CIE Seminar Series 2016 – Declines, denial and disconnect: Victorian reptiles in a time of mass extinction and how academics might better influence government policy

Nick ClemannSPEAKER: Dr Nick Clemann, Program Leader – Threatened Fauna, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria (and Research Associate, Museum Victoria)

DATE: Friday, 1st July 2016
LOCATION: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – Burwood Corporate Centre (attendees to please report to reception)
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka4.207 (Green room) and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22

ABSTRACT: The Earth has entered the worst mass extinction event since the loss of the dinosaurs. Unlike the previous five, the Sixth Extinction can be attributed to the actions of a single species – Humans.

Humans also control both the threats and conservation actions that influence this crisis. When prioritising conservation actions, innate human bias often favours endothermic vertebrates over other fauna. Reptiles are the least popular vertebrate class, and consequently are particularly disadvantaged during threatened species listing and conservation management.

After reviewing these topics, I propose that the only way Humans will arrest biodiversity losses is by confronting our own denial. I conclude with some experience-based thoughts on how academics might better influence government biodiversity policy.

BIO: Nick leads the Threatened Fauna Program at the Victorian Governement’s Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, where he has been employed for nearly two decades (since leaving Deakin University).

Nick’s team work on a taxonomically diverse array of threatened vertebrates, ranging from Leadbeater’s Possum to alpine frogs. He is also an Honorary Associate at Museum Victoria where he is working on establishing a collection of snake venoms, tissues and specimens for taxonomic and biomedical research.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Don Driscoll.

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