YOUR FESTIVAL SPEAKERS

We have a fabulous line up of speakers for the festival and we are so grateful for the commitment of time and expertise and generosity of spirit from these wonderful people.
Below are details of the presenters and their topics in order of sequence of the talks.  
All the lectures are free, donations are welcomed at the door, please be there 5 minutes before each start time.

Location of Lectures: Friday and Sunday (Bruny Bowls Club, next to the Adventure Bay Hall) Saturday (St Pauls Church, 50m from Adventure Bay Hall, next to Penguin and Pardalote Cafe)

  IMG0495 Nick IMG0462


No lecture at 9am

Glen's Lecture is now at 12pm


Peter Puskic & Megan Grant  

Peter Puskic Megan Grant - Bruny Island Bird FestivalTitle: Seabirds Sentinels of Marine Debris

Summary: Plastic pollution is one of the most recognised and pervasive environmental issues affecting marine ecosystems worldwide, with many negative implications for marine life, particularly seabirds. We will discuss how our plastic debris, once thrown 'away' can be transported around the globe via ocean currents ending up in the most unlikely of places, seabird nests, posing risks for chicks and adult birds alike. Whilst the entanglement of animals in debris is very visual and distressing plastics have secret impacts and when ingested, may affect animals in ways we are still discovering. Join us as we look to Tasmanian seabirds and abroad as our sentinels of marine plastic debris.

Both speakers are post grad-students under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Lavers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, UTAS and Dr Alexander Bond from the Natural History Museum, UK.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 9.50am on Friday 19th


Matthew Fielding

Matthew Fielding - Speaker - Bruny Island Bird FestivalTitle: Ravens, roadkill and land-use change

Summary: Future land-use and climate change could enhance populations of resourceful birds, such as forest ravens. This could result in increased predation and competition pressure for populations of small songbirds. This talk will provide an overview of a recent study on the response of forest raven (Corvus tasmanicus) populations to human-modified landscapes and areas of high roadkill density in south-eastern Tasmania. Using fieldwork and modelling techniques, it was found that forest ravens were more common in areas of high roadkill density and in agricultural areas, in comparison to forests and urban areas. However, there was no observed effect of forest ravens on the abundance of smaller songbirds.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time: 10.40am on Friday 19th


Fiona Hume

Fiona Hume  - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle: Spots or Stripes, Staccato or Shriek? Handy hints on how to become a better bird spotter.

Summary: On your first day at the festival, come to this short and sweet lecture from an experienced Tasmanian birder who will give you a selection of very useful tips that you will use throughout the festival and far beyond in all your birding adventures.  From the gear you need and how to use it... to memory techniques to help you remember bird species and their calls.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time:11.10am on  Friday 19th


Glen Bain

Title:  Making the Midlands great again: restoring habitat for the unique woodland bird community of Tasmania

Summary: The Tasmanian Midlands is an Australian Biodiversity Hotspot and one of Australia’s oldest agricultural landscapes. Deforestation and a very high number of feral cats increasingly threaten the local bird community. In response, Greening Australia has partnered with the University of Tasmania on an ambitious program to restore habitat for birds and other vulnerable wildlife in this region. I will present some of the results of my PhD research and do my best to answer three main questions: (1) How has the bird community of the Midlands changed over the last 20 years? (2) What features of habitat should we restore first? (3) Does aggression from the original ‘angry bird’, the noisy miner, cause chronic stress in smaller species? I’ll discuss how all this is relevant to the restoration program and, if that’s not enough, there will also be cool videos of nest predators and a discussion of blood parasites in superb fairy-wrens.Restoration Project.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 12pm Friday 19th


Dr Tonia Cochran

Tonia Cochran - Inala  - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle: What really happens at Inala as told by the ‘bird lady’ of Bruny.

