Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2024-7

Dr Carolyn Hogg“Biodiversity, Bilbies, and Battling Extinction”

Professor Carolyn Hogg FRSN

Deputy Director, External Engagement
Sydney Environment Institute 
University of Sydney

Date: Thursday, 15 August, 6.30 pm AEST 
Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room
All are welcome

Summary: Biodiversity is all life on earth and is underpinned by three pillars: ecosystems, species, and genes. Human activity is changing our planet resulting in over one million species under threat of extinction. As the biodiversity crisis deepens, we are turning to technological solutions to meet the ever-increasing demands of humanity on the natural world.

Over the past decade, the development of genomic tools for conservation management has come forward in leaps and bounds. Once considered a “nice to have”, genetic data is fast becoming an essential item for managing threatened species. However, due to the complexity of the field, easily using this data for decision-making and monitoring remains beyond the reach of most managers and conservation biologists. In May 2020, Carolyn launched the Threatened Species Initiative, a program designed to generate genomic resources for Australia’s threatened species and upskill the conservation community in genetic literacy and using new technologies for management actions.

In her talk, Professor Hogg will use case studies of the bilby and Tasmanian devil to highlight her systematic approach to integrating genomics into species recovery through large collaborations of different scientific disciplines, government agencies, conservation organisations and ‘big tech’ companies. Because in the end, it is not what we think, or what we know, it is ultimately what we do that matters.

Carolyn Hogg is a conservation biologist who has been working with threatened species for over twenty-five years both in Australia and overseas. Carolyn is the Science Lead for the national Threatened Species Initiative, co-leads the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group at the University of Sydney and is Deputy Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. For the past 14 years, Carolyn has worked closely with government agencies and the conservation sector on how genomic technology can aid conservation efforts for some of Australia’s most threatened species. In 2021, Carolyn became a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. Through partnerships with her academic and conservation colleagues, Carolyn has developed better tools and technologies to integrate research data into real-time conservation management actions.

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