with a more detailed analysis of heavy metal concentrations at one of our study sites. Her work includes analysis of pond sediments, soils, and more collecting to document plant diversity... We're also hoping to cast a broader net across Providence with an analysis of historical specimens of Plantago [plantain] in an attempt to match terrestrial trends in heavy metal concentration with measurements taken from nearby marine sediments in Narragansett Bay [south of Providence]." In addition to the study's goal of demonstrating the usefulness of herbarium specimens to measure levels of heavy metal concentrations, the study had a second, equally important goal. As Whitfeld explains, "We wanted to highlight the relevance of herbarium collections for a wide variety of ecological questions, in order to highlight their importance across the biological and environmental sciences." The list of ecological questions that herbaria can target is long, and includes biogeography, ethnobotany, tracking invasive species, plant diseases, and studying the impact of climate change on flowering times. The impact of herbaria on research doesn't stop there though. As Dr. Whitfeld elaborates, "Herbarium collections are particularly valuable tools in undergraduate science education. It's been my experience that students are especially motivated to contribute to the collections and including opportunities for collecting and offering field experience for this to happen is an effective way to engage students in botany. Therefore, if universities invest in maintaining their herbarium collections there is a great payoff in terms of increased educational opportunities." In addition to the benefit to educational opportunities, investments in herbaria result in increased potential for further retrospective studies. "The many online herbarium portals that compile digital images and label data from across different collections are useful for any type of study that requires more specimens than contained in the researcher's home collection," notes Whitfeld. "It's especially important for smaller herbaria to be able to search and access collections from larger institutions in order to broaden their studies." Rudin, Sofia M., David W. Murray, and Timothy J. S. Whitfeld. 2016. Retrospective analysis of heavy metal contamination in Rhode Island based on old and new herbarium specimens. Applications in Plant Sciences 5(1): 1600108. doi:10.3732/apps.1600108 Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS) is a monthly, peer-reviewed, open access journal focusing on new tools, technologies, and protocols in all areas of the plant sciences. It is published by the Botanical Society of America, a nonprofit membership society with a mission to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere. APPS is available as part of BioOne's Open Access collection. For further information, please contact the APPS staff at apps@botany.org.


Die Stiftung BE OPEN (sei offen) freut sich, den Gewinner des ersten Video-Aufrufs "BE OPEN Design Nature" bekanntzugeben. Der Aufruf - durchgeführt in der Zeit vom 7. November bis zum 20. Dezember - zielte auf kreative Transformationen in unserer Umwelt ab, und zwar durch Erforschung der Querverbindungen zwischen Design und Natur im weitesten Sinn. Während der Laufzeit des Projekts wurden auf der Instagram-Seite von BEOPEN mehr als einhundert Videos eingestellt, eingereicht von kreativen Menschen aus 23 Ländern in aller Welt. Die Teilnehmer waren gebeten worden, die Methoden zu erforschen und zu visualisieren, mit denen Design und Natur miteinander verflochten, ergänzt und verbessert werden können - Gegensätze oder Harmonien erzeugt oder zum perfekten Pendant gemacht werden können. Der Gewinner wurde von einer Jury ausgewählt, die sich aus Mitgliedern der BE OPEN-Gemeinschaft, dem Herbarium-Team und der Gründerin von BE OPEN, Yelena Baturina, zusammensetzte. Aus all den unglaublichen Beiträgen wählte die Jury das Video aus, das die Idee von #BEOPENDesignNature am besten getroffen hatte, das Video von Michelle Bondesio (@michbondesio). Michelle Bondesio lebt in England und erkundet ihr kreatives Talent durch Illustrationen,  Schreiben und Fotografieren. Yelena Baturina sagte: "Es ist atemberaubend zu sehen, wie unsere Aufrufe alle Teile der Welt erreichen und sehr unterschiedliche Menschen anregen, ihr kreatives Talent einzubringen. Die Beiträge zeigen profunde Ansätze zum Thema Design. Jeder einzelne Beitrag zeigte eine einzigartige Methode zur Interpretation der Natur als Quelle der Inspiration für alle Formen menschlicher Aktivitäten und demonstrierte die Bedeutung des Strebens nach einer harmonischen Beziehung zwischen Menschen und der natürlichen Welt. Wir sind überzeugt, dass Kreativität der Weg ist, diesen Wandel zu bewirken und wir danken allen Teilnehmern, dass sie unsere Überzeugung unterstützt haben." Der offizielle Partner von BE OPEN für dieses Projekt war Herbarium, eine einzigartige Bar in Österreich, die ihre Anregungen aus der örtlichen Pflanzenwelt nutzt, um einzigartige Getränke zu kreieren, die sich positiv auf das Wohlbefinden der Menschen auswirken. Herbarium steuerte das Preisgeld von 1.000 EUR bei, das der Gewinner des Aufrufs erhält. BE OPEN will Kreativität und Innovation fördern - eine Denkfabrik, deren Mission es ist, die heutigen Menschen anzuregen, Lösungen für morgen zu entwickeln. Es handelt sich um eine kulturelle und soziale Initiative, unterstützt von der russischen Philantropin und Unternehmerin Yelena Baturina. BE OPEN wurde eingerichtet, um neuartige Ideen zu nutzen und Kreativität zu fördern, und zwar durch ein System von Konferenzen, Wettbewerben, Ausstellungen, Meisterklassen und Veranstaltungen.


