QOC2016: Queensland Ornithological Conference
19 Jul 2016
This conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect with fellow bird nerds! The the conference kicked off with powerful talks by Richard Fuller and Judit Szabo about the global declines and monitoring efforts for shorebirds. Steve Murphy also updated us on uncovered mysteries of the night parrot and described how acoustics are critical to understanding species distribution. Mark O’Brien also enthusiastically shared Important Bird Area (IBA) information from an Oceania perspective. Dr. Richard Noske highlighted how little we understand migratory patterns of birds across Australia and stressed the importance of birder citizen scientists reporting their sightings into databases such as eBird Australia. Next up, conference goers were updated on conservation efforts of the northern Eastern Bristlebird population, which included short presentations by Lynn Baker (NSW Office of Environment & Heritage), Kara Stevens (Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary), Zoe Stone (University of Queensland), and myself.
I shared with the crowd just how variable Eastern Bristlebird calls have turned out to be, as well as how folks are welcome to get involved with designing citizen science and helping us find Eastern Bristlebird calls in acoustic recordings.
After lunch we heard great student talks. First up, we learned about arid-zone birds from by Andrew Rogers, who did a brilliant job filling in for Michelle Gibson! Sociality in male red-backed fairywrens was shared by Samantha Lantz and genetic analysis of rosella hybridization was discussed by Ashlee Shipham. Lastly, Manon Ghislain shared shared her research relating to high synchrony of survival between species for temperate species. The talk series finished off with wonderful talks by Dr. Gary Fitt (Deputy Director Science, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity) about Australian finch conservation efforts and Dr. Leo Joseph (Director, Australian National Wildlife Collection, CSIRO) about global bird taxonomy.
If you would like find out more about conference happenings see abstracts and if you use Twitter you can use the #2016QOC hashtag.
If you would like to hear me describe my research check out this Google hangout clip done as part of 2016 Citizen Science Day by producers of the upcoming TV series The Crowd and the Cloud.