THEO MURPHY (AUSTRALIA) HIGH FLYERS THINK TANK
Stressed ecosystems: better decisions for Australia's future
Brisbane, 29-30 September 2011
Many human activities including mining, agriculture, urbanisation, invasive species, tourism, changed disturbance regimes as well as natural events, impact Australia’s diverse ecosystems. Robust decision-making for Australia’s ecosystems depends on accurate data, reliable models of ecosystems under stress, and an understanding of the uncertainties in these analyses. Prediction of the consequences of different actions or policies is the foundation of wise, informed decisions. ”Models” (quantitative or qualitative) are important for understanding the interplay between human activities and ecological effects, identifying methods to mitigate negative impacts on ecological systems, to foreshadow adverse ecological events, and to make plans for preserving and sustaining ecosystems.
The Think Tank will use four Australian ecosystem case studies for discussion:
- Queensland’s Surat and Bowen basins
- Melbourne’s peri-urban grasslands
- Ningaloo Marine Park
- Murray Darling river basin
The 2011 Think Tank on Stressed Ecosystems: Better Decisions for Australia’s Future is a valuable opportunity for some of Australia’s leading early- and mid-career researchers to identify and propose new approaches to understanding the effects of stresses on complex ecological systems. Participants will focus on identifying cross-disciplinary research opportunities, methods to overcome the current impediments to accurate modelling, data collection and decision-making, and will suggest future research priorities. They will discuss ways in which science can facilitate a better understanding of the stresses experienced by Australia’s ecological systems, with the ultimate aim of providing useful scientific information to advise policy development and management.
The Honourable Rachel Nolan MP, Queensland Minister for Finance, Natural Resources and the Arts gave an opening address to the Think Tank. A transcript of her address is available here