Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Hunter Branch Meeting 2024-2

Professor Michael Mahony“Conservation, Frogs, and Citizen Science”

Honorary Professor Michael Mahony AM

School of Environmental and Life Sciences
University of Newcastle

Date: Thursday, 11 April 2024, 5.30 pm (AEST) for a 6.00 pm start
Venue:  King Street Room, NEX, Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre, 309 King Street,  Newcastle West, NSW 2302
Video presentation: YouTube video
Society Members, Fellows, and members of the public are welcome

Summary: In this Royal Society of New South Wales Lecture, internationally renowned biologist Professor Mahony will address the need to manage threatening processes that bring species to extinction. He will use amphibians as an illuminating case study noting in our lifetime that more than 120 species have disappeared worldwide out of approximately 4000, and in Australia seven species are extinct and many are now endangered. Surveillance and prevention of loss among around 400 native species appears to be beyond us. However, he will discuss how advances in communication technologies — smartphones and AI — have empowered thousands of citizens to be engaged in conservation, bringing a new constituency that is engaged.

Michael Mahony AM is a conservation biologist with particular interests in amphibians, environmental policy, and planning. Michael has discovered and described over 20 species of Australian frogs and has made notable contributions to the discovery that disease is a primary driver of frog declines and extinctions in Australia, and the impact of climate change and indirect events such as wildfires. His work focused on methods to mitigate impacts. He has contributed to conservation policy as a member of the Species Survival Commission (IUCN), advised NGOs (WWF, Australian Frog Program; bushfire impact assessment), and statutory bodies including NSW NPWS Advisory Committee, Commonwealth Department of Environment, NSW DOE and Queensland DOE, and the Gondwanan Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area Technical and Scientific Committee.

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