Rubbing shoulders with world experts

December 2, 2022  
Dr John Gollan

This week, twelve of our Senior School students were fortunate to attend the joint conference of the Ecological Society of Australia and Society for Conservation Biology Oceania. Students heard from expert scientists from all over the world talk on a variety of topics from how land managers could generate carbon credits by controlling feral animals like buffalo, to the increasing, and alarming sale of exotic pets on the dark web. But a standout plenary talk was from Dorothy Esau, an indigenous tribal leader from the Solomon Islands. Dorothy spoke about how reconciliation between long-warring villages has led to the formation of the Baru Conservation Alliance and the later discovery of new bird and frog species, and signs of a mammal that was considered extinct.

Following the day-long conference, Jack Parker from Year 12 commented that it was ‘interesting and great to hear about the successful efforts to understand ecology and protect biodiversity in other countries.’

Zahra Freeman and Aubrey Koll in Year 7 were interested in the cross-disciplinary nature of the science they heard about and were surprised to learn ‘how psychology plays a big part in how society treats conservation.’

Feedback from conference participants and organisers was that it was great to see secondary school students attend the conference and be so engaged. 


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