Karl Hammer resigns from being EiC for Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (GRACE)
50 years ago K.H. started his scientific carrier at the famous Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung, IPK) in Gatersleben (E Germany) founded by the geneticist Hans Stubbe in 1943. He joined the Taxonomy department which had been established and lead for many years by the taxonomist Rudolf Mansfeld, who produced and initiated globally acknowledged milestones regarding the taxonomic cataloguing of cultivated plants (Mansfeld 1959; Schultze-Motel 1986; Hanelt and IPK 2001, with participation of K.H. for the last two editions). R. Mansfeld had also built up a collection of plant genetic resources, at that time called “Sortiment” (assortment). K.H. had the privilege to work with Christian O. Lehmann, one of the key players in the upcoming global “plant genetic resources movement” of the 1980s and 1990s. In those years K.H. performed up to six collecting missions per year, totally numbering more than 70, covering countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and since 1993 K.H. headed the genebank (the former assortment) at IPK.
In 1986 Anton Zeven invited him to join the editorial board of “Euphytica” which was his first editorial duty and the beginning of several others to come. Together with Peter Hanelt he managed to transform the IPK Gatersleben in-house journal “Kulturpflanze” into the international journal “Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution” (GRACE vol. 40, 1993). He served in the managing editorial board and since 2000 as Editor in Chief (EiC) (vol. 47) with assistance by Klaus Pistrick.
In 1998, K.H. left the IPK Gatersleben to lead the newly established chair of agrobiodiversity of the University of Kassel (Witzenhausen), from which he retired in 2009. Besides ongoing research and publishing, he focused on his editorial duties for this journal. After 18 years as EiC for GRACE, K.H. now asked for suspension of this duty. We are thankful to Karl Hammer for successfully developing this journal to a globally leading periodical in the field of plant genetic resources with special emphasis on conservation and utilization of genetic diversity of cultivated plants, including taxonomical issues. K.H. ensured that a great diversity of approaches in crop plant research were represented in this journal.
- Hanelt P, IPK (eds) (2001) Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, 6 vols. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Mansfeld R (1959) Preliminary list of cultivated plants, 1 volGoogle Scholar
- Schultze-Motel J (ed) (1986) Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, 4 vols. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar