CIE Seminar Series – 2022: Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness – An overview and view to the future

SPEAKER: Dr Debbie Eagles, Deputy Director, CSIRO Australia Centre for Disease Preparedness

DATE & TIME: Friday, 21st January 2022 @ 12noon.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 843 9036 8499, Password: 73907723).

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ABSTRACT.

My presentation will give an overview of the work done at CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness and outline future direction, including in areas contributing to wildlife health and opportunities for collaboration.

Recent research on new and emerging diseases in our region, including African Swine Fever and African Horse Sickness as well as ongoing threats such as Avian Influenza will also be highlighted.


BIO.

Debbie Eagles has been Deputy Director of CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP), previously known as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), since July 2019. Prior to this she spent 3 years in the role of ACDP’s Research Director for the Diagnosis, Surveillance and Response (DSR) Program which followed 8 years in the Veterinary Diagnostic Team.

ACDP is the national reference laboratory for exotic and emergency animal diseases, including zoonotics and holds a number of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and FAO reference/collaborating centre designations. Debbie herself is an OIE Reference Laboratory Expert on Bluetongue Virus, which was the focus of her PhD thesis.

Debbie is also enrolled as an OIE and Australian Qualified Expert on the UN Secretary-General Mechanism’s (UNSGM) Roster for investigations of Alleged Use of Chemical, Biological or Toxin Weapons, has postgraduate qualifications in epidemiology and has a special interest in interactions at the field/laboratory interface.

Debbie has extensive experience in working in the Asia Pacific region, including in laboratory capacity building projects, in field investigations and through the provision of training courses.

Follow Debbie on LinkedIn.


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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Should what we know about the timescale of the effects of floods on aquatic macroinvertebrates be redefined?

SPEAKER: Dr Chi Thai Uyen Le, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

DATE & TIME: Friday, 3rd December 2021 @ 12noon.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 868 1352 2885, Password: 96947987).

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ABSTRACT.

My talk will be divided into two parts:

As my postdoc project is at a very early stage, for the first part, I am taking the chance to talk about my PhD findings that concerned the analysis of 33-year monitoring dataset of macroinvertebrates and water quality spanning 2,300 km of the Murray River.

While much of the literature agrees that responses of macroinvertebrate communities to floods is transitory due to their low resistance and high resilience, recent studies using long-term data suggest that the effect of floods on macroinvertebrates may last a decade or more.

This part will show how my analysis of the long-term monitoring data on the Murray River indicates that effects of floods on macroinvertebrate community could last up to three decades, which may suggest redefinition of the timescale of the impacts of floods on macroinvertebrates.

The second part of my talk is to give an overview of the project that I am working on, which is related to assessment of non-indigenous marine species impacts on coastal and marine areas using participatory approach.


BIO.

I was born and grew up in Vietnam. After finishing my Master’s degree in Environmental Science in Japan, I worked as a teaching assistant and assistant manager of the Okayama-Hue International Master’s Program in Sustainability in Rural and Environmental Systems in Vietnam for four years before coming to Australia to pursuit my PhD at La Trobe University.

I specialised in using data analysis and statistical modelling to explore environmental trends and environmental impacts caused by natural and anthropogenic stressors.

I joined Deakin University in July this year with an immense interest in combining qualitative and quantitative methods to solve research questions related to marine biosecurity.

Follow Chi Le on LinkedIn.


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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Australian farm dams and the benefits of eco-friendly management

SPEAKER: Dr Martino E. Malerba, Centre for Integrative Ecology (Blue Carbon Lab), Deakin University

DATE & TIME: Friday, 12th November 2021 @ 12noon.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 824 0431 1985, Password: 12812557).

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ABSTRACT.

Farm dams (or agricultural ponds) are small, human-made freshwater bodies that have become ubiquitous features of agricultural lands around the world. They represent a critical freshwater source for livestock and irrigation, and incidentally support important wetland biodiversity.

Despite their prominent role in society and nature, farm dams are one of the world’s most understudied freshwater bodies. In fact, we often lack the most basic information on farm dams – such as how many they are and where they are – hindering our ability to identify hotspots and gradients across the environment.

In this talk, Martino will present several ongoing research themes on Australian farm dams: (1) density, distribution, and historical trends, (2) impacts of climate change on their reliability as freshwater sources, (3) dams as hotspots for methane emissions, and (4) opportunities for greener practices.


BIO.

Martino grew up in the north of Italy. After high school, he left home to start an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at James Cook University in Townsville (North Queensland).

He specialised in ecological modelling with an honours degree and a PhD. After that, he started a 4-year fellowship at the Centre for Geometric Biology at Monash University.

Martino joined Deakin’s Blue Carbon Lab in 2020 with an Alfred Deakin Postgraduate Research Fellowship, followed by an ARC DECRA in 2023.

Follow Martino on Twitter or checkout his website for more details.


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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Making sense of behavioural differences in fairy-wrens, finches and penguins: a postdoc in three acts

SPEAKER: Dr Andrew Katsis, Research Associate in Animal Behaviour, College of Science & Engineering, Flinders University

DATE & TIME: Friday, 5th November 2021 @ 12noon.

