The Great Southern International Colloquia on Biodiversity aim to provide a forum for leading scientists, practitioners and the public to share and advance knowledge in biodiversity science, management and cultural appreciation.
Chaired by Professor Stephen D. Hopper AC from UWA’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, and supported by Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC), the inaugural Great Southern International Biodiversity Colloquium in 2016 will focus on global advances in understanding of granite outcrop organisms, including their relationships with people.
In February 2016 International scientists will arrive in Albany to join Professor Stephen Hopper and meet with other Australian scientists to discuss research projects and visit field study sites throughout the Great Southern and Esperance regions.
The Colloquium will take place on 19th February 2016 at the Kalyenup Studio at the Albany Entertainment Centre where scientists will present a day of community talks and discussions to registered participants. The speakers to date will include Eugene Eades (Nowanup), Professor Stefan Porembski (University of Rostock), Dr Fernando A. O. Silveira (University Federal de Minas Gerais Brazil), Dr Peggy L. Fiedler (University of California), Professor Stephen D. Hopper AC (University of Western Australia), Dr Margaret Byrne (Department of Parks and Wildlife) and Nicole Bezemer (University of Western Australia).
On the 20th February 2016, registered participants will be invited to travel in company with international speakers from the Colloquium and with local researchers on a bus trip to Albany’s spectacular granite outcrops. They will share their knowledge and expertise in a relaxed and informative atmosphere with a picnic lunch included.
Granite outcrops commonly appear on the landscape as dome-shaped hills with bare rock exposed over much of their aspect. The water catchment so formed by expanses of granite rock, and the associated diversity of microhabitats, make granite outcrops a haven for both plants and animals. World-wide, about 15% of the Earth’s continents consists of exposed granite, much of which outcrops in the form of inselbergs — ranges, ridges and isolated hills — that stand abruptly from the surrounding terrain like islands in a sea. In Western Australia, granite outcrops form characteristic landforms across much of the gently undulating terrain of the State, and these granite outcrops are of special interest:
• geologically, being among the world’s oldest rocks,
• hydrologically, providing a source of water in an often dry landscape,
• biologically, as refuges rich in endemic plants and animals, and
• culturally, being vital for Aboriginal, colonial and today’s multicultural peoples alike.
Progressively, global interest in life on granite outcrops has developed over the past few decades, with countries such as Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Madagascar recognised as being especially rich in plant and animal life on outcrops. Despite these various values of granite outcrops, their conservation is by no means secure. Partly because of the diverse values that are given to granite outcrops, ranging from economic exploitation for rock, to tourism and recreation, to nature conservation, the problems with managing granite outcrops are diverse and the task of conserving them for future generations is difficult. Adequate management ultimately depends as much on public participation as government and scientific intervention.
The objective of this Colloquium is to bring scientists, conservationists and the general public together for a series of scientific presentations and a broad discussion of life on granite outcrops.
Please follow the link to Eventbrite to register for the 2016 Great Southern International Colloquium on Biodiversity. Talks will include lunch and morning tea.
All proceeds from registrations excluding costs will go towards CENRM’s biodiversity research programs.
Professor Stephen Hopper: (+61 8) 9842 0842
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716