We are pleased to confirm the following keynote speakers at ESA19

Dr Menna Jones, University of Tasmania

Menna Jones is an integrative ecologist applying eco-evolutionary frameworks to biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration. She experimentally tests how we can manipulate ecological interactions and evolutionary dynamics to restore native species and functional ecosystems impacted by big global change drivers (climate, landscape alteration, invasive species, emerging infectious disease). She has long tangled with marsupial carnivore ecology and conservation and is immersed in research on the devil’s transmissible cancer. She is also passionate about fostering inclusion, equity of opportunity and diversity in science. She has somehow managed to raise two boys while making a meaningful contribution to conservation science. Menna is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Sciences – Biological Sciences at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, a recent ARC Future Fellow and the 2017 Fulbright Tasmania Senior Scholar.

2019 Ecological Society of Australia AERA Presentation

Dr April Reside, The University of Queensland

Dr April Reside is a quantitative ecologist working at the interface between ecology, conservation and policy. She uses ecological data and spatial modelling to find solutions for conservation problems, incorporating climate change projections and co-benefits such as carbon sequestration and storage. April uses spatial planning methods to identify both fine-scale ecological refugees and landscape-scale climate change refugia. She also works with threatened species recovery, with an increasing interest in environmental law and policy. While Dr Reside has worked with all vertebrate groups, she has a particular focus on birds. Her PhD research focussed on Australian tropical savanna birds, understanding their responses to weather and climate and vulnerability to climate change. Dr Reside is a scientific advisor for the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team, working with Birdlife Australia on their Research and Conservation Committee, and her current postdoc investigates the health of subtropical woodland bird communities.

Presentation Title: Bringing ecology into Australia’s environmental law reform

Dr Erinn Richmond, Monash University

Dr Erinn Richmond is a freshwater ecologist with a passion for aquatic insects and the streams and rivers they live in. Erinn completed her PhD in 2017 where she examined the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products on aquatic ecosystems. During her PhD Erinn spent time abroad conducting many artificial stream experiments and working with scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in NY USA. Erinn is currently a post-doctoral research fellow within the Water Studies Centre at Monash University, where she is continuing research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals and their uptake in food webs.


Adriana Verges, University of New South Wales

Adriana Vergés is a marine ecologist based at UNSW Sydney. Her research group investigates the ecological impacts of climate change in marine ecosystems and develops solutions for the conservation of the world’s algal forests and seagrass meadows, which are increasingly under threat. Most of her research is experimental and takes place underwater, with a SCUBA tank strapped to her back. Adriana is one of the lead investigators behind ‘Operation Crayweed’, which is successfully restoring missing underwater forests along the Sydney coastline. This project was awarded a Green Globe Award for Impact by the NSW Government in 2017. Adriana obtained a PhD in Ecology in 2007 from the University of Barcelona. In addition to marine ecology, Adriana is passionate about communicating science to the wider public, especially through films and new media. She has an MSc in Science Communication from Dublin City University (1999) and she worked in the television industry for 5 years prior to her career in academia.


Dr Cass Hunter, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Dr Cass Hunter is a Kuku Yalanji and Torres Strait Islander woman. She is an Indigenous social ecological research scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. Cass leads research on collaborative environmental design, useability and uptake of tools, research translation, and development of participatory tools to support sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems. The central focus of her research is to increase learning about how science outputs can be collated, designed, communicated, stored and retrived in ways that are useful. She is interested in making research more inclusive, accessible, and relevant for our communities.


Dr Gary Tabor, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, USA

Dr Gary M. Tabor is an ecologist and wildlife veterinarian based in Bozeman, Montana. In 2007, Gary founded the Center for Large Landscape Conservation to help people and institutions make better conservation decisions at the scale nature functions.

Gary has worked on behalf of large landscape conservation internationally for over 35 years with 12 years combined experience in Africa, South America and Australia and 12 years as a leader within the U.S. philanthropic community beginning with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and finally the Yellowstone to Yukon Program Director for the Wilburforce Foundation. Gary is a co-founder of the Australia Environmental Grantmakers Network.

Gary’s conservation achievements include the establishment of Kibale National Park in Uganda; establishment of the World Bank’s Mgahinga/Bwindi Mountain Gorilla Conservation Trust; co-founding the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative; pioneering the field of Conservation Medicine; co-founding Patagonia Company’s Freedom to Roam wildlife corridor campaign; co-founding the Network for Landscape Conservation and the Roundtable of the Crown of the Continent – three-time winner of the climate adaptation award by the US National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. Gary served eight years on the inaugural US Board of Australia Wildlife Conservancy and helped secure the resources to purchase Marion Downes next to Mornington Reserve in the Kimberley. Currently, Gary is interim chair of the US Board for Bush Heritage Australia. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland. He serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Wisconsin’s Global Health Institute and Colorado State University’s Salazar Center for North American Conservation. Gary is a recipient of the Australian American Fulbright Scholar award in Climate Change. Gary serves as Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas’ Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group.

Although an American (please don’t hold that against him), he is wisely married to Australian Raina Plowright.

Presentation title: Advancing Ecological Process Conservation through Ecological Networks

Professor Brendan Wintle, University of Melbourne

Brendan Wintle is Professor of Conservation Ecology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Australia’s NESP Threatened Species Recovery Research Hub. He develops quantitative methods to support conservation decision-making and policy. He publishes on monitoring design, cost-efficient conservation spending, population viability analysis, and species occupancy and distribution modelling under environmental change. He harbors a strange obsession with greater gliders, playing round ball football (too old), tigers (AFL variety) and finding native orchids in box ironbark forests.

Extinction crisis, ecosystem collapse, post-truth politics and other fun reasons why the world needs ecologists