La fondation BE OPEN est heureuse d'annoncer le gagnant de son premier appel d'offres vidéo BE OPEN Design Nature. L'appel d'offres de BE OPEN - qui s'est tenu du 7 novembre au 20 décembre - avait pour objectif d'aborder la transformation créatrice du monde qui nous environne, en explorant l'interconnexion entre le design et la nature dans son sens le plus large. Plus d'une centaine de vidéos ont été postées sur la page Instagram de BE OPEN au cours de ce projet, soumises par des créateurs issus de 23 pays à travers le monde. Les participants avaient pour mission d'examiner et de visualiser les façons dont le design et la nature peuvent s'entremêler, se compléter et s'enrichir l'un l'autre, créer une opposition ou bien une harmonie, ou même encore être en parfaite adéquation. Le gagnant a été choisi par un jury qui comprend des membres de la communauté BE OPEN, l'équipe Herbarium et le fondateur de BE OPEN, Yelena Baturina. Parmi tous les talentueux candidats, le jury a sélectionné la vidéo qui représentant selon lui le mieux le concept #BEOPENDesignNature, laquelle a été soumise par Michelle Bondesio (@michbondesio). Michelle vit en Angleterre et explore ses talents créatifs à travers l'illustration, l'écriture et la photographie. Yelena Baturina a déclaré : « C'est fantastique de constater que notre appel d'offres a suscité l'intérêt aux quatre coins du monde et qu'il a encouragé des personnes très différentes les unes des autres à explorer leur côté créatif. Les vidéos soumises font preuve d'une approche très approfondie du design. Chacun a exprimé une façon unique d'interpréter la nature comme source d'inspiration pour toutes sortes d'activités humaines, tout en démontrant l'importance de lutter pour une interrelation harmonieuse entre l'homme et le monde naturel. La créativité est selon nous la manière de mener à bien ce changement, et nous remercions tous les participants d'avoir contribué à soutenir cette idée. » Le partenaire officiel de BE OPEN pour ce projet a été Herbarium, un bar autrichien unique en son genre, puisant son inspiration dans la flore locale pour créer des boissons uniques qui ont un effet positif sur le bien-être. Herbarium a pourvu les 1 000 EUR destinés à être attribués au gagnant de l'appel d'offres BE OPEN. BE OPEN a été créé dans l'objectif de favoriser la créativité et l'innovation - un groupe de réflexion (think tank) dont la mission est d'inspirer les gens d'aujourd'hui pour construire les solutions de demain. Il s'agit d'une initiative culturelle et sociale soutenue par la philanthrope et femme d'affaires russe Yelena Baturina. BE OPEN a été créé afin d'exploiter de nouvelles idées et de promouvoir la créativité à l'aide d'un système de conférences, des concours, d'expositions, de cours magistraux et d'événements divers.


