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BBS Council and Committees

The BBS is governed by a Council comprised of elected Officers and members, who normally meet twice a year during the Spring Meeting and before the Annual General Meeting in the autumn.

Council is presided over by the President, who – as for all Council Officers except the Vice President – is elected for a term of 2 years, by majority vote of those present at an AGM. The Vice President automatically succeeds the President at the end of their 2 year term. The retiring President takes up the position of Past President for a further 2 years, ensuring continuity of management.

Council officers are elected for key roles such as General Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Recording Secretary…, again for 2 year terms. 6 ‘elected members’ with no specific responsibilities are elected for 3-year terms, with 2 normally elected each year, thus again ensuring some continuity.

An Executive Committee, consisting of the President, Vice President, General Secretary and Treasurer, is empowered to make decisions on urgent matters arising between Council meetings. Other committees are convened as required to address specific matters and advise Council on actions required.

The work of Council is reported annually in the form of a Council Newsletter in Field Bryology; members may also access the reports in the Members Area.

The BBS holds an Annual General Meeting each year, normally during a long weekend in the Autumn; all members are invited to attend. The weekend usually includes talks and presentations on a variety of bryological topics, an evening meal and a field excursion – providing opportunities to meet and socialize with other bryologists. The location of the meeting varies, to try and ensure they are accessible to as many people as possible.

The reports of these meetings – including summaries of the talks and presentations – are published in Field Bryology the following year (usually the November issue).

The official rules of the BBS (otherwise known as its Constitution) are available to view and download below.

The Rules of the British Bryological Society

Members of Council 2024

  • President: P.G. Martin
  • Vice-President: A. Branson
  • Past President: Dr. E.M. Kungu
  • General Secretary: D.J. Scott
  • Treasurer: D. Adamson
  • Membership Secretary: C. Halpin
  • Journal Managing Editor: Dr N.E. Bell
  • Editors of Field Bryology: Dr C.D. Preston and A. Branson
  • Librarian: Dr K.J. Adams
  • Website editor: C. Halpin
  • Meetings Secretary: P.J. Thompson
  • Recording Secretary: Dr. O.L. Pescott
  • Recorder for Liverworts: N.G. Hodgetts
  • Recorder for Mosses: S.L. Pilkington
  • Education Officer: M. Crittenden
  • Elected members: C. Shaw, M.L. Rayner, K. Rogers,  R.I.L. Hodd, Dr E.S.G. Grahame, G.R.L. Greiff

Newly elected members (or those considering taking on an official role) can see what is involved on the Duties of Council Officers page.


Committee membership is currently under review, and the details below may not be accurate.

Executive Committee

Terms of reference: To act on urgent matters arising between Council meetings.

Members: President, Vice-president, Treasurer, General Secretary (convener)

Conservation and Recording Committee

The future of this Committee is currently under review.

Terms of reference: The Committee is responsible for recommending policies to the Council for the conservation of bryophytes and their habitats and the recording activities of the Society, and for supporting the Conservation Officers and the Recording Secretaries in their work. See below for the complete Terms of reference.

Convener: O.L. Pescott as Recording Secretary (rotates biennially with Conservation Officer)

Ex officio: G.P. Rothero, O.L. Pescott, N.G. Hodgetts, F. Rumsey, J.L. Denyer, S.L. Pilkington
Appointed by Council: E.M. Kungu
Co-opted: Jonathan Cox, D. Genney, D. Lamacraft, N. Lockhart

Conservation and Recording Committee Terms of Reference 2015
Publications Committee

Terms of reference: The Committee is an advisory group that is responsible for monitoring all of the publishing activities of the Society and for making recommendations to the Council to ensure that the Society’s publishing activities meet its objectives and that they are as cost-effective as possible. See below for the complete Terms of reference.

Convener: Neil Bell (Chair)


Ex officio: C.D. Preston (Field Bryology Editor), A. Branson (Field Bryology Editor), D. Adamson (Treasurer), C. Halpin (Website Editor), N. Bell (Journal Editor)
Appointed by Council: M. Crittenden, O.L. Pescott
Co-opted: Ian Atherton, Brad Scott

Publications Committee Terms of Reference 2015
Education and Training Committee

Terms of reference: The Committee is an advisory group that is responsible for promotion of bryological training and education within Britain & Ireland. See below for the complete Terms of reference.

Convener: M. Crittenden (Chair)

Members: M. Crittenden, N.G. Hodgetts, S.L. Pilkington, G. Quartly-Bishop, L. Ruffino, P. Thompson

Education and Training Committee Terms of Reference 2013
Bequest Committee

Terms of reference: The Bequest Committee has delegated authority to make awards from the Bequest Fund without further reference to Council. See below for the complete Terms of reference.

Convener: G. Rothero (Chair)

Members: S.D.S. Bosanquet, S.V. O’Leary, D. Adamson (as Treasurer), J. Denyer

Bequest Committee Terms of Reference 2012
Honorary Membership Committee

Terms of reference: To advise Council on the nomination of Honorary Members and, with the Journal Editor, to decide whether or not obituaries should be commissioned for members who have died. See below for the complete Terms of reference.

Convener: D.J. Scott, General Secretary.

Members: President, Past-president, previous Past-president, General Secretary

Honorary Membership Committee Terms of Reference 2010
Tropical Bryology Group

Terms of reference: To promote the study of tropical bryophytes; to involve as many members of the BBS. as possible in this activity; and to support bryologists working in the tropics.

Co-ordinator: Joanna Wilbraham, Botany, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD.

Nomenclature Committee

Committee suspended until required again


(i) To maintain a list of bryophyte taxa in the British and Irish flora,

(ii) To add new taxa when they are discovered,

(iii) To add taxa when revisions seem to justify them,

(iv) To propose taxa to be deleted,

(v) To propose amendments to nomenclature, including amendments to taxonomic rank, and

(vi) To advise the Recorder of Mosses and the Recorder of Liverworts when a new Census Catalogue or checklist revision is due.

Download the complete Terms of reference.

Contacts: Recorder for Liverworts and Recorder for Mosses.

Nomenclature Committee Terms of Reference 2020