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TESS seminars feature international, Australian, and local JCU researchers whose work falls within Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. If you are hosting a visitor or would like to give a seminar yourself, please email the seminar coordinator, Lori Lach ( Note that speakers are typically established or post-doctoral researchers. TESS post-grads are encouraged to present at the annual TESS retreat.

TESS Seminar Schedule


Semester 2


SpeakerProvisional title

Dieter Hochuli (USYD)

Life in the City: how nature persists in urban environments and why it matters

2/08/17 Sarina MacFadyen (CSIRO) The challenge of managing for ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes
9/08/17 Gillian McCloskey & Louise Hateley (DNRM) Catchment Modelling in the Wet Tropics: can we meet the load reduction targets?
16/08/17 Lee Berger (JCU) Impacts and management of chytridiomycosis in Australian amphibians
23/08/17 Joshua Cinner (JCU)
30/08/17 Timothy Cohen (UOW)
6/09/17 Lecture Recess No Seminar
13/09/17 Melodie McGeoch (Monash)
20/09/17 Peter Veth (UWA)
27/09/17 Francisco Dallmeier (Smithsonian)
4/10/17 Benjamin Allen (USQ)
11/10/17 Lori Lach (JCU)
18/10/17 Heike Feldhaar (U. Beyreuth, Germany)
25/10/17 Luke Holman (UniMelb)

Semester 1


SpeakerProvisional title

Tony Webster (CSIRO)

How a spoonful of sugar makes the water quality go down, and delightful mitigation options

Watch the video-recording


Paul Nelson (JCU)

Modelling environmental impacts of agriculture

Watch the video-recording


David Singh (CI Guyana) & David Cassells 

Tropical Conservation Rainforest Opportunities and Challenges in the Guiana Shield

Watch the video-recording


Laurance Lab Team (JCU)

Impacts of Rapid Road Expansion: Pt1 Photographic Journey Across the Congo, Pt2 Optimizing Infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific

Watch the video-recording


Christa Placzek (JCU)

Seeing the rate through the trees: Influence of precipitation and vegetation on millennial-scale erosion rates

Watch the video-recording


Lecture Recess

No Seminar
05/04/17 Steve Turton (CQU)

Expansion of the tropics: Revisiting frontiers of geographical knowledge

Watch the video-recording

12/04/17 Emma Collier-Baker (UQ, HAkA Indonesia) Frontline Protection and Legal Advocacy: Conserving the Leuser Ecosystem
19/04/17 Stephanie Duce (JCU)

The secret life of spurs and grooves: the form, function and evolution of one of the least studied zones of coral reefs

Watch the video-recording

26/04/17 Tobin Northfield (JCU)

It's always the last place you look: Is the key to feeding the world in biodiversity conservation

Watch the video-recording

03/05/17 Angela Moles (UNSW)

Rapid evolution in introduced species: will introduced plant species eventually be accepted as unique native taxa? 

Watch the video-recording

10/05/17 Mark Broich & Mirela Tulbure (UNSW)

Remote Sensing of vegetation cover change and dynamics & Spatiotemporal analysis of surface water dynamics and environmental change

Watch the video-recording

17/05/17 Silvia Tavares (JCU)

Surviving crises: Urban livability after disasters

Watch the video-recording

24/05/17 Ayesha Tulloch (UNSW)

Why do we map threats? Making more informed conservation decisions

Watch the video-recording

TESS Seminar Schedule


Semester 2


SpeakerProvisional title

Dr Karen Joyce (JCU)

Beyond pretty pictures: Using drones for quantitative environmental monitoring

Watch the video-recording 


Dr Dean Paini (CSIRO)

Transport networks and invasive species

Watch the video-recording


Prof. James O'Connell (Utah)

The Restaurant Revisited: more on modelling the human colonisation of Pleistocene Sahul

Watch the video-recording


Mr Julen Gonzalez (CSIRO)

Re-coupling biodiversity and production in the Wet Tropics: an Agent based modelling approach

Watch the video-recording


Ms Lisa Jones (JCU)

The Art of Science Communication: a personal parasitic journey

Watch the video-recording


Dr Margaret Mayfield (UQ)

Modern drivers of novel community assembly: What Western Australian wildflowers can tell us about plant communities in a changing world

Watch the video-recording


Dr Amy Diedrich (JCU)

Trust is a key component for success of Protected Areas: Exploring the roots of social conflict in the Galapagos Islands

Watch the video-recording


Dr Tasmin Rymer (JCU)

A radical perspective on animal behaviour: Why animals are not machines or robots

Watch the video-recording


A/Prof. Mike Rowland (Adjunct JCU)

Confessions of an "Environmental Determinist" (sic)

Watch the video-recording


Semester break


Dr Alan Williams (UNSW)

Population and Mobility in Prehistoric Australia: Developing a Regional Framework for Archaeological and Palaeo-Climatic Correlations

Watch the video-recording


Dr Sandra Abell (JCU)

Healthy Bettongs: Could disease be a cause of Bettongia tropica population declines?

