Cultural heritage and natural heritage meet on the wildside

In that territory where populations of many species boom and bust, and where the thoughts and actions of humans influence the rest of the environment, stand two types of disciplines observing what is going on — but from such widely different perspectives that they rarely meet to share their knowledge.

In one group are ecologists, soil scientists and others who work with natural heritage; in the other archeologists, anthropologists and others who work in cultural heritage.

In November, specialists from both areas will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and enrich their understanding of landscapes at a three-hour workshop called ‘Talks on the Wildside’.

The workshop, which is sponsored by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) and the Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS), is part of the Ecological Society and Australia conference.

Several speakers have been confirmed to seed thinking and lead discussion on developing a constructive dialogue between the two cultures. On cultural heritage, the speakers include Professor Claire Smith (Flinders University) and Dr Mal Ridges (New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, and the University of New England). On the ecosystem side, the speakers include Mr Richard Thackway (an ACEAS sabbatical fellow) and Professor Chris Dickman (University of Sydney).

ACEAS sponsors papers

ACEAS will have a strong presence at the Ecological Society of Australia conference, as it is sponsoring the presentation of papers on ACEAS-derived topics. They are:

  • ‘Assessing bias in extinction predictions from species-area relationships’, by Corey Bradshaw, Barry Brook and Fangliang He
  • ‘Continental-scale diversity of Australian fire regimes: order or chaos?’, by Brett Murphy, Ross Bradstock, Matthias Boer, John Carter, Geoffrey Cary, Mark Cochrane, Rod Fensham, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Grant Williamson and David Bowman
  • ‘Tracking changes in land management and effects on vegetation condition’, by Richard Thackway
  • ‘The Australian Centre of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis: its role in ensuring our sustainable future’, by Alison Specht and Siddeswara Guru.

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