Statutes and By-Laws



This September 2008 version supersedes all previous versions.

Article 1. NAME



The IOP shall be affiliated to the International Union of the Biological Sciences.

Article 3. AIM

The aim of IOP is to promote international co-operation in the study of palaeobotany including palaeo-palynology. This includes:

  • 3.1. Publication of an informative newsletter that will announce all palaeobotonical meetings, report on their proceedings, describe regional bibliographies and how to obtain them, as well as other pertinent information of wide interest. Some articles of topical interest will also be included from time to time. These will not be refereed and will not have any formal status, either nomenclaturally or as a formal publication.
  • 3.2. Collaboration with officers responsible for programmes of International Botanical Congresses to ensure the inclusion therein of items of palaeobotanical interest. To organise and sponsor other conferences from time to time at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
  • 3.3. The encouragement of the work of regional groups of palaeobotanists and of groups of specialists within the broader field of palaeobotany.
  • 3.4. Co-operation with other international organisations have interest allied to palaeobotany, such as the International Palaeontological Association, the International Association for Plant Taxonomy, the Commission International de Microflora du Paleozoique and the International Federation of Palynological Societies.
  • 3.5. Any other activities considered appropriate by the Executive Committee for warranted by interest shown by the membership. When financial support is available, publications such as a world bibliography of palaeobotany and palaeopalynology should be encouraged.

Article 4. OFFICERS

The officers of IOP form the Executive Committee

  • 4.1 The officers of IOP shall be: President; three Vice-Presidents; Secretary/Treasurer; three Members at Large; Conference/Congress Member.
  • 4.2.1 The President shall chair meetings of the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
  • 4.2.2 If the Office of President becomes vacant, one of the Vice-Presidents shall be elected by the Executive Committee to succeed to the office for the remainder of the term.
  • 4.3.1 The Secretary/Treasurer is the driving force behind the Organisation. He/she shall transmit suggestions from the membership to the President and Executive Committee, maintain an IOP web site on the internet, maintain contact with regional and local groups of palaeobotanists, maintain contact with IUBS by the assistance of one of the Vice Presidents, control the income and expenditure of IOP and maintain a central treasury, transmit decisions of the Executive Committee and President to the membership. The newsletter shall be the Secretary/Treasurer's chief medium of communication.
  • 4.3.2 The Secretary/Treasurer may be re-elected.
  • 4.4 The Conference/Congress Member is chosen by the Executive Committee. He/she shall be responsible for the co-ordinating with the appropriate authorities concerning the palaeobotanical program at the next IOP Conference or International Botanical Congress. He/she normally be a resident of the country in which that conference or congress is to be held.
  • 4.5 Vice presidents shall not serve more than one consecutive term of office. One of the three Vice Presidents is selected by the Executive Committee to take special responsibility for the Committee with IUBS affairs. He/she will instigate creative projects, in consultation with the Executive Committee, which will be part of the activities of IUBS relevant to the aims of the IOP.
  • 4.6 The three Members at Large must be from different countries: they may not serve more than two consecutive terms of office.
  • 4.7 One term of office is from the end of one International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference (or its equivalent as defined by the Executive Committee) to the end of the next.
    4.8 If any office other than that of President becomes vacant, the Executive Committee is empowered to select a replacement.


  • 5.1 To help produce the newsletter, the Secretary/Treasurer is empowered to select, invite, and appoint as many and as diverse Regional Representatives and Correspondents as are required to ensure effective coverage of world palaeobotany. The Correspondents may include the persons who are responsible for each regional or topical newsletters or bibliographies as currently exist or that are initiated in the future. Regional representatives and Correspondents will serve at the pleasure of the Secretary/Treasurer, and their appointment is open to review on a regular basis.
  • 5.2 The role of each Regional Representative is to:
  • 5.2.1 Maintain a full list of names and addresses of members in that region, and to transmit these to the Secretary/Treasurer each year.
    5.2.2 Collect membership dues from each member, and after deduction of operational expenses, to transfer the surplus to the Secretary/Treasurer.
  • 5.2.3 Stimulate contributions to the newsletter from members in the region. Contributions should include announcements and reports of national meetings, news of individuals and their projects, obituaries, and articles of general interest. Books for review should be solicited from publishers in the region and their reviews appointed in consultation with the Secretary/Treasurer.
  • 5.2.4 Receive one master copy of each IOP newsletter from the Secretary/Treasurer, and arrange for duplication and distribution to members in the region. Communications and distributions will be via electronic media (e.g., e-mail and posting on the IOP Web Site, etc.), except for those members without electronic communications capabilities. For the latter members, hard copies will be provided by the Regional Representatives to the members by post.


