Officers of the BLS


Dr. Paul Cannon - President

Paul Cannon has worked in fungal systematics for over half his life, moving over to the Dark Side after completing a PhD on legume classification. His early education at the Commonwealth Mycological Institute (subsequently IMI) included an appreciation that lichens are fungi too, and should be integrated into the overall fungal taxonomic scheme. Most of his professional life has involved studying leaf parasites, but he turned up at the BLS 50th Anniversary Meeting at Nettlecombe in 2008 and unwisely volunteered to become Editor of the Bulletin. The lichen “bug” rapidly took hold, and his current interests revolve around fieldwork, lichen imaging and web development. He now works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Contact Paul Cannon or email

Dr Rebecca Yahr - Vice President


Dr. Allan Pentecost - Past President

Allan Pentecost is a biogeochemist with long interest in lichens. He learned much from Francis Rose on forays in Kent and Sussex, and later studied lichen ecology with field work in Wales. His PhD was done at the University College of North Wales. Now living in Cumbria, he is exploring some of the less well known areas and preparing a new lichen checklist for the county. Allan spends most of his time as an Honorary Research Fellow at the Freshwater Biological Association where he is an active algologist. He retains a broad interest in science, has written several books and research articles, is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and retains an Emeritus position at King’s College London.

Contact Allan Pentecost 

Eluned Smith - Secretary

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Sandy Coppins - Assistant Secretary

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John Skinner - Treasurer

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Dr. Janet Simkin - Recording Scheme, Database and Website

Janet Simkin studied botany at Cambridge but her interest in lichens dates back even further, to a school project on churchyard lichens. She was distracted for a while by a career in software development before returning to academic life to research the ecology of the lichen-rich grasslands contaminated by lead mining. Now a freelance ecologist with a special interest in species-rich grasslands and plant communities, her work involves a fascinating but often confusing mix of research, surveys and teaching. In the BLS she has been involved in developing our database and website.

Contact Janet Simkin or by email on

Prof. Peter Crittenden - Senior Editor of The Lichenologist

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Bryan Edwards - Conservation Officer and Chair of Conservation Committee

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Fay Newbery - Chair of Education and Promotions Committee

Contact Fay Newbery by email on

Maxine Putnam - Bulletin Editor

Maxine is assisted by Tony Holwill. Contact them by email on

Dr. Les Knight - Chair of Data Committee

Les Knight studied geology at Durham University where he went on to gain a PhD in mineralogy. He spent his professional life as a geologist working in the coal, gas and nuclear waste industries. His interest in lichens started literally by accident when his wife hurt her knee when out looking for mosses which prevented them from going on a trekking holiday. Instead they both attended an introductory course on lichens at the Malham Tarn Field Studies Council centre and became hooked.  His main interest is in terrestrial lichens, especially those found in upland regions and those associated with areas of past lead mining.  

Contact Les Knight

Prof. Mark Seaward - Archivist and Mapping Recorder

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Steve Price – Field Meetings Secretary        

Steve Price worked as a nature reserves officer for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. He first developed an interest in lichens to better understand some of the Peak District oak woodlands in his charge. A product of the Frank Dobson school of lichenology, Steve's interest in lichens developed further through contact with other experienced lichenologists in the BLS and soon became a passion. Steve is the lichen recorder for Derbyshire.

Contact Steve Price 

Richard Brinklow - Herbarium Curator

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Ray Woods - Librarian

Ray WoodsRay studied botany and zoology at Manchester University, followed by research in mycology and a teaching post at Manchester Grammar School. At the Nature Conservancy in Wales, which became the Countryside Council for Wales, he was specialist advisor on fungi and lower plants and as well as being responsible for SSSIs, NNRs and farm conservation schemes in East Wales. Later he worked for Plantlife as their Lower Plant Development Officer for Wales. He is a past President of the British Lichen Society and a member of its conservation committee, a member of the Wales committee of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, a trustee of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and an Honorary Lecturer in the Universities of Aberystwyth and Cardiff. He also sits on the Welsh Affairs Committee of the Woodland Trust.

Contact Ray Woods 

Tracey Lovering - Data Protection Officer

Contact Tracey Lovering