Event: Curating the Future feat. Prof Marcel Klaassen, National Wool Museum, 18 May

Curating the Future, National Wool Museum, Geelong.
Friday 18 May 2018, 10AM to 11.30AM

To celebrate International Museum Day, the National Wool Museum will host a special panel discussion on the topic, “Curating the Future”. Professor Libby Robin, Australian National University, will deliver an address on the topic and continue the discussion with ecologist Professor Marcel Klaassen, Deakin University and the National Wool Museum’s Senior Curator, Dr Luke Keogh.

The talk is free and open to the public. It will be followed by morning tea and a special tour of the new exhibition Spidergoat and the Insect Electro. Please RSVP online at https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/nwm/calendar/item/8d5b042a55ba519.aspx

Event: Confessions of a Bird Nerd, June 4

Sean Dooley “There’s no such thing as a birdwatching comedian”.
Mon. 4 June 2018, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEST
Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre (BCC), 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125

Sean Dooley has been looking at birds since the age of ten. And getting funny looks for looking at birds from pretty much the same age. Join him on a journey that takes him from the rainforests of Queensland to some of the finest sewage farms this country has to offer, from the embarrassment of being outed as a bird-nerd in front of his year seven classmates to the only slightly less embarrassment of outing himself as birder on national television, as he takes an in depth look at how we look at birds and what birds mean to us.

About the Speaker: When asked what he wanted to be when he left school, Sean Dooley was told by his careers guidance counsellor in no uncertain terms that, “There’s no such thing as a birdwatching comedian.” Sean went on to write for TV comedies such as Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, perform a solo shows (including one about birdwatching) in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and has written about his experiences in breaking the Australian twitching record for seeing the most birds in one year, in his book, The Big Twitch. Sean is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine and known throughout the Australian media as “The Bird Man”. Follow him at @twitchathon 

More information and book tickets here.

PhD position to study the coastal protection services provided by coastal ecosystems in south eastern Australia

Please click here for full project details and the application process.

This project will: 1) employ field techniques to estimate and monitor wave and erosion reduction through vegetated coastal ecosystems, and 2) incorporate remote sensing and land use data to quantify and map the avoided erosion and storm surge reduction services of these ecosystems in south eastern Australia. This project will provide key information for industry project partners and coastal zone managers in coastal risk assessment and management in south eastern Australia.

Project partners: Deakin University, The Nature Conservancy, Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Value: AUD$26,681 per annum tax free, project support (incl. computer, travel) plus other benefits: http://www.deakin.edu.au/courses/scholarships/find-a-scholarship/rtp-and-duprs

Supervisory team: The project is supervised by academics from Deakin University (A/Prof. Peter Macreadie, Dr Clare Duncan, Dr Paul Carnell, A/Prof. Daniel Ierodiaconou, and Dr Emily Nicholson).

Closing date: The position will remain open until filled. A first assessment of applications will be conducted in late December 2017

ARC Discovery grant successes

We were thrilled to learn last week that CIE members were awarded not one, not two, but THREE Discovery Project grants from the Australian Research Council.

We wish a huge congratulations to Prof Andy Bennett, Dr Mathew Berg, Prof Kate Buchanan, Dr Mylene Mariette, Dr Euan Ritchie and their collaborators on their success. Below is a summary of the three projects that will be hosted by the Centre for Integrative Ecology. Prof John Endler is also an investigator on a UQ-led project titled ‘Unravelling reef fish vision through gene-editing and behavioural ecology’. These prestigious grants are hard-won, with this year’s success rate being just 18.9%.



Leader of the pack: social structure and predator management

  • Dr Euan Ritchie; Professor Elissa Cameron (University of Tasmania); Professor Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter, UK); Professor Darren Croft (University of Exeter, UK); Dr Jose Montoya (Stanford University, USA)
  • $424,824.00
  • This project aims to quantify the importance of the individual in behaviour and social structures when managing social predator populations to protect economic and environmental assets. Using dingoes as a model system this project will characterise social structure and behaviour under varying management scenarios. This information will be embedded within models of ecological networks to examine the effects of disrupting dingo packs on biological communities. The project expects to improve understanding of how behaviour and social interactions influence ecological outcomes, improving conservation and management.

Genomic diversity, tolerance and ecology of wildlife disease

  • Professor Andy Bennett; Professor Soren Alexandersen; Professor Scott Edwards (Harvard University, USA); Dr Mathew Berg
  • $309,762.00
  • This project aims to understand the regulation of viral disease by vertebrate hosts. Viruses are rapidly evolving threats to humans, agriculture and wildlife and understanding of these threats can be transformed by combining the latest genomic, ecological and immune-pathological approaches. This project expects to reveal how hosts manage the bad effects of viruses in natural populations and fill gaps in fundamental knowledge of virus-host evolution. Anticipated benefits include improved management, risk assessment and decision-making for animal disease and biosecurity in Australia and globally.

Revisiting the ontogeny of vocal learning in birds: from neuron to fitness

  • Professor Katherine Buchanan; Dr Mylene Mariette; Professor Robert Dooling (University of Maryland, USA)
  • $393,192.00
  • This project aims to test the hypothesis that acoustic exposure prior to hatching directly affects gene expression, neural development, behaviour and consequently fitness, in wild populations of songbirds. Recent research suggests that animals are receptive to acoustic parental signals long before birth and may use such previously unrecognised signals to make adaptive developmental decisions. This project will quantify the effect on neural development and vocal learning in embryonic birds, employing a model songbird species. The outcomes of this study will transform our understanding of the adaptive potential of prenatal vocal learning, which will have significant benefits for human speech and language development.