All workshops on Friday 30 November will be held at QUT (Gardens Point Campus)

CLICK HERE for printable PDF map showing location of rooms

WORKSHOP: Job application workshop for HDRs and ECRs

Date: Thursday 29 November 2018

Time: 1520-1730

Participation Fee: $15 (inc GST) per person

What makes an academic CV stand out?
This 1.5 hour workshop will focus on improving your CV for academic job applications, including what to write in a cover letter and how to answer selection criteria. Gain feedback from senior academics, hear about their experiences applying for academic jobs and increase your chances of getting the dream job.

Workshop structure

  • Brief overview address from a senior academic on what makes a candidate stand out in the job application process
  • Brief overview of the style and content that should be included in an academic CV and cover letter as well provide examples on how to answer selection criteria.

In small groups led by a senior academic, work through examples of CV’s, cover letters and selection criteria. This group activity will allow academics to shed light on the key features that they are looking for when assessing CV’s, cover letters and selection criteria and allow HDRs and ECRs to ask questions.

WORKSHOP: Be your own editor: 4 steps to getting published in international journals

Workshop organiser: Dr Lucie Bland, Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University

Date: Thursday 29 November 2018

Time: 1600-1730

Participation fee: $10 (inc GST) per person

The “4 steps to getting published in international journals” workshop is aimed at graduate students, English as a Second Language authors, and early career researchers. The workshop is pitched at an entry level so that graduate students can make the most of the teachings. However, any academic who would like a refresher on writing and editing techniques will take home some new information and practical advice. In my workshop, attendees will learn to write clear, impactful science that connects

In this workshop, we cover 4 steps to writing impactful science that gets published in international journals:

1) writing fluently and beating writer’s block,

2) structuring a manuscript,

3) separating editing from the writing process, and

4) sharing your work with supervisors, readers and journal reviewers.

The workshop facilitator will outline common mistakes in writing, editing, and preparing manuscripts and provide easily applicable tips to avoid those mistakes. Workshop attendees will be able to write manuscripts with more ease and kick-start their writing productivity. There are three key steps of a good self-administered edit: structural editing, copy-editing and proofreading. At the end of this workshop, you will no longer need the help of an editor: you will be your own editor!

WORKSHOP: EcoDatathon2018 (Cancelled)


Workshop – Australian terrestrial ecological data: Where to get it and how to use it

Workshop organiser: TERN – Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network

 Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 900-1230

Participation Fee: $20 (inc GST) per person

This workshop constitutes part of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) Data Skills Development Program (DSDP). TERN is Australia’s land observatory. It is part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) initiative and funded through federal government Department of Education and Training. Since 2009, TERN has: (1) collected, collated and integrated ecosystem data across broad spatial and temporal scales; and (2) build data infrastructure to store, archive, discover, access, analyse, and publish a broad spectrum of terrestrial ecosystems data. TERN’s DSDP aim is to facilitate the discovery, understanding, integration and re-use of TERN’s large volume of heterogeneous data by its users.

After a brief introduction to TERN and its DSDP, participants will use TERN facilities and R to build the foundations of how to successfully use two of TERN’s main data streams. Participants will be guided at all steps by the material provided and TERN’s members. The workshop will conclude by the participants sharing their experiences and problems encountered, followed by TERN’s recommendations for additional Data Skills Development.

Although knowledge of R is not compulsory, participants will benefit from a prior knowledge of R.

WORKSHOP: Introduction to Matrix Population Models and Demographic Analyses using the COMPADRE and COMADRE Matrix Databases

Workshop organisers: Judy Che-Castaldo and Haydee Hernandez-Yanez, , Lincoln Park Zoo, USA 

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 0900-1200

Participation Fee: $45 (inc GST) per person

Demography is a central aspect of ecology and evolution. Species demographic information can help us understand how populations change over time, when they are most resilient and at what life stage they are mo vulnerable to environmental changes. This workshop aims to introduce attendees to demographic matrix models, and how they can be used to address questions in conservation biology, fundamental and applied ecology, and evolutionary biology. We will apply these models to real datasets using the open-access COMPADRE and COMPADRE databases, which contain demographic information on hundreds of animal and plant species worldwide. Attendees will also analyze the matrix data to derive demographic metrics, visualize results, and conduct comparative analyses.

Researchers (from Master’s students to professors) and practitioners interested in learning stage-structured demography are invited to participate.

This workshop will provide a brief introduction to Matrix Population Models analysis using R and in using the COM(P)ADRE data set, which will be provided as a structured R object. Attendees will apply these skills in a set of exercises to obtain data from COM(P)ADRE and to analyze those data to derive demographic metrics and visualize results.

Topics that may be addressed include (but are not limited to):

  1. projecting population dynamics,
  2. calculating long-term population growth rate and quasi-extinction probability,
  3. evaluating management options by projecting multiple scenarios,
  4. elasticities and sensitivities,
  5. comparative demographic analysis such as correlating species traits and demographic metrics across taxa.

Attendees are expected to have at least introductory-level skills in R programming, and to bring to the session their own laptop with the most up-to-date version of R installed.

Nature journaling – a practical way to combine art and science

Workshop organiser: Paula Peeters

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 1000-1600

Participation Fee: $50 (inc GST) per person

Venue: Roma Street parklands (participants are to meet at the outside tables next to the cafe; contact Paula Peeters on 0408 242 888 if needed). 