Summary: Have you ever wondered exactly what goes on at Inala and what the Bruny Islanders do that work there? Tonia will chat about the importance of wildlife tourism to her conservation efforts over a 30 year period at the Inala property and how this has evolved into the Bruny tourism business that is Inala Nature Tours. The talk will include research done on the property, the protection of threatened species there including the Forty-spotted Pardalote, Swift Parrot and several threatened raptor species, the involvement of the community including school groups in the success of the program and the latest Inala news in terms of conservation and tour programs.

Length of Lecture: 40 minutes
Date and Time: 12.50 Friday 19th


Don Knowler

Don Knowler  - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle: The nature writer flies high

Summary: Don Knowler is the ‘On the wing columnist’ for the Mercury, Hobart, and author of "The Shy Mountain", a natural history of Kunanyi / Mt Wellington.  He has been a great supporter of the bird festival and a champion of many conservation projects through his work. His lecture will discuss the role of the newspaper nature writer in the present, and the past.

(Don’s books will be available for purchase and he is happy to sign copies you bring along)

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 1.40 pm on Friday 19th


Angela Hansen, MSc.

Angela Hansen - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle: Quackipedia: What we can learn from ducks

Summary: Why are ducks and other waterfowl important for wetlands? What can ducks tell us about their environment? Join us for a visually stunning presentation on the waterfowl species of Tasmania, and the importance of ducks as indicator species, with a discussion of recent research into litter ingestion and pollution concentrations in ducks and environmental samples at Moulting Lagoon Ramsar wetland, Coles Bay.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time: 9am Saturday 20th


Adam Cisterne

Adam Cisterne - Bruny Island Bird FestivalTitle: An Introduction to Masked Owl Research

Summary: The Tasmanian Masked Owl is listed as endangered, in part, due to sustained habitat loss, and yet we know very little about the species' habitat choices.  Masked Owl research is hindered by problems with detection, resulting in small samples sizes and only weak inferences about habitat choices at fine scales. In this talk I will introduce my research methods, aimed at overcoming low detection probabilities and getting us closer to understanding masked owl habitat requirements.
  
Length of lecture: 20 min
Date and Time:  9.30am Saturday 20th


Shannon Troy

Shannon Troy - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle: Saving the Orange-bellied Parrot: Outcomes of management actions to recover the last remaining wild breeding population

Summary: The Orange-bellied Parrot is one of the world's most endangered birds, and now breeds only at Melaleuca in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Conservation management actions to recover the species last remaining breeding population include release of captive-bred birds, eggs and nestling to the wild, habitat management through ecological burning, management of predators and competitors, limiting opportunities for disease spread, and monitoring reproduction and survival to evaluate the success of these actions. This talk will outline the current status of the Orange-bellied Parrot, detail management actions aimed at recovery and their outcomes, and future plans for Orange-bellied Parrot management in Tasmania.

Length of Lecture: 20 min

Date and Time: 10am Saturday 20th


Jane Dudley

Jane Dudley - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesTitle:  Nature as Medicine- How birdsong helps beat the blues

Summary:Jane Dudley- Author of Faunaverse wildlife in poetry- Tasmania, shares her experience of how nature plays an essential role in maintaining her mental health whilst living with Bipolar disorder and explores the scientific research that aims to quantify the positive effects nature has on human physical and mental health.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time:10.30 am Saturday 20th


Craig Webb

craigTitle: Raptor Refuge Rehab - Get em in, get em out

Summary: Craig Webb owns and runs the Raptor Refuge in Kettering.  He has built what is now the only dedicated facility in Tasmania for the rehabilitation of raptors and constructed the largest flight aviaries in Australia. Craig will talk about the inner workings of a refuge that cares for and rehabilitates injured raptors, so that they can be released back into the wild.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time: 10.50 am Saturday 20th


