Ann Jones, ABC Radio

Ann Jones grew up in country Victoria, the youngest of a family of birdwatchers and keen picnickers.

She’s taken the long way round to broadcasting about nature, first completing a PhD in History and bird-watching on the way to the library, then making the career jump and spending years presenting live radio for the ABC throughout regional Australia.

Almost 5 years ago, she took up the role of presenter and producer of Off Track – the ABC’s only permanent natural history offering, and since then has been broadcasting to millions across the ABC, BBC, CBC and Radio Australia.

Keynote presentation: Monday 26 November

Chasing David: the nature of broadcasting in Australia


Dr Justine Shaw, The University of Queensland

Justine Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland. She leads a research project with the National Environmental Science Programme, Threatened Species Recovery Hub (UQ). Her research focus is on the conservation of threatened species, island ecosystems and terrestrial Antarctica. Her current research investigates interactions between indigenous and non-native species, the risks posed by non-native species to Antarctic ecosystems.

Justine obtained her PhD in plant ecology from the University of Tasmania (2005). She undertook a postdoctoral fellowship (2007-2010) at the NRF-DST Centre for Excellence for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University (South Africa) researching invasion dynamics of sub-Antarctic islands. She has worked for state and federal government as conservation biologist. In 2012 she commenced a postdoctoral fellowship with the ARC Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions, UQ. She has been undertaking field work in the sub-Antarctic for 20 years. She has lead research expeditions to remote islands, such as South Georgia and Macquarie Island.

Justine is an advocate for gender equity in science. She is a committee member of the Australian Academy of Science’s Early Mid Career Executive Forum. She is a co-founder of Homeward Bound – a global leadership program for women scientists. She has co-lead two voyages of 80 women to Antarctica. She is a co-founder of Women in Polar Science- a virtual network to inform and connect women in polar research.

Follow Justine on Twitter: @justine_d_shaw

Keynote presentation: Tuesday 27 November

Ecological interactions: the dynamics of invasion, time and dodgy old data

Dr Anne Chao, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Google Scholar
Research Gate

Anne Chao received her BS in mathematics from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, in 1973, and her PhD in statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977. Since 1978, she has been with the Institute of Statistics, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, where she is currently a Tsing Hua Distinguished Chair Professor. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and held a Taiwan National Chair Professorship from 2005-2008. Chao has long been fascinated with mathematical and statistical issues arising in ecology and related sciences; her major research interests include ecological statistics, statistical inferences of biodiversity measures, and statistical analysis of ecological and environmental survey data. She and her collaborators have published more than 130 papers with citations > 18000 in Google Scholar. Their papers have (i) developed several biodiversity measures/estimators including Chao1, Chao2, ACE, and ICE for species richness, as well as some novel methods to infer entropy, diversity and related similarity/differentiation measures, (ii) established a unified mathematical/statistical framework for taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversities, and (iii) generalized the classic sample-size-based rarefaction method to sample-coverage-based rarefaction and extrapolation, to standardize biodiversity samples. To implement their methodologies, Chao and her colleagues/students have also developed statistical software including CARE (CApture-REcapture), SPADE (Species Prediction And Diversity Estimation), iNEXT (iNterpolation/EXTrapolation), and PhD (Phylogenetic Diversity). For the past 20 years, Chao served in the editorial boards of four major statistical journals, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Keynote presentation: Wednesday 28 November

Rarefaction and extrapolation: Standardizing samples to make fair comparisons of biodiversity among multiple assemblages


Dr Kate Grarock, Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, ACT

Growing up in country South Australia, Dr Kate Grarock took an unlikely path to University, leaving school early and starting a five-year military career. At Wollongong University Kate studied a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours. She then worked in the Federal Environment Department before undertaking PhD research at the Australian National University. Her research produced six scientific papers, which focused on the effective management of introduced species. Kate then moved to Hanoi to work with the Vietnam Academy of Science on an environmental modelling project.

Returning to Australia, she was appointed the Sanctuary Ecologist at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in Canberra. In this current role, she works on research and restoration of critically endangered grassy woodlands. This work includes reintroducing locally extinct species, such as the Eastern Bettong. Kate has developed a highly successful education program that focuses on sharing science with policy makers, local community, early career researchers and students from preschool to university. Integral to the success of this program is using ‘real-life’ scientists to deliver education activities.

Twitter: @KateGrarock

Speednote presentation: Monday 26 November

Dr Glenda Wardle

Dr Dale Nimmo

Adriana Verges