The 13° OPTIMA Iter in Albania, 21 June - 3 July 2017

The Iter was organized by G. Domina (Palermo) and A. Mullaj (Tirana). The program was divided into 5 parts each devoted to the study of a particular area: Librazhd (21 to 24 June), Voskopoja (25 June), Berat (26-27 June), Kukësi (28-29 June) and Valbona (30 June to 3 July); and each based at a different hotel. Starting from these logistic bases, a total of 116 collecting sites were visited.

Following a public call, applicants were selected for participation on the basis of their submitted curricula. OPTIMA selected 2 junior and 8 senior foreign participants; the Flora and Fauna Research Center of the University of Tirana selected the 5 Albanian participants: 1 to accompany the whole Iter and 4 who, by groups of 2, were to take turns over the successive days. There were thus 14 participants in total. Prof. Attilio Carapezza, an entomologist form Palermo, joined the group. At any one time, the group comprised 13 persons.

Albanian participants
Ermelinda Gjeta (21 June to 3 July)
Ermelinda Mahmutaj (21 to 24 June)
Oresta Saliaj (21 to 27 June)
Mariol Meco (25 June to 3 July)
Ajola Mesiti (28 June to 3 July)

Foreign participants
(21 June to 3 July; s, senior participant; j, junior participant)
Gianniantonio Domina, Palermo, s
Werner Greuter, Palermo, s
Edda Lattanzi, Rome, s
Simonetta Peccenini, Genova, s
Eckhard Raab-Straube von, Berlin, s
Francesco M. Raimondo, Palermo, s
Giovanni Scafidi, Palermo, s
Ernst Vitek, Wien, s
Salvatore Cambria, Catania, j
Davide Dagnino, Genova, j.

In the field, participants formed collecting teams of 2(-3), each team concentrating on, but not limited to, specific groups of families assigned to its care. For vascular plants, 12 sets of each gathering were collected when feasible. Bryophytes were taken care of by Francesco M. Raimondo and Gianniantonio Domina.

In all, 1738 gatherings of vascular plants were made. This material is being studied in Palermo. The principal sets of herbarium specimens, sorted, packed and dispatched by care of the Herbarium Mediterraneum, will be distributed among the participants institutions.