Watch the video-recording


A/Prof Mike Liddell (JCU)

ILTER Bottom Up Initiative- Data Integration Across Continents: Understanding changes in biodiversity, carbon and water under climate change

Watch the video-recording


No Seminar


TESS Special Event:

Dr Paul Ehrlich (Stanford)

THE PRESENT MASS EXTINCTION: Where do the tropics fit?

Watch the video-recording

Semester 1


SpeakerProvisional title

Dr. Lisa C Davenport  (Florida/Duke)

Mapping avian flyways in the Amazon: State of knowledge and future directions

Watch the video-recording


Prof. Bill Laurance (JCU)


Watch the video-recording


Dr. Brad Congdon (JCU)

Seabirds in hot water: Linking seabird foraging success & oceanography on the Great Barrier Reef

Watch the video-recording


Dr. Henry Boer (Griffith)

Deliberative engagement in REDD+: Governing forest reforms and carbon projects in Indonesia

Watch the video-recording


Dr. Lucas Cernusak (JCU)

Impacts of climate change on tropical trees: Current knowledge and pressing uncertainties

Watch the video-recording


Dr. Shannon M. Murphy (Denver)

What to eat? Commonalities in how herbivores and parasitoids choose their diet

Watch the video-recording


Dr. Ann Hill (WSU)

Rebuilding lives: enacting ethical economic futures in the face of crisis

Watch the video-recording


Seminar Break


Prof. John Terborgh (Duke)

Forest elephants: Ecological engineers or passive giants? Perspectives from Africa and Asia

Watch the video-recording


Prof. Roy Sidle (USC)

The long and winding roads: Assessment of an overlooked contributor of sediment and environmental degradation in southeast Asia

Watch the video-recording


Dr Martine Maron (UQ)

When policies collide: How biodiversity offsetting interacts with conservation targets

Watch the video-recording


Dr Ro Hill (CSIRO)

Biocultural Approaches to Pollinator Conservation: Findings from the first global assessment by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Watch the video-recording


No Seminar


Semester 2


SpeakerProvisional title

Dr. Euan Ritchie (Deakin)   

Predator-prey interactions, from Romania to the Mallee                            

Watch the videorecording     


Professor Bill Laurance (JCU)

Estimating the environmental costs of Africa's massive 'development corridors'

Watch the videorecording


Dr. Timothy Searchinger  (Princeton)

Creating a Sustainable Food Future

Watch the videorecording


Professor David Lindenmayer (ANU)

Forest restoration to prevent forest ecosystem collapse – a 32-year case study from the wet forests of Victoria

Watch the videorecording


Dr. Susan Laurance (JCU)

Can secondary forests really save tropical biodiversity? A case study from tropical Australia

Watch the videorecording


Dr. Cass Hunter (JCU)

Participatory adaptation research in the Torres Strait: communities, values, well-being and priority planning for future impacts

Watch the videorecording


Professor Steve Turton (JCU)

A science-practice partnership to improve natural resource planning and management under a changing climate - a northeast Australian example

Watch the videorecording


Professor Bob Pressey (JCU)

Making parks make a difference: poor alignment of planning, management, and policy with protected-area impact, and ways forward

Watch the videorecording


Seminar break


Professor Michael Bird (JCU)

Humans, megafauna and environmental change in Tropical Australia

Watch the videorecording


Professor John Terborgh (Duke)

Competition, predation and diversity: the balance between predation and competition regulates diversity

Watch the videorecording


Dr April Reside (JCU)

Trading off the future? Identifying priority areas for biodiversity and carbon for current and a climate change future

Watch the videorecording


Prof. Bob Stevenson & Ellen Field (JCU)

Sustainability as learning: Beyond scientific knowledge and behaviour and policy change

Watch the videorecording

Semester 1

Date Speaker Provisional title
04/03/15 Professor Jeff Sayer (JCU)

Conserving primary forests; are conservation organisations being distracted by poverty and REDD+

Watch the videorecording

11/03/15 Dr. Benjamin Turner (Smithsonian)

Soil phosphorous and the ecology of lowland tropical forests

Watch the videorecording

18/03/15 Professor Bill Laurance (JCU)
Climate change and the future of tropical biodiversity: What do we know and not know?

