Wild Webinars 2022

Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology presents its Wild Webinars on-line public seminar series. The series brings exciting science stories live into your evening. Kick back and be regaled by the latest discoveries in ecology, conservation, evolution and sustainability presented by CIE’s leading research experts.

  • Click on Webinar title below for more information or continue to scroll down;
  • Recordings of past Wild Webinars to be uploaded to CIE’s YouTube channel.

26 Jul 2022Dr. Elodie CamprasseAn army of claw-some friends
6 Sep 2022Nick Carter, Anne Eichholtzer, Prof. Marcel KlassenCitizen science powering conservation
4 Oct 2022Cassie SpeakmanFurry friends in our watery backyard
1 Nov 2022Meghan Shaw & Dr Nick PorchConserving the little critters: invertebrates & conservation

An army of claw-some friends

Dr Elodie Camprasse / Tuesday, 26th Jul 2022, 7:30-8:30 pm AEST

Further information & registration HERE

Every winter, in the heart of Port Phillip Bay, a truly amazing natural phenomenon unravels: the gathering of thousands and thousands of great spider crabs. Those crabs, which come to the shallows together to seek safety in numbers are on a mission: in order to grow, they need to moult whilst dodging hungry rays and other predators. The spider crabs and their aggregations have been featured across the world – Sir David Attenborough himself featured this extraordinary event in BBC Blue Planet II.

But would you believe that despite all this attention, we know very little about spider crab biology and ecology? Elodie and her team at Deakin University are here to change that and they need your help! Elodie will tell you all about how you can take the plunge, and become the spider crabs’ friends by helping scientists gather information on their whereabouts to understand their aggregations better.

The Spider Crab Watch Citizen Science program is seeking the help of everyone, from recreational fishermen, divers, charter tour operators and boating enthusiasts to join ‘Spider Crab Watch’ so that data can be collated to work out not only why the amazing natural phenomenon happens, but also where and when it’s happening.

About Elodie: Elodie holds a PhD from Deakin University on seabird ecology, following degrees in marine biology and ecology, studying across Europe, the US and Madagascar working with fishermen and dugongs. Elodie led the Remember The Wild initiative aimed at fostering stewardship for Naarm (Port Phillip Bay) and its connected waterways. Elodie now works with the Blue Carbon Lab as project manager and science communicator, and as a Research Fellow at Deakin University, working on great spider aggregations within Naarm.

Citizen science powering conservation

Prof Marcel Klaassen, and PhD candidates Anne Eichholtzer & Nick Carter / Tuesday, 6th Sep 2022, 7:30-8:30 pm AEST

Further information & registration HERE

Citizen science – or community science – is the “public participation and collaboration in scientific research with the aim to increase scientific knowledge” (ACSA).

This webinar is a tribute to the citizen scientists increasingly powering scientific research at Deakin University and globally.

Three researchers (Prof. Marcel Klaassen, and PhD candidates Anne Eichholtzer and Nicholas Carter) will discuss on-going projects, that would not be possible without the involvement of the community. We will share stories and findings, along with some remaining challenges for citizen science to reach its full potential as a research and engagement tool.

Furry friends in our watery backyard

PhD candidate Cassie Speakman

Further information & registration HERE

Climate change is can have significant impacts on our natural ecosystems, from the smallest microbes up to the biggest plants and animals. In animals, these impacts can be direct, like animals perishing in wildfires, or indirect, such as changes in how available their food is or how vulnerable they are to disease or predation. In this talk, I will introduce you to one of my favourite furry friends in our watery backyard – the Australian fur seal! We’ll delve into what we know and don’t know about the species and how changes in the environment influence their hunting behaviour and population dynamics.

About Cassie: I’m a PhD candidate within the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. My research aims to understand how human-induced environmental change impacts wild animal populations and to identify effective species management and conservation options. My research uses a variety of individual-, population-, and ecosystem-level modelling approaches, including individual-based modelling and decision analysis, to inform the management and conservation of species in the wild.

Conserving the little critters: invertebrates & conservation

Dr. Nick Porch & Meghan Shaw / Tuesday, 1st Nov 2022, 7:30-8:30 pm AEST

Further information & registration HERE

Introducing south-eastern Australia’s rich terrestrial invertebrate fauna / Dr. Nick Porch

Other than a few charismatic groups, like butterflies and dragonflies, the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Australia is poorly known; in many groups the majority of species are yet to be even formally described. For the species that have been described, detailed knowledge of their distribution and ecology is often lacking. This adds up to a potential conservation problem. If we don’t know what lives where, how do we know which places are especially important for invertebrate diversity? In this talk I will present some of the major groups of terrestrial invertebrates in SE. Australia using high-resolution macro-photography and introduce issues that are especially pertinent to the conservation of the fauna characterised by it massive diversity and high rates of turnover across the landscape.

About Nick: Nick is a palaeoecologist interested in human impact on Indo-Pacific island ecosystems with a side interest in, and knowledge of, SE. Australia beetles and other terrestrial invertebrates; his worry about the lack of engagement with invertebrate diversity explains this evolving change in direction. He is lucky to have four beetles, an assassin spider, a pincushion millipede and a lace bug, named after him.

The next Bee-yonce: Can insects become conservation celebrities? / PhD Candidate Meghan Shaw

The world of species conservation is just like the world of high school, a popularity contest. Currently the animals we know and love most tend to be mammals and birds, the cute and fluffy creatures. These animals get the most conservation funding and thus often are less likely to become extinct. As a result, 94% of the world’s endangered species are reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

However, there is plenty to love about our ‘creepy crawlies’, if only they were marketed in the right way. So how do we sell the millipede, the weevil and the beetle? Can insects become the next social media superstar?

About Meg: Meg Shaw is a PhD Candidate and science communicator at Deakin University, with an interest in Conservation Marketing and Social Science. Her research focuses on using imagery to connect people with wildlife and to promote the adoption of wildlife friendly behaviours. She is also the secretary of ConsMark.