QUT Ecoacoustics Symposium 2022: Keynote Speakers

Professor Hugh Possingham became Queensland Chief Scientist in September 2020. He is a conservation scientist and mathematician who has held positions in the university, public and not-for profit sectors. He is a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was the Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy (2016 to 2020).   His most significant contribution to conservation was the co-development of Marxan, software first used to rezone the Great Barrier Reef, and now used in almost every country in the world to inform the expansion of marine and terrestrial protected area systems.

Professor Richard Fuller (University of Queensland) studies how people have affected the natural world around them, and how some of their destructive effects can best be reversed. To answer these questions, the lab group works on pure and applied topics in biodiversity and conservation, spanning the fields of migration ecology, conservation planning and urban ecology. Much of the work is interdisciplinary, focusing on the interactions between people and nature, how these can be enhanced, and how these relationships can be shaped to converge on coherent solutions to the biodiversity crisis. See www.fullerlab.org and www.facebook.com/fullerlab

Dr Karen Rowe is the Curator of Birds at Museums Victoria where her research focuses on developing and implementing acoustic survey methods to document the diversity of distribution of animals across landscapes. Projects in Karen’s lab combines acoustics with biodiversity inventories, threatened species monitoring and community engagement. Her work actively focuses on using acoustic technologies to bring together land managers, landcare groups and community participants towards improved management and conservation outcomes for wildlife. Current projects include documenting the impact of the Black Summer bushfires on bird communities in East Gippsland and tracking the spatio-temporal calling dynamics of Victoria’s critically endangered Plains-wanderer.

Dr Michael Towsey has held research positions at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) since 1997 and more recently at Charles Sturt University. Since 2008, he has been working in the field of soundscape ecology and on the conservation of threatened cryptic species such as the Lewin’s Rail, Australasian Bittern and Little Bittern. Michael developed a technique to visualise long-duration recordings of the natural environment using false-colour spectrograms. When combined with automated call-recognition software, these techniques promise a solution to the data deluge problem confronting eco-acousticians. See https://eavesdroppingonwetlandbirds.com.au

Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Znidersic is a post-doctoral researcher with Charles Sturt University. Her major research interests include survey methodologies and the application of technological tools to monitor individual species and ecosystems, wetland species and their management. She is currently working on the “Eavesdropping on wetland birds” project investigating wetland species from Queensland to Tasmania which makes use of both call-recognisers and soundscapes. Liz’s research has led her into the wetlands of the USA and Australia, and remote islands of the world searching for some of the most secretive wetland birds using acoustic recordings and motion-activated cameras. She has also worked extensively as a ranger and environmental educator with nature-based tourism. See https://eavesdroppingonwetlandbirds.com.au

Dr Amandine Gasc background is in ecology and biological conservation with a specialty in acoustics. Thanks to a CNRS INEE PhD Grant, her PhD research at the National Museum of Natural History in France focussed on the analysis and monitoring of animal biodiversity using acoustics. She then undertook post-doctoral research funded by the NSF in the Center for Global Soundscapes at Purdue University. Her research investigated how soundscapes can be used to detect environmental changes and the impacts of these changes on animal communities. Amandine is now a researcher at the Institute for Research and Development in France working in the Mediterranean Biodiversity Unit for Continental and Marine Ecology. Her objective is to develop efficient, accurate and well tested acoustic analysis approaches that can provide a better understanding of natural ecosystems, biodiversity and their response to external perturbations such as invasive species, human activities and fire.

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