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: phys.org

Because of the effects of heavy metal pollution on environmental and human health, measurement is critical—both in determining current levels and in documenting historical levels. It can be challenging, though, to gather and analyze retrospective data, with methods including chemical analyses of archeological sites and comparison of historical records to sedimentary cores. In a recent article published in Applications in Plant Sciences, researchers at Brown University have demonstrated a unique resource that has been under our feet for decades: pressed herbaceous plants, labeled and stored as herbarium specimens. Herbaria have long been a valuable resource—traditionally to aid in identification of local flora—but more recently to address ecological questions including invasive species and the effects of climate change. Likewise, plants have been used for decades as indicators of heavy metal pollution. This is one of the first studies, however, to demonstrate the efficacy of using herbarium specimens of herbaceous plants to track changes in heavy metal concentrations over time. Using herbaceous plant specimens from Brown University's herbarium collected from 1846 to 1916, Dr. Tim Whitfeld, senior author of the study, and his colleagues extracted and quantified heavy metal concentrations including copper, lead, and zinc. The plant specimens used were collected from different areas around Providence, RI. Looking both across time and around a bustling industrial town at the turn of the 19th century, the authors were able to show that zinc and copper concentrations remained relatively consistent across time, and that lead concentrations reduced significantly from historical records compared to collections from the same areas in 2015. The lead author on the study, Sofia Rudin, an undergraduate at Brown University, was the main motivation for the study. "While working as a herbarium assistant, digitizing our collection, she noticed many of the specimens had specific locality information for various sites around Providence that she knew were former industrial areas. This prompted her to ask whether these specimens could be used for the study we eventually completed," recalls Dr. Whitfeld. Different plant species accumulate heavy metals in unique ways, which makes it challenging to take a broad swathe of plant samples for a simple side-by-side comparison. To control for this variability, it was important to match the species of historical samples with those found in the same area today. In a few instances this was not possible, and therefore the researchers were limited to sampling within the same genus. Additional challenges arose because of the nature of utilizing historical collections. Whitfeld explains, "Sofia encountered particular problems with the analysis of mercury concentrations because of the historical use of mercuric chloride as an insecticide in herbarium collections. It was impossible to accurately assess Hg [mercury] concentrations in the plant because the insecticide treatment saturated the sensor. This was unfortunate because documenting changes to Hg [mercury] through time was originally one of our research goals." Despite these challenges, the authors were still able to emphasize broader trends in heavy metal accumulation in the Providence area, namely decreases in lead concentrations due in part to Environmental Protection Agency regulations but also to targeted remediation efforts in a historically active industrial area. Whitfeld and his colleagues aren't finished yet. According to Whitfeld, "Sofia is building on this project with a more detailed analysis of heavy metal concentrations at one of our study sites. Her work includes analysis of pond sediments, soils, and more collecting to document plant diversity... We're also hoping to cast a broader net across Providence with an analysis of historical specimens of Plantago [plantain] in an attempt to match terrestrial trends in heavy metal concentration with measurements taken from nearby marine sediments in Narragansett Bay [south of Providence]." In addition to the study's goal of demonstrating the usefulness of herbarium specimens to measure levels of heavy metal concentrations, the study had a second, equally important goal. As Whitfeld explains, "We wanted to highlight the relevance of herbarium collections for a wide variety of ecological questions, in order to highlight their importance across the biological and environmental sciences." The list of ecological questions that herbaria can target is long, and includes biogeography, ethnobotany, tracking invasive species, plant diseases, and studying the impact of climate change on flowering times. The impact of herbaria on research doesn't stop there though. As Dr. Whitfeld elaborates, "Herbarium collections are particularly valuable tools in undergraduate science education. It's been my experience that students are especially motivated to contribute to the collections and including opportunities for collecting and offering field experience for this to happen is an effective way to engage students in botany. Therefore, if universities invest in maintaining their herbarium collections there is a great payoff in terms of increased educational opportunities." In addition to the benefit to educational opportunities, investments in herbaria result in increased potential for further retrospective studies. "The many online herbarium portals that compile digital images and label data from across different collections are useful for any type of study that requires more specimens than contained in the researcher's home collection," notes Whitfeld. "It's especially important for smaller herbaria to be able to search and access collections from larger institutions in order to broaden their studies." Explore further: Herbaria prove valuable in demonstrating long-term changes in plant populations More information: Sofia M. Rudin et al, Retrospective Analysis of Heavy Metal Contamination in Rhode Island Based on Old and New Herbarium Specimens, Applications in Plant Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.3732/apps.1600108


