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Is New Zealand ecology on solid foundations?

New Zealand Ecological Society Conference
Is New Zealand ecology on solid foundations?
Lincoln University
25 – 29 November 2012

Lincoln University’s Department of Ecology is hosting this year’s New Zealand Ecological Society Conference, with the theme ‘Is New Zealand ecology on solid foundations?’, from Sunday 25 to Thursday 29 November 2012.

Starting this Sunday with a student-only day, the conference will address the theoretical and natural history underpinnings of ecological research in New Zealand and ask whether they are adequate to meet the demands of New Zealand's rapidly changing modern environments.

“We currently have over 230 registered participants, including professional ecologists, local and regional government officials, academics, and postgraduate and undergraduates students from around New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe,” says Conference Organiser and Lincoln University’s Senior Lecturer in Biometrics and Wildlife Management, Dr James Ross.

“Conference participants will hear from several well-respected and high calibre professionals from various New Zealand and Australian organisations and universities, covering topics such as restoration ecology, dryland ecology, biodiversity and conservation, evolution, community-led projects, wildlife management and biosecurity.”

Some of the keynote and plenary speakers include:

• Richard Hobbs, University of Western Australia – what restoration can and can’t do: opportunities and constraints in a rapidly changing world
• Trevor Worthy, University of Adelaide – using fossils to understand New Zealand ecology
• Bastow Wilsin, University of Otago – does ecology have any theories, and if so do they work?
• Hamish Campbell, GNS Science – did New Zealand drown 23 million years ago?
• Grant Norbury, Landcare Research – ecology in the high country.
• John Leathwick, Department of Conservation – what species should we save?
• Kerry-Jayne Wilson, Lincoln University – celebrating 50 years of ecology teaching at Lincoln with a focus on sea bird research
• John Parkes, Landcare Research – pushing the boundaries of pest eradication

“A key aspect to this conference is student participation, with a student only-day on the Sunday,” says Dr Ross. “Students have been invited to present their research to other students, allowing an opportunity for a valuable learning experience with feedback provided to develop the students’ presentation skills. During the conference students will also participate and present in various symposia.”

The conference will conclude on Thursday 29 November with field trip to either Quail Island, Lyttelton Harbour or a tour of central Canterbury natural areas.


Attachment: Conference Programme

About the Department of Ecology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University
The Department of Ecology sits within the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences. They focus on modern approaches and tools in molecular, behavioural, community and ecosystem ecology. Research and teaching is supported by excellent laboratory and field facilities, as well as an Entomology Research Museum and a Plant Pathology Unit. Lincoln University introduced the first ecology course in New Zealand and continues to pioneer advances in this subject, providing practical hands-on experience in land-based applied ecology. You can get a taste of the work that they do at their research blog (

About the New Zealand Ecological Society
The New Zealand Ecological Society was formed in 1951 to promote the study of ecology and the application of ecological knowledge in all its aspects. Through its activities, the society attempts to encourage ecological research, increase awareness and understanding of ecological principles, promote sound ecological planning and management of the natural and human environment and promote high standards both within the profession of ecology by those practicing it, and by those bodies employing ecologists. For more information visit

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