CIE Seminar Series 2016 – Connecting the dots: Linking the science and policy of biological invasion

Melodie McGeochSPEAKER: Assoc Professor Melodie McGeoch, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University (Google Scholar)

DATE: Friday, 6th May 2016
LOCATION: Melbourne Campus at Burwood HD2.006 (Richard Searby room)
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka5.303 and Warrnambool Campus, Room C1.13

ABSTRACT: Effective governance of the environment, including the problem of biological invasions, includes consideration of biological, analytical, reporting and jurisdictional scales.

Local benefits accrue from awareness and adoption of global approaches by (1) being able to motivate for the importance of local initiatives in a global context, (2) aligning activities with best practice, and (3) being able to draw on readily available information resources.

Globally, the benefits lie with accumulation of national and local tests of these schemes so that they can be refined where necessary. Importantly, harmonised approaches across scales facilitate rapid transfer of information and its translation into more targeted and relevant policy. However in practice there is often a disconnect between current, local scale information informing broader level policy, and also often a lag between international developments informing national scale action.

I will illustrate this with a selection of recent tools and approaches designed to connect the dots, and then discuss some of the ways in which research and policy connect.

BIO: My research integrates spatial ecology with understanding global change impacts on biodiversity, and with the development of bioindicator systems. I am interested in models and methods for quantifying and predicting biodiversity patterns, and the use of these for addressing conservation problems.

This includes global to local scale indicators of biological invasion, quantifying and estimating species range, abundance and diversity turnover, prioritisation for biological invasion and essential biodiversity variables for invasion monitoring.

I have previously held academic positions at the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch, and also spent some time outside of academia with South African National Parks.

Other affiliations and activities include the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, and involvement in a range of intergovernmental groups that work on the development and delivery of tools and information systems for biodiversity assessment and monitoring, such as GEO BON and GBIF.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Don Driscoll.

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