Sarah Lloyd and Ron Nagorcka

SLLoydTitle: Sex and the spring dawn chorusRonNagorcka

Summary: This audio visual presentation describes Sarah's year-long study of the dawn chorus in northern Tasmania and various aspects of the Sound Idea project. The talk includes recordings that demonstrate the dialects and extensive repertoires of some of Tasmania's common birds, as well as examples of mimicry in local and mainland species.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 11.20am on Saturday 20th


Chris Tzaros

ChrisTzaros2Title: Dark past, bright future - The resurgence of the Turquoise Parrot

Summary: Considered extinct in the early 1900s, the story of the Turquoise Parrot and its gradual resurgence since then is quite remarkable and provides hope for the recovery of other threatened species. However, the parrot is not out of the woods yet and an ongoing conservation program across the southern part of its range is further promoting the species recovery and involving local communities.

Length of Lecture: 40min

Date and Time: 12.10 on Saturday 20th


First Dog On The Moon

First Dog On The Moon  - Bruny Bird Festival - Lecture SeriesPrior to opening the Bird Festival Art Exhibition, First Dog will be presenting a short lecture on a topic of his choosing.  It may or may not have anything to do with birds and he says “I should warn you, it will not be very good”




Date and Time: 1pm Saturday 20th October

 


Natalie Bool

Title: Flat out: a year in the life of the short tailed shearwater

Summary: As global temperatures continue to rise and the seas warm, how will one of the world's most successful seabirds navigate through such troubled waters? Natalie will present findings from her PhD detailing how shearwaters from Wedge Island, Tasmania, respond to climate variability throughout their annual life cycle.

Bio: Natalie spends as much time as she can in nature. Her pursuit of the wild led her to work with primates, sea turtles, seals, whales and seabirds. Most recently she became star struck by the unassuming battler, the short-tailed shearwater. She likes to think that she is their biggest fan.

Length of lecture: 20min 

Date and Time: 9am on Sunday 21st


Kaylene Allen

Kaylene Allen - Bruny Island Bird FestivalTitle: Cats On Bruny Island

Summary: Cats on islands pose a significant threat to native fauna, including of course the birdlife. Come along and find from Kaylene the Cat Management Officer with Kingborough Council about about the programs and partnerships working to manage the impacts of domestic, stray and feral cats on Bruny Island.  This is a conversation that is currently happening nationally and internationally, and one that stirs up a great deal of passion, this is an excellent opportunity for you to discover more and contribute to the discussion.  

Length of lecture: 20min (+ extra 20 min for discussion and questions)

Date and Time: 9.30am on Sunday 21st


Jay Johnston

Title: Bird Belief: Human-Bird Relations in Art and Myth

Summary: This talk explores some of the many ways that humans have understood birds, and their relationship with them. This includes as symbols, signs and portents. A fascinating range of examples from the ancient to contemporary will be discussed.

Length of lecture: 20 min

Date and Time: 10.20 on Sunday 21st


Michael Charleston and Scott Whitemore

Title:  Using humans and machines to identify bird species from environmental audio recordings

Summary: Monitoring our managed forest landscapes is crucial for informing effective conservation efforts.

Our particular interest is in the bird populations of forests, as knowledge of which birds are present provides valuable information about the health of these environments.  Birds are difficult to detect visually, because foliage blocks line of sight – however, sound is less affected by such obstructions, and so is a better medium through which to observe bird species in a surveyed region.  Modern acoustic recording units allow us to passively capture the sounds in an environment, including bird calls, over long durations, rain or shine. Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily know when in the recordings each bird is vocalising, or what species it is.  Traditionally we might turn to bird experts to perform this task, but this is not feasible at the scale of the available data, which has been collected over many years, multiple times a day, amounting to thousands of hours of recordings. Modern approaches to tackling problems of this kind involve either automatic methods using cutting-edge computational techniques, or perhaps just as effectively, sharing the task among a large community of engaged Citizen Scientists. In our opinion, these are complementary – so we’re doing both.

