CIE Seminar Series 2017 – Tough but not invincible: can we help the smallest penguin with their big challenges?

SPEAKER: Dr Andre Chiaradia, Penguin Ecologist, Research Department, Phillip Island Nature Parks

DATE: Friday, 7th April 2017
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – room T3.22; and Warrnambool Campus – room B3.03

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ABSTRACTClimate change is fast affecting marine biodiversity all over the world through changes in water temperature, current circulation and, ultimately, marine productivity.  These changes are putting increasing pressure on top predators like seabirds and penguins in particular. Today, almost 60 % of the penguin species are declining in numbers. Most of these declines have been happening in the last 30 years. The challenge for penguin biologists and marine environmental managers alike is to identify priority areas for penguin biodiversity conservation.

In Australia, we have been studying little penguins’ life cycle under rapid environmental changes. While Phillip Island penguins are doing surprisingly well, increasing ocean temperature is affecting little penguins elsewhere. Resilient but increasingly vulnerable, penguins may struggle to adapt to further warming seas.

This talk will give a global snapshot with information on marine biodiversity using a novel fine scale assessment of the impacts of climate change and industrial fisheries, identifying areas of high marine biodiversity that are particularly affected by climate and human stressors. It will then zoom in on little penguins in Australia to explore how individuals and populations of little penguins are responding to the fast change in the marine system of southern Australia.

BIOChase penguins for a living, or ecosystem ecology using penguins as model. Keen but kook at surfing. See also at ‘Meet the Scientist

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Ondi Crino.