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Dame Pattie Menzies House

16 Challis Street

Dickson, ACT 2602

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SEMINAR AND Q&A: SURROGATE SPECIES AS ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS

"Surrogate species" are subsets of species which are “representative” of multiple species or aspects of the environment. These include umbrella, focal, keystone, indicator, and flagship species. Surrogate species is a commonly-used scientific term for system-based comprehensive conservation planning that uses a species as an indicator of landscape habitat and system health.

Dr Chloe Sato will summarise outcomes from a workshop on ‘Environmental Indicators and Proxies in Practice’ held in August 2017 and discuss important perspectives arising from the workshop that can inform the effective use of surrogates in biodiversity monitoring programs. This workshop brought together academics and environmental practitioners from across Australia and New Zealand and was designed to be a collaborative experience where participants shared their knowledge and experiences of developing and using biodiversity surrogates.

Dr Philip Barton will present an overview of some of the empirical work done by the ANU team on testing biodiversity surrogates. This will include some recent work on testing potential surrogates in response to ecological interventions, and how this is similar to work done in the medical sciences. This will be demonstrated using a case-study of ant and bird responses to changes in livestock grazing. A key message from this work is that simple correlation between variables does not imply surrogacy, rather two variables must respond to a treatment in a similar way


Presenters Bios

Dr Chloe Sato is a Research Fellow at the Fenner School of Environmental and Society at ANU. She is currently working in the Lindenmayer lab, exploring empirical and theoretical aspects of environmental surrogates. Based on her previous employment with ACT Environmental Offsets, Chloe is particularly interested in exploring the application of environmental in biodiversity monitoring programs.

Dr Philip Barton is an ecologist and Senior Research Fellow in the Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU. He leads research on the structure and diversity of insect communities and their ecological roles in both natural and modified landscapes. Philip is interested in the ecology of carrion and decomposition, restoration ecology, as well as indicators and surrogates of biodiversity.

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Dame Pattie Menzies House

16 Challis Street

Dickson, ACT 2602

Australia

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