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Keynote speakers


Lord (Robert) May
Robert McCredie May, Lord May of Oxford, OM AC Kt FRS, holds a Professorship at Oxford University and is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He was President of The Royal Society (2000-2005), and before that Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government and Head of the UK Office of Science and Technology (1995-2000).  His career includes a Personal Chair in Physics at Sydney University aged 33, Class of 1977 Professor of Zoology at Princeton, and in 1988 a move to Britain as Royal Society Research Professor.  Particular interests include how dynamical systems are structured and respond to change, particularly with respect to infectious diseases, biodiversity, and (most recently) financial “ecosystems”.  Honours include: the Royal Swedish Academy’s Crafoord Prize (bioscience and ecology’s equivalent of a Nobel Prize); the Swiss-Italian Balzan Prize (“seminal contributions to [understanding] biodiversity”); the Japanese Blue Planet Prize (“for developing fundamental tools for ecological conservation planning”); and the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, its oldest (1731) and most prestigious award.
Dr David Schimel
Dr. David Schimel is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab, leading research focused on carbon-cycle climate interactions, combining models and observations. For the previous five years, David led the National Ecological Observatory Network project, where he was responsible for the top-level science design, site selection and observing system simulations. His career includes 16 years in senior roles within the National Center for Atmospheric Research, involvement with numerous committees and advisory boards for groups including the NRC, NASA, DOE and NSF, and 3 years as a founding Co-Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. In addition, David was Convening Lead Author for the first IPCC assessment of the carbon cycle, and subsequently served as an IPCC CLA four times and as a Lead Author twice. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the Ecological Society of America, as well as an elected member of the Ecology Institute in Germany.  David is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecological Applications, and has served on the editorial boards of Science, Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, and Global Change Biology. David has published over 150 papers in the ecological, biogeochemical and climate literatures, written two books and edited three books.
Prof Kristine French
Kristine French is a Professor at the University of Wollongong. Her research program covers a broad area of ecology including work with endangered species, urban effects on various organisms, studies in forests, plantations and currently includes arid regions. A significant program has focused on the ecology and impact of invasive plants on ecosystems. She has been the Director of the Janet Cosh Herbarium since 1993.  She is currently President of the Ecological Society of Australia, a member of the ACEAS Advisory Panel and a Handling Editor for Conservation Biology.


Prof Andrew Lowe
Professor Andrew Lowe is Professor of Plant Conservation Biology and Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Adelaide, Head of Science at the State Herbarium and Science Resource Centre for South Australia, and Associate Science Director of TERN. Andy graduated from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, with a PhD in Plant Evolutionary Biology in 1997. Since then he has worked in Australia and internationally in a broad range of basic and applied research in ecological, evolutionary, biodiversity and landscape genetics and genomics.
His research aims to understand and develop management strategies for a range of landscapes: historical, contemporary and future; intact, fragmented and exploited.
Prof Stuart Phinn
Professor Stuart Phinn is Professor of Geography at the University of Queensland, Director of the Centre for Spatial Environmental Research and Joint Remote Sensing Research Program at UQ, and Associate Science Director of TERN. Stuart graduated with a PhD in geography from the joint doctoral program between San Diego State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997. Since that time he has worked in a teaching and research academic positions covering remote sensing in Australia and internationally. His contribution to biophysical remote sensing is reflected through his involvement in activities to advance the profession and application of remote sensing both internationally and in Australia.


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