This collection, "Evolutionary Insights from Studies of Geographic Variation: Contemporary Variation and Looking to the Future", builds on that knowledge by looking deeply into variable drivers of plant evolution. Credit: Heather E. Schneider. For organisms that lack legs, plants get around plenty. Their variability across the landscape begs an evolutionary lens for geographical studies. This perspective promises to be increasingly insightful as global warming and anthropogenic environmental alteration take root as the new normal. Dr. Julie Etterson, Professor of Biology at University of Minnesota Duluth and co-editor of this American Journal of Botany special issue, says the adaptive capacity of wild plants offers "the basis for hope" for continued persistence of wild plants and our existence among them. Prior research has established that plants, by and large, are capable of evolution as their surroundings transform. This collection, "Evolutionary Insights from Studies of Geographic Variation: Contemporary Variation and Looking to the Future," builds on that knowledge by looking deeply into variable drivers of plant evolution. According to Etterson, scientists find individualistic responses at some level precisely because the earth's flora is tremendously diverse. Yet, she says, "a coherent response specifically to climate is also broadly evident" among plants. The coherence in this collection of research is the geographical focus that provides insight into future change. This special issue is compelling and rich because of the myriad scales, methods, and findings reported in the studies collected here. The first of two sections, "Contemporary Geographic Variation," reveals several recent findings borne from looking at a broad scale. We know, for instance, plants' coping with drought is not superficial but rather a genetic response to environmental gradients, influenced by ploidy variation (Etterson et al., 2016b) and allele frequency (Sork et al., 2016). We can see, too, that species within a given population will change that population's distribution because one adaptation does not fit all—not when considering the varying relationships between geography, including climate, and seed traits (Burghardt et al., 2016; Soper Gorden et al., 2016) and other traits (Riordan et al., 2016; Pettengill et al., 2016). Herbarium specimens (Bontrager and Angert, 2016), meta-analysis (Grossenbacher et al., 2016), and a transplant study (Chambers and Emery, 2016) describe and interpret the different relationships of mating systems and geographic attributes. All of these findings contribute to a knowledge base that enables our working with more thoughtful manipulations and models. As explained in the second section, "Looking to the Future," scaling up can be problematic, surely in plant-pollinator situations (Burkle et al., 2016). But predictive pursuits are informative nonetheless (Sexton and Dickman, 2016). From them, we are reminded that two steps in one direction might be one step in an undesired other direction—that is, ramifications of correlated traits demand our attention (Schneider and Mazer, 2016)—and we learn where hotspots of allelic diversity are likely to exist in years to come (Brown et al., 2016). With Project Baseline, a new seed bank, the time is now to preserve genes from populations across their geographic ranges, so that coming decades will be fruitful ones of comparative studies (Etterson et al., 2016a). Using the resurrection approach, for the next 50 years scientists can put antecedent genes stored from one site alongside current, "successor" genes from the same site in the same study setting. Will their performances differ? If so, scientists can work to tease out which genotypic and phenotypic traits that contribute to those differences. From this, they can further improve predictions of selective pressures, failures, and successes for wild plants. "In 50 years," Etterson considers, "I hope that researchers will look back with appreciation for the effort we have made to establish a baseline of information, push the envelope with new modeling approaches, and provide a seed resource that has created research opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible." More information: J. R. Etterson et al. Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Contemporary variation and looking to the future, American Journal of Botany (2016). DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1500515


