Wild Webinars


* All Webinars to start @ 7pm EST

* Click on Webinar title below for more information or continue to scroll down

* Recording of past Webinars available on the CIE’s YouTube channel


 

Date Speaker Title
2/7/20 Prof Don Driscoll Feral Horses in Australian Alps
27/8/20 Dr Tim Jessop A Komodo dragon’s island life
24/9/20 A/Prof Euan Ritchie Fabulous Fuzzballs – A Collection of Mammal Tales
29/10/20 Krista Bonfantine eDNA – The Roots of a New Ecology
10/12/20 A/Prof Matthew Symonds Shape-shifting birds: How birds are evolving in response to climate change

Feral Horses in Australian Alps

Prof Don Driscoll / Thursday 2nd July @ 7-8 pm

Webinar was live streamed and one can view the recording at the CIE’s YouTube channel

Feral horses, also called brumbies, are widespread throughout Australia. In the Australian Alps, feral horses have been subject to heated debate in the media and in the courts. With claim and counter-claim splashed across the tabloids, how can interested community members work out which arguments the evidence actually supports? In this seminar I will clarify the evidence behind questions that often come up in debate. What is the damage that feral horses cause in the Australian alps? What evidence is there that the damage is caused by horses and not other feral animals? How humane is aerial culling and how much do horses suffer if numbers are not managed? Are feral horses unique and irreplaceable? Answers to these questions and more will be explained, drawing on the scientific literature and historical facts.

All of Don’s research has conservation biology as a central theme, with a focus on how species use whole landscapes, particularly the role of dispersal. He takes a range of approaches, including manipulative experiments, natural experiments and the application of population genetic techniques. A strong emphasis is being placed on testing ecological theory using applied conservation problems.

Webinar was live streamed and one can view the recording at the CIE’s YouTube channel


A Komodo dragon’s island life

Dr Tim Jessop / Thursday 27th August @ 7-8 pm

Webinar was live streamed and one can view the recording at the CIE’s YouTube channel

Islands are evolution’s paradox- hotbeds of unique biodiversity more often fated with extinction. Komodo dragons, beyond their huge body size, can teach us many things about how animals survive the whims of island life. Yet will this be enough for dragons to see out the next 100 years?

Tim Jessop is a Deakin University ecologist and advisor to the Komodo Survival Program. He has studied Komodo dragons since 2002 and is now happily addicted to nasi goreng for breakfast.

Webinar was live streamed and one can view the recording at the CIE’s YouTube channel


Fabulous Fuzzballs – A Collection of Mammal Tales

Associate Professor Euan Ritchie / Thursday 24th September @ 7-8 pm

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Mammals are extraordinarily successful animals, occupying Earth’s skies, seas and land, but many species also face significant threats and uncertain futures. In this presentation, Euan will share stories about dingoes, bandicoots, tree kangaroos, bears and other mammals, highlighting their ecological and cultural importance, and how science is aiding their conservation.

Deakin wildlife ecologist, Euan Ritchie, has been researching the ecology and conservation of animals, particularly mammals, for over 20 years, across Australia and overseas. In addition to teaching and research, Euan is passionate about science communication and promoting public understanding of the wonder and importance of the natural world.


eDNA – The Roots of a New Ecology

PhD Candidate Krista Bonfantine / Thursday 29th October @ 7-8 pm

(Stay tuned for details on how to connect)

By unearthing blueprints of life, environmental DNA research, or eDNA for short, is adding new dimensions to our understanding of organisms and ecosystems. Krista Bonfantine will describe the basics of this emerging technology and share examples of how eDNA is reshaping ecology. Her stories will focus on the previously-hidden world of microbes in our midst, with a cameo or two from more familiar furry friends.

Krista Bonfantine is a watershed ecologist who embarked on an eDNA adventure during her PhD. She has spent her career bridging the gap between science and society and is excited to bring this cutting-edge technology out of the lab and into the lounge room.


Shape-shifting birds: How birds are evolving in response to climate change

Associate Professor Matthew Symonds / Thursday 10th December @ 7-8 pm

(Stay tuned for details on how to connect)

Climate change is causing profound changes to the planet’s flora and fauna. From earlier spring emergence of flowers to expansion or reduction in the ranges of animals, to the extinction of coral reef ecosystems, these changes are distinct and measurable. The way that animals deal with heat influences how they respond to climate change. In this talk I will explain how birds are dealing with the warmer climate by adapting their body shape, particularly in their bill size, and how my research group goes about studying these changes and their consequences.

Matt Symonds is an evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on the evolution of diversity: why species differ from each other, and the ecological and environmental factors that drive these differences. This passion for understanding diversity has led to him working on insects, mammals, reptiles, plants and fungi in addition to birds.