Watch the videorecording

25/03/15 Dr. Geoff Hyde 
01/04/15 Dr. Tobin Northfield (JCU)
08/04/15 Dr. Neils Munksgaard  (JCU) 

15/04/15 Dr. Kevin Parnell (JCU)

Dr David MacLaren (JCU) 
Mr Frank Zich (JCU)


Seminar break


Rupert Russell (QWPS)

Active, curious, sociable, elite gliding possum

Watch the videorecording


Ann Penny (JCU) &
Dr. Mark Ziembicki (JCU)

State of the Tropics: opportunities and challenges for a dynamic and diverse region in a rapidly changing world

Watch the videorecording


Dr Noel Preece (JCU) &
Dr. Penny van Oosterzee (Director Biome5)

Getting real about landscape-scale reforestation – and a stunning result or cunning stunt?

Watch the videorecording

27/05/15 Dr Christian Reepmeyer (ANU)

Climate Change in the Abandonment of Islands: Understanding Human Responses and Population Dynamics in Palau, Micronesia

Watch the videorecording

24/06/15 Dr Rosalie Hocking

What Geochemistry Teaches us About Catalyst design (30 min) & What is a synchrotron and what can it do for me (10 min)


Semester 2


SpeakerProvisional title
30/07/14 Paul Nelson (JCU)

Sustaining soil and water resources in oil palm landscapes of Papua New Guinea

Watch the video recording

06/08/14 Nathan English(JCU)

How can we turn cactus spines into paleao-thermometers to learn about Earth's environmental history?

Watch the video recording

13/08/14 Don Franklin &Noel Preece (CDU & JCU)

A conservation assessment of the eucalypts of northern Australia

Watch the video recording

20/08/14 David Guez (U. Newcastle) Trapping a dangerous invader: Sugar preferences of the Asian honeybee
27/08/14 Bob Costanza(ANU)

Ecosystem Services Science

Watch the video recording

03/09/14 Roger Kitching(Griffith) Moths and mountains: Using arthropod assemblages in forests as indicators of adjacent climates – patterns, processes and problems
10/09/14 Lian Pin Koh (U. Adelaide)

Game of Drones: Low-cost UAVs for Conservation Research and Applications

Watch the video recording

17/09/14 Ellen Field (JCU)

Scientists, Environmental Advocacy and Social MEdia: Why Bother?

Watch the video recording

24/09/14 Nandini Velho(JCU)

Conservation of large mammals in a global biodiversity hotspot

Watch the video recording

08/10/14 Lingfei Weng (JCU)

Tradeoffs between mining and conservation in the Congo Basin

Watch the video recording

15/10/14 Tim Brodribb(UTas)

Why Vascular Plants Dominate the Earth

Watch the video recording

22/10/14 David Taylor Environmental changes in a biodiversity hotspot: the Virunga volcanoes, Albertine Rift, central Africa

Stuart Bunn(Griffith)

The importance of subsidies to river and wetland food webs

Watch the video recording

Semester 1

DateSpeakerProvisional title

James Watson (WCS-USA & UQ)

How well are scientists helping the conservation community tackle climate change?

Watch the video recording

5/03/14 Jeff Sayer (JCU)

Agriculture and the future of tropical nature

Watch the video recording

12/03/14 Sean Sloan (JCU)

Natural vegetation in the global biodiversity hotspots: How much is left, and how do we know?

Watch the video recording

19/03/14 Christa Placzek (JCU)

Life on the edge of tropical moisture belts

Watch the video recording

26/03/14 Bill Laurance (JCU)

A global strategy for road building

Watch the video recording

2/04/14 Simon Robson (JCU)

JCU’s Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change: Moving forward in a rapidly changing world

Watch the video recording

9/04/14 Jon Nott (JCU)

Tropical Cyclones, ENSO and the AD1300 Pacific Event

Watch the video recording

23/04/14 Steve Turton (JCU)

Paradise lost? The status and future of East Rennell World Heritage Area, Solomon Islands

Watch the video recording

30/04/14 Mark Ziembicki (JCU & UQ)

Addressing one of Australia’s most pressing biodiversity conservation challenges - the decline of its native mammals

Watch the video recording

7/05/14 Steve Williams (JCU)

Species resilience and extinction proneness: a critical factor in protecting biodiversity in the face of a changing climate

Watch the video recording

14/05/14 Lindsay Hutley (CDU)

The dynamics of carbon loss and gain in Australia's tropical savannas

Watch the video recording

21/04/14 Andy Suarez (UI)

Invading ants and their ecological success

Watch the video recording

28/05/14 Menna Jones (UTAS)

Devils, disease and diversity: Can we restore keystone ecological function within current and prehistoric range?

Watch the video recording

Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

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