Gardiner L.M.,Herbarium
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

A number of new combinations of names in subtribe Aeridinae are needed to bring species nomenclature for Vanda into alignment with recent phylogenetic analyses and a treatment to be published in a forthcoming volume of Genera orchidacearum. I present 17 name transfers from Ascocentrum, Ascocentropsis, Christensonia, Eparmatostigma, and Neofinetia to Vanda or indicate where there are existing epithets combined previously in Vanda. © 2012 Magnolia Press.


News Article | April 19, 2016
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

It’s been a while since I featured a citizen science project here at The Artful Amoeba, but I learned of one last week that I think may be of interest to you. It’s called Notes from Nature, and the aim is simply to digitize some of the millions of herbarium and natural history specimen labels squirreled away in smelly cabinets and drawers across the country. This information tells us much about biodiversity, evolution, and climate change, but to be most useful, it needs to live in a form that can be searched by scientists anywhere, not just ones with fat travel budgets. Your job, essentially, is transcriptionist, but your secondary role is voyeur. You get to have a peek at specimens you otherwise would never get to see. You get a glimpse into a past place and time where a person found a mushroom or plant that was of enough interest to them they plucked it from the ground, hauled it back to a university, and took the time to write about what they found. I tried out the format myself. Good: No need to register to help! You can simply start transcribing after reading a short intro. Bad: There is often no way to go back and fix typos, mistakes or omissions on the current platform if you accidentally click “OK” on a field before you are ready. They will be moving to a new platform this summer, however, so let’s hope they fix that issue. It helps if you have a talent for deciphering handwriting, as many of the labels are in longhand and require a bit of puzzling out. It also helps to be willing to do a little detective work. You may need to discover whether a particular phrase is a common plant name, a habitat, or something related to the location. Counties are always required, but counties are not always given on the forms. And counties are not always even used – or have changed since the specimen was collected, as I discovered when trying to transcribe a specimen from remote British Columbia collected in the 1960s, where electoral districts are used and have changed since then. And at least one plant specimen I looked at appeared to have at least two or three different collectors’ names on it. It’s your job to figure out who was the original. As with most citizen science projects, it is a fun way to take a break for a few minutes, blow off some steam, or just get in some good old-fashioned procrastinating time while still doing something constructive for science. Or perhaps you broke a leg and six ribs in a ski accident and are bedbound for three months. Here’s a great way to spend your time, assuming, of course, you still have the use of your hands. The team, as I mentioned, is trying to move to a new platform and website this summer. Before they do, they are trying to get their last fungus and plant collections finished by the end of May – and judging from the website they still have more than 15,000 transcriptions to go. The remaining two are plants from the Southeastern Louisiana University Herbarium and fungi from the Macrofungi Collection Consortium. If you have a few spare moments to donate and are botanically curious, like reading old handwriting, and willing to solve a few small puzzles, check it out!