In our talk we will describe some of the methods that are being developed to identify bird species from recordings taken in Tasmanian and Victorian eucalypt forests. We will briefly discuss the ideas behind the computational approaches and introduce our Citizen Science initiative, “BirdSong,” that enables bird enthusiasts (like you) to make valuable contributions to this important project.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 10.50am Sunday 21st


Nick Mooney & Clare Hawkins

NickMooneyTitle: Where Where Wedgie

Summary: Raptor Specialist Nick Mooney and survey coordinator Clare Hawkins will present the results of the first ever Where? Where? Wedgie! Survey undertaken in May 2018, and will outline future plans for the project. The citizen science event involved the general public, who formed more than 300 teams to survey for wedge-tailed eagles - together with other raptors, sulphur-crested cockatoos and corellas - across Tasmania. Coordinated by the Bookend Trust, the long term aim of this project is to monitor the overall population sizes of these species. Are our conservation efforts effective? Come with your questions and ideas, and discover how you can be a part of this work in future.

Length of workshop: 40 min

Date and Time: 11.40am Sunday 21st


Ruth Mollison

Title: Birdwoman: Elizabeth Gould and the Birds of Australia.

Summary: Ruth will present illustrations from John Gould’s Birds of Australia books, and discuss the pivotal role his wife Elizabeth Gould had in creating these beautiful images. This talk is based on the recent Allport Library and Museum of fine art’s exhibition titled Bird Woman: Elizabeth Gould and the Birds of Australia Exhibition’. Ruth’s talk follows the trail of evidence that shines a light on Elizabeth’s contribution to John Gould’s much loved natural history portfolios.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 12.30pm Sunday 21st


Andrew Hingston

146 Andrew HingstonTitle: Swift Parrots and invasive species

Summary: The Swift Parrot has recently been listed as Critically Endangered because modelling predicts that its population will decline by around 90% within 15 years because of predation by invasive Sugar Gliders. This talk presents data from field observations that support this prediction, and also discusses the potential for other invasive species to have additional impacts on Swift Parrots through competition for food and nest hollows.

Length of lecture: 40 min

Date and Time: 1.20pm Sunday 21st


Friday 19th Oct 

9:00 No Lecture at 9am, Glen is now at 12pm
9:50 Seabirds Sentinels of Marine Debris Peter Puskic & Megan Grant
10:40 Raven populations are enhanced by wildlife roadkill but do not impact songbird assemblages Matthew Fielding
11:10 Spots or Stripes, Staccato or Shriek? Handy hints on how to become a better bird spotter. Fiona Hume
12:00 Making the Midlands great again: restoring habitat for the unique woodland bird community of Tasmania Glen Bain
12.50 What really happens at Inala as told by the ‘bird lady’ of Bruny. Tonia Cochran
1:40 The nature writer flies high Don Knowler

Saturday 20th Oct 

 
9:00 Quackipedia:What we can learn from ducks Angela Hansen
9:30 An introduction to Masked Owl Research Adam Cisterne
10:00 Orange-bellied Parrot Volunteer Monitoring Shannon Troy
10:30 Nature as Medicine- How birdsong helps beat the blues Jane Dudley
10:50 Get em in, get em out - Raptor Refuge Rehab Craig Webb
11:20 Sex and the Spring dawn chorus Sarah Lloyd
12:10 Dark past, bright future - The resurgence of the Turquoise Parrot Chris Tzaros
1:00 First Dog on The Moon First Dog
 Sunday 21st Oct   
9:00 Shearwaters Natalie Bool
9:30 Cats on Bruny Kaylene Allen
10:20 Human-Bird Relations in Art and Myth Jay Johnston
10:50 Using humans and machines to identify bird species from environmental audio recordings Michael Charleston and Scott Whitemore
11:40 Where, Where, Wedgie Nick Mooney and Clare Hawkins
12:30 Bird Woman - Elizabeth Gould and the Birds of Australia Ruth Mollison
1:20 Swift Parrot and invasive species Andrew Hingston