Sydney workshop on coral reefs, technology, and conservation

We’ve just finished up a really fun and productive workshop that brought some great minds in marine science – Emily Darling and Marah Hardt – to Sydney to think about how emerging technologies can be best harnessed for coral reef conservation. During the workshop, we also ran a half-day masterclass for grad students, postdocs and faculty from all areas of science on “Making your science matter: Linking science with action to improve the world”. Prof. Lesley Hughes co-taught the class and added a unique perspective from her years of experience in international conservation and science communication. The workshop and masterclass were both generously funded by Macquarie University’s Research Enrichment Program and we had the pleasure of working on the water’s edge at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. There’s nothing like a beautiful view to inspire productivity!

A great time at the 2016 Gordon Conference on Predator-Prey Interactions

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I’ve just returned from the 2016 Gordon Conference on “New Frontiers in Understanding Predator-Prey Interactions in a Human-Altered World” in Ventura, California. It was an excellent meeting! This is the second meeting in this series (the first was in 2014) and it will be happening every other year into the future. This is one of my favourite meetings – it’s nice and small (with a cap of 200 participants), there’s plenty of time to have meaningful discussions with new and existing colleagues, and there’s a general sense of integration across disciplines that’s not often found at more system- or discipline-specific meetings. I presented our work on how human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk (see poster above) and got some great feedback. Looking forward to the next meeting in 2018!

Inspired by Sylvia Earle and many others at World Parks Congress

From left to right: Tara Whitty (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Emily Darling (UNC-Chapel Hill), Sylvia Earle, and Elizabeth Madin.

From left to right: Tara Whitty (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), Emily Darling (UNC-Chapel Hill), Sylvia Earle, and Elizabeth Madin.

This past week has been an inspiring one with thousands of conservation-minded scientists and conservation practitioners descending upon Sydney for the once-every-decade World Parks Congress. Meeting Sylvia Earle was a highlight (thanks, Lance Morgan!), but seeing so much green enthusiasm and action from around the world was equally great! Looking forward to the next one…