CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Parrots, pathogens and conservation

SPEAKER: Dr Johanne Marie Martens, BirdLife Australia.

DATE & TIME: Friday, 27th August 2021 @ 12:00noon.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 408 120 6183, Password: 06048505).

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I will give an overview over my PhD research on Beak and Feather Disease Virus (BFDV), followed by insights into my current role at BirdLife Australia, the nation’s largest bird conservation organisation.

For my PhD, I studied BFDV prevalence and load in a range of locally abundant wild psittacines, with a focus on the Crimson Rosella, in which I investigated seasonal variation of BFDV prevalence and load, indirect transmission via nesting material, and persistence of infection over time.

In my current role at BirdLife Australia, I focus on a different threat to parrots and other birds: Fire. The 2019/20 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires have had a significant impact on many taxa. The objective of the project I work under is to provide a comprehensive, national post-fire assessment of Mainland Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird across their known ranges.


Johanne completed her PhD at Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology in 2020 and now holds a role as Post-fire Assessment Coordinator at BirdLife Australia, while also being involved in the Orange-bellied Parrot mainland release program with Zoos Victoria.

For her PhD in Prof Andy TD Bennett’s group, she investigated Beak and Feather Disease Virus in wild Australian parrots and cockatoos.

Before moving to Australia in 2016, she worked at the ornithology department of the Stuttgart State Natural History Museum in Germany, studying wild urban parrots, a project she had started in 2011 for her BSc. She wrote her MSc thesis about implanted heart rate/body temperature loggers in ducks at the Max Planck- Institute for Ornithology.

For more information click HERE (Twitter).

As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone.

Thanking you in advance!

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