Ecological Society of Australia Annual Conference
09 Dec 2016
The 2016 Ecological Society of Australia Annual Conference was held in Fremantle, Western Australia on 28 November to 2 December 2016. The conference attracted more than 600 ecological researchers from all over Australia. It is the largest gathering of ecologists in the country. The theme of the conference has was Diversity: Pattern Process and Prospects. The conference ran six different consecutive tracks for talk sessions and had a large number of presenters. Tracks that were available include fire ecology, landscape ecology, reintroduction projects in Australia, seed ecology, conservation of woodlands, conservation behaviour, and many other topics. A complete list of the program for ESA 2016 along with the abstracts and speaker bios can be found here.
Some of the tracks I attended during the conference included a Symposium on Harnessing Technology revolution in Ecology, Big Data, and Urban Nature: Identifying Processes Patterns and Future Prospects, and Conservation Biology and Policy. The Harnessing the Technology Revolution in Ecology symposium talked about various new technologies that emerged and how they were used for conservation purposes. These technologies included using drones and thermal cameras to detect species, using camera traps for lizard movement, the importance of open source collaboration, and creating communities and networks for communication between researchers. The big data track talked more about how to use big data in conservation and the various platforms available for big data use in ecology. The track in urban nature talked about how to build eco-friendly habitats for animals that live in cities and also how city life affects biodiversity and other ecological aspects of animals. Finally I attended the open forum session to present my own talk. I talked about how to use false colour spectrograms to monitor frog calling behaviour. This talk also won me the best student speaker prize in the conference.
The first night of the conference had a speed networking event. In this event, post graduate students had the opportunity to ask professionals on how to secure a post-PhD job. Post graduate students sat in circles and professionals in ecology took turns moving around talking about their experiences and also answering questions from students. Each professional had 5 to 10 minutes to share their story and questions. The event ran for an hour and each group had the chance to talk to 7-8 professionals. This session was very useful in informing students how to get a job and what to expect after getting a PhD.
The second night of the conference was the poster presentation night. All poster presenters stood next to their posters explaining about what the research is about. Sadly, I had to leave the conference early, so I did not get the chance to talk more with poster presenters.
You can find out more about ESA 2016 in twitter with the #ESA2016 hashtag.
Lastly, I will soon be publishing my slides from my ESA2016 presentation - keep an eye out!