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

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ABSTRACT.

Rather than behaving identically, individuals within a species or population often exhibit distinct personality traits. These differences can influence survival and reproductive success, potentially leading to selection for some behavioural traits over others.

In collaboration with my BirdLab colleagues, I have spent the last two years studying behaviour in three bird groups (superb fairy-wrens, Darwin’s finches, and little penguins).

In this seminar, I will present some preliminary findings that have emerged from this work, on the ontogeny and fitness consequences of personality.


BIO.

Andrew is a behavioural ecologist with an interest in avian personality, vocal learning and prenatal communication. He completed his PhD research at Deakin University (2016–20), on the behavioural consequences of prenatal sound in zebra finches.

He is currently based in the BirdLab at Flinders University, studying behaviour in superb fairy-wrens and other birds. In addition to his research, Andrew is a keen science communicator, and has contributed to magazines, online news, radio and television.

Follow Andrew on Twitter.


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Meeting ID: 408 120 6183
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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Going for a swim: manipulation of host phenotype by parasitic worms

SPEAKER: Prof Robert Poulin, Department of Zoology, University of Otago

DATE & TIME: Friday, 29th October 2021.

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

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ABSTRACT.

The influence of parasitic organisms on the behaviour and ecology of their hosts is often disproportionate to their small size. This is particularly well-documented for the many parasites capable of manipulating the behaviour of their hosts in order to improve their own transmission.

I will briefly explore the circumstances in which natural selection has favoured the evolution of host manipulation by parasites. I will also provide historical insights into research trends in this area, leading to its recent integration with key themes in behavioural research, such as animal personality and the use of social networks to unravel animal interactions.

Finally, I will present new research into ‘how’ parasites actually take control of their host’s behaviour, focusing on two types of worms (mermithid nematodes and nematomorphs) that induce their terrestrial arthropod host to enter water for the parasite’s exit.

The mechanisms at play range from altered gene expression in the host’s brain indicated by proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, to the possibility that microbial partners carried by parasites are actually responsible for host manipulation.


BIO.

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Robert obtained a BSc from McGill University and a PhD from Laval University, before eventually joining the University of Otago in 1992. Since arriving there, he has established a research programme in parasite ecology and evolution that focuses on broad questions but not on any particular taxa.

Currently, his research group has four main research directions. First, his lab investigates the forces shaping the evolution of parasites, in particular the evolution of life history traits such as body size, host specificity, the ability to manipulate host behaviour, and the complexity of the transmission pathways. Second, they are studying the role of parasites in aquatic ecosystems, i.e. how they affect community diversity and food web stability, and how parasitism may interact with climate change to influence the properties of ecosystems. Third, Robert has long been exploring large-scale patterns of parasite biodiversity and biogeography, searching for the processes behind the diversification and distribution of parasites and diseases. Finally, Robert and his team are now turning toward the role of parasite microbiomes in shaping the host-parasite interaction.

Robert was awarded Otago University’s Distinguished Research Medal in 2013, the Hutton Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011 for outstanding contribution to animal sciences, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2001.

For more info on Robert’s work click HERE.


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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Sustainability at Deakin – Creating a Living Laboratory

SPEAKER: Emma Connan, Director of Sustainability, Supply and Environments, Deakin University, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus;

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 7th October 2021 @ 4:00PM.

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 832 9753 9250, Password: 38486033).

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ABSTRACT.

Climate change is already greatly affecting our urban and natural ecosystems and poses one of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time. Deakin’s Climate Ready Campus is our vision for the Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus.

Through an integrated systems approach we will demonstrate a range of complementary and impactful actions that mitigate Deakin’s impacts on climate change, adapt to the impacts of climate change, apply integrated water management solutions and significantly enhance the biodiversity values of the campus.

The implementation of these integrated actions will:

  • provide unique opportunities to demonstrate sustainable development;
  • enable mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle the global challenges of climate change;
  • use the campus as a living laboratory, enabling research to test and develop climate-ready initiatives;
  • establish strategies that can be replicated at other campuses and within the broader community.

This presentation will focus on integrated water management and the enhancement of biodiversity on our campuses and the opportunity for the integration of research.


BIO.

Emma is currently the Director of Sustainability, Supply and Environments at Deakin University. Since 2015 she has led the development and implementation of sustainability strategy for all aspects of sustainability at Deakin, including energy and emissions, waste, water, built environment and natural environment.

During this time Deakin has become a sector leader in sustainability and is contributing to the transition to renewables and demonstrating leadership in climate mitigation, adaptation, integrated water management and biodiversity management.

Follow Emma on Twitter.


For more information about Sustainability at Deakin click HERE.


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CIE 2021 Annual Conference (Virtual): Supporting managers to make evidence-informed decisions

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Carly Cook, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology and DECRA Fellow at Monash University.

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2021 CIE Annual Conference (Virtual) to be held on Thursday, 14th and Friday, 15th October 2021.


BIO.