The BE OPEN Foundation is happy to announce the winner of its first ever video open-call BE OPEN Design Nature. The open-call - held from 7 November to 20 December - aimed to address the creative transformation of the world around us, by exploring the interconnection between design and nature in the most general sense. More than a hundred videos were posted to BEOPEN's Instagram page over the course of the project, submitted by creative people from 23 countries around the world. The participants were asked to examine and visualise the ways in which design and nature can intertwine, complement and supplement each other, create opposition or harmony, or even make the perfect match. The winner was chosen by a jury comprised of members of the BE OPEN Community, Herbarium team and the founder of BE OPEN, Yelena Baturina. Of all the incredible entries, the jury selected the video best representing the idea of #BEOPENDesignNature, which had been submitted by Michelle Bondesio (@michbondesio). Michelle lives in England and explores her creative talents through illustrative works, writing and photography. Yelena Baturina said: "It is fantastic to see our open-calls reaching all parts of the world and encouraging very different people to engage with their creative side. Their responses display profound approaches to design. Each one revealed a unique way of interpreting nature as a source of inspiration for all sorts of human activities, while demonstrating the importance of striving for a harmonious interrelation between people and the natural world. We believe that creativity is the way to make that change, and we thank all the participants for supporting our belief." BE OPEN's official partner for this project was Herbarium, a unique bar in Austria, which draws its inspiration from local flora to create unique beverages that have a positive effect on people's wellbeing. Herbarium provided EUR 1,000 in prize money, to be awarded to the winner of the open-call. BE OPEN is designed to foster creativity and innovation - a think tank whose mission is to inspire people of today to build solutions for tomorrow. It is a cultural and social initiative supported by the Russian philanthropist and businesswoman Yelena Baturina. BE OPEN has been set up to harness novel ideas and promote creativity through a system of conferences, competitions, exhibitions, master classes and events.


La BE OPEN Foundation se complace al anunciar al ganador de su primera llamada de video abierta BE OPEN Design Nature. La llamada abierta - que se celebró del 7 de noviembre al 20 de diciembre - estaba destinada a hacer frente a la transformación creativa del mundo entorno a nosotros, explorando la interconexión entre el diseño y la naturaleza en el sentido más general. En la página de Instagram de BE OPEN se colgaron más de 100 videos en el transcurso del proyecto, que fueron enviados a través de personas creativas procedentes de 23 países de todo el mundo. Se solicitó a los participantes que examinasen y visualizasen las formas en las que el diseño y la naturaleza podían entrelazarse, complementarse y suplementarse entre ellos, creando una oposición o por el contrario armonía, o incluso encajando de forma perfecta. El ganador fue seleccionado por medio de un jurado formado por miembros de la BE OPEN Community, del equipo de Herbarium y de la fundadora de BE OPEN, Yelena Baturina. De todas las impresionantes participaciones, el jurado seleccionó el video que mejor representaba la idea de #BEOPENDesignNature, enviado por Michelle Bondesio (@michbondesio). Michelle vive en Inglaterra y explora sus talentos creativos a través de trabajos de ilustración, escritura y fotografía. Yelena Baturina destacó: "Es fantástico ver que nuestras llamadas abiertas llegan a todas las partes del mundo e instan a personas muy diferentes a dedicarse en su lado creativo. Sus respuestas muestran aproximaciones profundas para el diseño. Cada una de ellas ha revelado de una forma única la interpretación de la naturaleza como fuente de inspiración de todos los tipos de actividades humanas, al tiempo que demuestra la importancia de mejorar para una interrelación armoniosa entre las personas y el mundo natural. Creemos que la creatividad es la forma para hacer ese cambio, y agradecemos a todos los participantes el apoyo a nuestra creencia". El socio oficial de BE OPEN para este proyecto fue Herbarium, un bar único en Austria, que atrae su inspiración de la flora local para crear bebidas únicas que presentan un efecto positivo en el bienestar de las personas. Herbarium proporcionó 1.000 euros en dinero en forma de premios, que se otorgarán al ganador de la llamada abierta. BE OPEN se ha diseñado para impulsar la creatividad e innovación - un comité de expertos cuya misión es inspirar a las personas de hoy para construir soluciones para el mañana. Se trata de una iniciativa cultural y social apoyada por la empresaria y filántropa rusa Yelena Baturina. BE OPEN se ha establecido para adherirse a las nuevas ideas y promocionar la creatividad a través de un sistema de conferencias, competiciones, exhibiciones, clases maestras y eventos.

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