EUNGELLA – THE LAND OF CLOUDS REVISTED Vol 125 Front Matters_prelims_plus_covers

Edwards, G. P. (2020)


GUEST EDITORIAL In 2010 I delivered a talk to the annual meeting of Environmental Officers from local government agencies held at Surfers Paradise. I described the extensive biodiversity survey work we completed in Lamington National Park and at Mt Lewis in the Wet Tropics of Queensland. I ended by lamenting that detailed, elevationally partitioned surveys of the Eungella massif, more or less midway between our two earlier locations and known to be of great biological interest, had not been carried out and would not happen unless substantial funding was provided from somewhere. This was a sort of throw-away line, I’m afraid, with the perennial research scientist’s appeal for more funding, please. Immediately after the talk, and to my surprise and delight, I was approached at the podium by Dan McKinlay and Councillor Wendy Cameron from the Mackay Regional Council with the suggestion that we begin a conversation about how the suggested Eungella work might be achieved and funded. And that was how the 2012–2014 Eungella Biodiversity Survey (EBS) began. The full details and funding arrangements are described and acknowledged in Louise Ashton’s contribution in this volume. The greater part of the funding came jointly from the Mackay Regional Council, with matching funds from the Queensland Government as part of a larger grant under the Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences Joint Biotechnology Programme. Drs Aki Nakamura and Louise Ashton were employed to run the survey. Considerably later, we were faced with the challenge of making our many results available to the widest possible audience. Some of our Eungella data had already been presented, usually as part of comparative analyses, in other journals. There remained, though, a large body of detailed information that still sought a home and, ideally, a shared home in which adjacent scientific results remained adjacent upon publication. I approached Geoff Edwards, then President of The Royal Society of Queensland, about dedicating a Special Issue of the Proceedings for this purpose. He and the Council of the day welcomed this suggestion, some outside funding was sought and gained, and the present volume is the outcome. As Editor I took the opportunity to invite additional papers, beyond the initial scope of the EBS, to expand the coverage of the Special Issue. The recruiting of contributions, awaiting the last submissions, getting contributions refereed, and then going through several stages of the editorial process took time and effort and would not have been achieved without considerable assistance. As referees I especially thank Daryl Barnes, Chris Burwell, Frank Kohler, Bert Orr and Geoff Tracey. Geoff Edwards encouraged, promoted and ultimately approved the whole process, for which I am very grateful. Finally, I thank Darryl Nixon of Sunset Publishing Services for his proofing and typesetting skills, and for seeing the drafts through to their elegant final form. Roger Kitching