AERA lecturer looks at loss of native fauna

An ecologist and conservation biologist who specialises in the study of mammals will give this year’s Australian Ecology Research Award (AERA) lecture.

The award is in recognition of Professor Chris Johnson’s contributions to understanding the causes of mammal declines and extinctions in Australia. He and his colleagues have demonstrated that the decline and extinction of the Australian megafauna coincided with the arrival of humans. In work exploring contemporary mammal declines, Chris has shown that top predators, such as dingoes, reduce predation on native wildlife by limiting the abundance of mesopredators such as cats and foxes. As Australia has already been host to record losses of mammal species, his work can contribute to the conservation of mammal biodiversity in Australia. Chris is testing which management strategies will alleviate pressures on mammals in northern Australia.

The lecture is given at the annual conference of the Ecological Society of Australia which will be held in Melbourne from 3 to 7 December. Lesley Hughes delivered last year’s lecture. Several recent AERA winners work at facilities of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, or have worked or are working on projects funded by TERN’s Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis: Bob Pressey in 2008, David Lindenmayer in 2009, and Corey Bradshaw in 2010.

TERN and ACEAS are joint sponsors of the ESA conference, and will deliver a workshop, ‘Smarter workflows for ecologists’, at it.

ESA award and competition close soon

Applications for another ESA award, the $5000 Wiley–Blackwell Fundamental Ecology Award, close on 30 September. The award is open to any student who is a member of the society and enrolled in post-graduate ecology-related research at an Australian university.

And the annual ESA photographic competition also closes soon – on 14 October. There are three categories to choose from: ecologists at work, adaptive behaviour, and landscapes. Entry forms and conditions are on the website.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter September 2012

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