Ecology: science for practical solutions
‘Ecology is the science of interactions among all forms of life and the abiotic environment they inhabit, and in turn, change and shape. Applications of ecology are all around us everyday, in natural resource management, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, water production and conservation biology. These applications demonstrate the importance of ecology in seeking to understand and explain our Earth, and how humans can better co-exist with nature in an increasingly anthropogenically-modified environment. This provides the theme for this conference: how the science of ecology can contribute to developing and implementing solutions for our planet in the throes of a biodiversity crisis and a changing climate. Ecological science is fundamental to informing policy but the next generation of practising ecologists will need to work more closely with economists, political scientists, historians, human geographers and social scientists to develop ecologically sustainable practices.
Northern Tasmania is the gateway to craggy mountain wilderness, vivid lichen covered beaches, and windswept offshore islands. Launceston is nestled in the Tamar Valley, incised by the kanamaluka (Tamar River), Australia’s longest navigable estuary at 70km carrying the combined flows from over 15,000km2 including the waters from the North Esk, South Esk, Meander and Macquarie Rivers. The region supports a rich native flora and fauna, and is not without human impact. Urban living and agricultural production development feature prominently across the landscape. Conference field trips will explore this natural and semi-urban environment and discuss the current and future threats, with scientists and land managers demonstrating science-informed actions aimed at supporting policy and practice to protect against contemporary and future impacts on the ecology of the region.’