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AWMS 2024

Conference Symposia

The major theme for this year’s conference is ‘Into the Unknown.’

Desperate measures: new approaches to conservation and control

The advance of the Anthropocene is forcing wildlife managers to get bold and adventurous when developing ways of navigating uncharted waters. At the same time, technology is making ideas once considered radical increasingly feasible for wildlife management. But new approaches invariably face scientific uncertainty and ethical discussion. This session covers recently conceived or applied solutions to vexing problems in conservation and wildlife-human conflict: the ‘desperate measures’. This symposium welcomes talks on topics spanning new methods for capturing, tracking and controlling wild animals, to assisted migration and rewilding, and all the way to genetic rescue, de-domestication, and de-extinction.

Plenary Speaker

Andrew Pask


Andrew Pask heads the Evo-Devo-Repro group at the University of Melbourne. His research uses comparative mammalian genetics to identify critical and conserved networks driving key processes in development. His comparative genetics work has led to the sequencing of several marsupial genomes, including that of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger. He uses genome wide, cross species comparisons to define regions of the genome targeted by evolution to drive diversity and adaptation. Andrew established the Thylacine integrated genetic restoration research lab (TIGRR lab) to examine the possibility of de-extinction for this species as well as develop next-generation tools to help preserve and conserve current threatened and endangered marsupial species. Together this work is focused on providing an integrated framework to preserve, conserve and even restore Australia’s unique biodiversity.

Read more about Andrew here.

Cause and effect: reducing what we don’t know

Managers take actions that cost money and then outcomes occur. But how do we assess whether the efforts caused the outcomes, and not some other unrelated events? We must understand this to plan new actions that are more effective. With stronger demonstration of cause and effect, we reduce what we don’t know. We invite speakers to propose talks discussing such topics as causal criteria, strength of causal inference, and demonstrating causality in managing dynamics, in both experimental and observational studies.

Plenary Speaker

Christl Donnelly


Professor Christl Donnelly CBE FMedSci FRS is the Head of the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and Professor of Applied Statistics. Christl brings together and develops statistical and biomathematical methods to analysis of epidemiological patterns of infectious diseases, as well as ecology, conservation and animal welfare. Christl was involved in one of the largest wildlife control experiments in the world, the randomised badger control trial conducted in the UK from 1998–2005.

Read more about Christl here.

Traditional owner and land manager symposium

Wildlife management brings together a rich web of contemporary ecological science, social and cultural values, and traditional ecological knowledge. Wildlife management in Australasia must be built on a firm foundation of right-way science, combining both Indigenous and Western knowledge for mutual benefit. This session will be an enlightening symposium where the voices of Traditional Owners and other land managers converge to share wisdom, knowledge, and experiences, in which participants can explore ecological insights, traditional techniques and innovative practices that sustainably manage and conserve our precious landscapes.

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