The Victorian Biodiversity Conference & ResearchEcology Lab Group contributions

Five lab members recently presented at the Victorian Biodiversity Conference at Monash University in Melbourne. PhD students Flossy Sperring (pictured), William Mitchell, and Alexandra Nance presented their latest findings concerning some of Australia’s rarest birds. Flossy walked the audience through her first field season on Norfolk Island, and the first insights into the Endangered Norfolk Island Morepork territory size; Will spoke of the Endangered Mallee Emu-wren, and the outcomes of the first-ever conservation translocations; and Allie shared her insights on the Norfolk Island songbird community and the conservation objectives for a suite of threatened species. Morgan Humphrey presented the combined outcomes from two third-year research projects (Morgan’s and current Honours student Claire MacKay’s) where thermal scanning technology was employed to monitor the Critically Endangered Plains Wanderer - their findings in the thermal sensing space will underpin research directions for Finella Dawlings, who has recently joined our research group. Finally, Nick Bradsworth who has been working as a research officer alongside Flossy on Norfolk Island (and current PhD student at Deakin Uni) presented his latest findings on urban land use by Victorian Powerful Owls.

Will Mitchell and Allie Nance also ‘cut their teeth’ as conference organisers given their active roles on the organising committee for this important event.

“The VicBioCon was a great success. It provides opportunities for emerging and established scientists alike to present their findings to a wide audience. It fosters collaboration, and it’s a really nice atmosphere!” Remarked PhD student, Flossy Sperring.