I am a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology and DECRA Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. My research relates to the integration of science in environmental management decisions. In particular I’m interested in the types of evidence decision-makers use to inform their decisions and why, the consequences of poor uptake of science on management decisions, and the design of decision support tools.

I am interesting in a range of tools for knowledge exchange, including tools for evidence synthesis and that promote evidence-based decisions. I am a member of the Expert Assessment Group for the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas. I am also a founding member of the Centre for Evidence Informed Policy and Practice, which promotes the advancement of evidence-based decision making through research, methodological development, application and training.

Some of my key research interests centre on developing decision triggers as a tool for management, integrating evolutionary theory into conservation management and promoting cost-effectiveness analysis as part of evidence-based conservation.

My research program is highly interdisciplinary and I have a keen interesting in understanding what conservation can learn from other disciplines in order to become more effective.

I completed my PhD in Environmental Management at the University of Queensland in 2010. My research there was focused on developing and improving systems to evaluate the effectiveness of protected area management, working with conservation management agencies in Australia.

Carly will be presenting at 9am on Friday, October 15th

Follow Carly on Twitter

Check out Carly’s research blog HERE


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CIE 2021 Annual Conference (Virtual): Just another statistic? How quantitative ecology influences ocean conservation priorities

GUEST SPEAKER: Dr Chris Brown, Research Fellow, Griffith University.

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2021 CIE Annual Conference (Virtual) to be held on Thursday, 14th and Friday, 15th October 2021.


BIO.

Chris is a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Chris and his team in the Seascape Models Lab work on the conservation of ocean ecosystems and sustainable management of fisheries.

His team uses advances in statistical modelling approaches to synthesize ecological data and inform environmental decision making. Their latest project will study the limits to predicting the unprecedented change facing ocean ecosystems.

Chris has a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Queensland, a BSc from the University of Tasmania, has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers and is a former DECRA Fellow and Young Tall Poppy Award recipient.

He works closely with conservation agencies and his engagement roles include advising Pacific Island nations on tuna fishery monitoring, being science advisor to the Global Mangrove Alliance and analytical advisor to the Reef Life Survey.

Chris will be presenting at 1pm on Thursday, October 14th

Follow Chris on Twitter

For more information click HERE


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CIE 2021 Annual Conference (Virtual): Overview of the latest in marine ecosystem modelling – what it can do and where the challenges remain

GUEST SPEAKER: Dr Beth Fulton, CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere.

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2021 CIE Annual Conference (Virtual) to be held on Thursday, 14th and Friday, 15th October 2021.


BIO.

Dr Beth Fulton is a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, where she has spent 20 years developing various system modelling tools for looking at marine ecosystems and sustainability.

Beth is also an Adjunct Professor and Deputy Director at the Centre of Marine Socioecology, a collaboration between University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the Australian Antarctic Division, which focuses on finding transdisciplinary, equitable and sustainable solutions to the problems facing coasts and oceans.

The common theme to Beth’s work has been on developing system-scale decision support tools in support of sustainable management of potentially competing uses of marine environments and adaptation to global change.

Beth will be presenting at 2:30pm on Friday, October 15th.

Follow Beth on Twitter

For more information click HERE


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CIE Seminar Series – 2021: Climate adaptation for Australia’s threatened species

SPEAKER: Dr Kita Ashman, Threatened Species and Climate Adaptation Ecologist, WWF Australia

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 16th September 2021 @ 4:00PM.

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

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ABSTRACT.

The past three scorching Australian summers, setting new national temperature and bushfire records, have made the threat of climate change on Australia’s wildlife demonstrable. Consequently, climate change – or more specifically, the need to better understand how to help species adapt and become more resilient to a warming climate needs to be factored into all on-going conservation efforts.

WWF Australia is currently investing over $1M to test approaches to reduce the vulnerability of wildlife to changes in the climate through on-the-ground projects. These projects work across a variety of species and landscapes, and are in collaboration with leading researchers, environmental organisations, and Traditional Owner groups.

This presentation will highlight some of the projects that are being implemented under WWF’s Threatened Species & Climate Adaptation Strategy.


BIO.

Kita Ashman studied Wildlife & Conservation Biology as an undergrad at Deakin, then went on to do an honours project on the evolution of moth signalling structures, with Matt Symodns – also at Deakin. After honours, she completed a PhD in Wildlife Ecology (as you guess it – Deakin), focussing on koala distribution, abundance and spatial dynamics in plantation landscapes, under Desley Whisson’s supervision.

Kita has worked on koala management programs with state governments in VIC and SA, and has worked on the Glossy Black Cockatoo recovery program and on Zoo’s Vic Leadbeater’s possum recovery program.

After completing her PhD, she did a short stint in David Lindenmayer’s lab at ANU, monitoring biodiversity throughout the Central Highlands, then jumped ship when she was offered her current role as Threatened Species & Climate Adaptation Ecologist at WWF Australia.

For more information on Kita’s work watch this video or read more on the WWF-Australia website. You can also follow Kita on Twitter (click HERE).


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