Good ecology starts with the close observation of nature, and so does good land management. Nature journaling is the practice of drawing and writing in response to nature. This rewarding activity can sharpen your observation skills, provoke all manner of questions and open the door to a deeper understanding of your natural surroundings. Nature journaling is also fun and relaxing, and you end up creating your own unique nature journal. It’s an activity for all ages and all levels of fitness. In this age when many people are becoming disconnected from nature, nature journaling can be a playful, inexpensive way to foster greater connection with nature, which can also result in greater care of nature.

This workshop will include beginner-level exercises in drawing and creative writing, activities to improve observation skills and generate questions about nature, and demonstrations of the use of various materials for nature journaling. The ecology of the site will be explored and interpreted. Ideas for including nature journaling in group activities and projects will be discussed. No prior experience or skills in drawing or writing are required.

Paula Peeters is an ecologist, artist and writer. Visit to read more about nature journaling, or download Paula’s free ebook Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling.

BYO lunch, drinks and snacks, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and shoes suitable for bushwalking.

Materials: Participants should bring their own unlined paper sketchbook and 2B pencil and/or permanent ink fineliner pen for drawing, plus a pen or pencil for writing. Lined paper for writing will be supplied.
Alternately, participants may purchase a materials kit for $25. A kit includes a good-quality sketchbook (Strathmore mixed media visual journal 8 x 5.5 inches), 2B pencil, permanent ink fine pen (Pigma micron), and a print copy of Paula’s book Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling.

Insect Ecology Workshop: Do we need insect ecologists?

Workshop organisers: ESA Insect Ecology Research Chapter

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 1000-1700

Participation Fee: $10 (inc GST) per person

The day will be divided into two parts:

• The first two hours of the workshop will focus on identifying if and where differences between insect ecologists and other ecologists exist and how any disadvantages could be ameliorated (e.g., would listing more invertebrates help to direct more government funding toward to conservation of invertebrates). This may result in an opinion paper for Austral Ecology
• The remaining four hours of the workshop will focus on putting together a meta-analysis paper asking whether our ability to detect the impact of anthropogenic disturbances and restoration is improved by knowing the taxonomic resolution or traits of terrestrial and aquatic insects. The target journal for this paper would be Conservation Biology.

Invited speakers will bring insights from industry, government and CSIRO; and have an active involvement in insect conservation.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but we particularly welcome insect ecologists with an interest in enhancing the conservation and ecological knowledge of insects.

Media training session

Workshop organisers: Scientell, the media advisor for the Ecological Society of Australia

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 1000-1200

Participation Fee: $40 (inc GST) per student / $60 (inc GST) per adult

There are many advantages to communicating your research through the media: informing people about the work and its importance, raising the profile of your subject area, eliciting action, and possibly helping with funding.

This 2-hour session will explain how traditional media – print, TV and radio – works and how to increase your chances of having your work covered. It will also summarise the evolving media landscape, social media, and how to select appropriate media for publicising your work. It will include advice about identifying the story and hook in your work, interacting with journalists, and tips for appearing on radio and TV. We will also provide pointers on what to do if you’re contacted unexpectedly by the media.

Writing for Impact

Workshop organiser: Dr Amanda Niehaus 

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 0900-1230

Participation Fee: $20 (inc GST)

This workshop (for any interested ecologist) will focus on writing strategies that increase the impact of our research across academia and to the public. The stories we tell the world matter, and how we tell them means everything. Participants will see the “Nature” method for abstract writing, and discuss how it can change your approach to your entire research program. Participants should be prepared to write an abstract from scratch, but no stress – you will be shown that the process of writing is as important as words on the page. You’ll also read some different kinds of short pieces and talk about what kind of information they convey and how they do it.

Participants will learn how to frame our work in a narrative format that is more appealing and memorable to academic and public audiences and will do some individual and collaborative writing exercises based on abstracts, elevator pitches, and opening paragraphs to papers.

About the organiser: Dr Amanda Niehaus is a scientist and science communicator with experience in the writing and editing of diverse grants (including Discovery, Linkage, and Centre of Excellence), fellowship applications (including Laureate, Future, and DECRA), research papers, and literary fiction and nonfiction. She recently finished a DECRA on ageing in northern quolls, but also writes award-winning essays and short stories and, most recently, a novel.

Innovative tools for mapping and modelling species distributions

Workshop organiser:  Atlas of Living Australia and the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

Time: 133-1700

Participation Fee: $20 (inc GST)

Models play a critical role in synthesising our understanding of the natural world and making forward projections into novel conditions. These projections help tailor conservation efforts by pinpointing hotspots of biodiversity now and into the future under a changing climate. While they are central to ecological forecasting, models remain inaccessible to many scientists and managers, in large part due to the informatics challenges of managing the flows of information in and out of such models. In this workshop the ALA (Atlas of Living Australia) and the BCCVL (Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory) join forces to explore the often-complex relationships between taxa and the environment and how to use this data in ecological models.

In the first half of this workshop participants will use the ALA Spatial Portal to learn about key features, data quality issues, environmental layers and simple but powerful tools like scatterplots to get a better understanding of taxa environment relationships. They will then take what they have learnt in the ALA to the BCCVL to explore the basic elements of species distribution models and climate change projections, including the data required to run the models, the differences across various model algorithms and how to appropriately interpret and evaluate the results of model outputs. Using the BCCVL, workshop participants will access national datasets to run a species distribution model and then project the results into the future using a climate change projection under a number of different emission scenarios.

Participants are requested to bring own laptops

If you are interested in holding a workshop or field trip for ESA Conference attendees, please complete the proposal form, and forward to