  • 6.1.1 Any palaeobotanist who subscribes to the aims of IOP is eligible for membership.
  • 6.2 The Secretary/Treasurer shall maintain a roll of members' names and institutional addresses. This will comprise information received from all Regional Representatives. It will be revised at least once a year. It will serve as an electoral roll for the election of officers to the Executive Committee, as well as a useful world list of palaeobotanists.
  • 6.3 Membership takes effect immediately upon receipt of membership dues by the appropriate Regional Representative.
  • 6.4 Membership gives voting rights, the privilege of holding office , access to the most recent issues of the newsletter, reduced registration fee for the International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conferences (IOPC), financial assistance and reduced IOPC costs for student members, as funds are available, and other benefits that are made available from time-to-time.
  • 6.5 Institutions such as libraries and publishers may receive the newsletter by paying the annual dues set out in the By-Laws. They may not vote at elections or nominate candidates for election to office, and shall not be regarded as members.
    6.6 The amount to be paid for annual dues shall be laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee and incorporated by the By-Laws.
  • 6.7 Membership may be terminated for non-payment of dues extending over two years.
  • 6.8 Honorary Membership in IOP may be extended to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to palaeobotany (especially through a career long effort) and are now retired, or have given exceptional service to the IOP, or to regional palaeobotanical organisations but are now retired from that role. Honorary members will have free membership of IOP for life and enjoy all the benefits of a fully paid member. The process of establishing honorary members shall include nominations, to be accompanied by the names of two proposers, a brief statement of justification, and an active e-mail address for the nominee or the name of a Regional Representative willing to forward hard copy information. Nominations shall be approved by the Executive and/or by the membership.

Article 7. ELECTIONS

The election of officers should take place at each General Assembly during the International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference, (or its equivalent as determined by the Executive Committee).

  • 7.1 The Executive Committee shall seek nominations for eight of the places (see Article 4) by advertising in the newsletter.
  • 7.2 Nominations may be made in writing, by any member of IOP. The call for nominations must be made by the Secretary/Treasurer in the IOP newsletter no later than six months before the Conference at which the election shall take place.
  • 7.3 All candidates must be current members of IOP, defined by their inclusion of the membership election roll (see Article 6.2 above).
  • 7.4 The Executive Committee shall determine the status of the nominees, ascertain that they are prepared to stand for election, and shall publish a list, in the form of a ballot in the newsletter at least one month before the start of the Conference (or equivalent as determined by the Executive).
  • 7.5 Each member whose name appears on the electoral roll (Article 6.2 and 6.3) may vote. Member voting must have paid their membership dues to their Regional Representative for the year of the election.
  • 7.6 Any member not in attendance at the General Assembly who wishes to vote may send their ballot to the Secretary/Treasurer, to be received before the time of the vote tabulation Ballots will be accepted by the Secretary/Treasurer either by e-mail or by post. E-mail ballots can either be sent as attachments or in the body of the e-mail (with authenticity established by the member's registered e-mail address). Each paper ballot should be enclosed in a sealed envelope with the voter's name clearly written on the reverse side of the envelope to establish authenticity.
  • 7.7 Election of the President and of the Secretary/Treasurer shall be declared for the respective candidate who receives a simple majority of the votes cast.
  • 7.8 Election of the three Vice-Presidents and of the three Members at Large of the Executive Committee shall be awarded to the candidates in each category who receive the largest number of votes.


  • 8.1.1 The General Assembly consists of all current members of IOP, meetings of the General Assembly shall be held at each meeting of the International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference and at such other International conferences as may be designated, with a adequate prior notice, by the Executive Committee.
  • 8.1.2 Meetings will be conducted in accordance with the customary Rules of Order (e.g., Robert's Rules of Order as kept online at .)
  • 8.1.3 The agenda of a General Assembly shall be determined by the Secretary/Treasurer and the Executive Committee and published in a newsletter in advance of the meeting.
  • 8.2.1 The Executive Committee undertakes such business as may be delegated to it by the Constitution and By-Laws or by decisions of the General Assembly, or by requests of the President or Secretary/Treasurer.
  • 8.2.2 The Executive Committee should meet at least once at each International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference, and/or and at such other International conferences as may be designated prior to the meeting of the General Assembly. Otherwise, much of its business will be conducted by either e-mail or by mail.

Article 9. FINANCES

Membership dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee and laid down in the By-Laws. Dues are payable to the appropriate Regional Representative on January 1st each year. Any surplus money, after payment of postal and duplication costs should be forwarded to the Secretary/Treasurer by the Regional Representatives.

Article 10. AMENDMENTS

  • 10.1 These statues of the IOP may be amended only at a meeting of the General Assembly.
  • 10.2 Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Committee or may be submitted to that committee by any member.
  • 10.3 The Secretary/Treasurer will cause the proposed amendments to be published in the newsletter at least six months before the next General Assembly together with any comments the Executive Committee offers.
  • 10.4 Amendments shall be effective if ratified by a two-thirds majority of members present at a General Assembly.

Article 11. LANGUAGE

The Official Languages of IOP will be those of IUBS. The use of English is advocated.



  1. Membership dues - Dues for Individual and Corporate members are US $10.00 (or equivalent) per year. For some of the old "Independent Regions" the amount will be as agreed by the Secretary/Treasurer and Regional Representative until such a time as economic conditions allow for the regular dues to be assessed.
  2. Dues are payable to the appropriate Regional Representative and thence to the Secretary/Treasurer, who will use them in the production of the newsletter and for the business of the organisation.
  3. A computer print-out of members' names and addresses is available to members from the Secretary/Treasurer, upon payment of a fee to cover costs determined by the Secretary/Treasurer.
  4. A series of informal leaflets, named IOP Circulars, may be produced from time to time, with the authority of the Executive Committee. Production costs shall be paid by the author from whom members may obtain free copies, thought postal charges are discretionary.
  5. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee provided that the proposed amendments have been circulated to the Committee at least three months before a vote is taken.
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