TESS Seminars

TESS Seminar Series 2023

TESS seminars feature international, Australian, and local JCU researchers whose work falls within Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. Speakers are typically established or postdoctoral researchers.

Where: JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield (Crowther Lecture Theatre A3-003)

When: Wednesdays on the advertised date and time

Who: All are welcome

Time: 4 pm to 5 pm (AEST)

Followed by drinks & nibbles

* The seminars is also live streamed on Zoom and YouTube:

If you are hosting a visitor or would like to give a seminar, please contact the seminar coordinator, Dr Yoko Ishida by email to yoko.ishida@jcu.edu.au

TESS Annual Conference 2023

Save the dates: 01 November (Wednesday) and 02 November (Thursday)

Next Seminar

Interactions between Dugong Biology and the Biophysical Determinants of Their Environment

When: 20 of September 2023

Where: Crowther Lecture Theatre A3-003 - JCU Nguma-bada campus (in person)

Time: 4pm (AEST)

Speakers : Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh| James Cook University|

Abstract: The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal which is a seagrass community specialist. It has evolved morphological and sensory adaptations to its life as a strictly marine herbivore, and its perceptions of its environment are very different from those of other marine mammals. Dugongs perceive their environment largely through touch, hydrodynamic reception, and hearing; vision and taste are less important components of their sensory repertoire. Dugongs also apparently rely on socially transmitted knowledge learned from their mothers during the years of calf dependency. They have good spatial cognition. The important elements of their biophysical environment include the drivers of the distribution, abundance, species composition, biomass of seagrass communities, and the environmental parameters that influence dugongs directly such as water depth, light, temperature, tides, waves, currents, coastline features, and predation risk. The most profound effects of climate change on dugongs are likely to be short- and long-term changes to the distribution, species composition, and biomass of seagrass habitats, which, in turn, will affect their life history parameters, movements, and habitat use.

Biography: Helene Marsh is an Emeritus Professor at James Cook University in Townsville Queensland.She is a conservation biologist with some 40 years’ experience in research into biodiversity conservation, management and policy. She has advised the governments of 14 countries on the conservation of marine megafauna.  Helene has chaired the Commonwealth Threatened Species Scientific Committee, which advises the federal Minister for Environment since 2011 and was the natural heritage expert on the Australian delegation for the World Heritage Committee (2018-21).   She is a former chair of the Great Barrier Reef Consultative Committee and is currently on the Independent Expert Panel for the Great Barrier Reef.  Helene is the Lead for the Threatened and Migratory Species and Threatened Ecological Communities Initiative for the National Environmental Science Program. She is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science (Vice-President, Biological Sciences 2019-23) and Australian Academies of Technological Sciences and Engineering and has received several national and international awards for her research and conservation. In 2021, she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the biological and environmental sciences, to the conservation of marine mammals, and to tertiary education.

LECTURE RECESS/STUDY BREAK  - No seminar on 27th September

We will back on 4th October!

Coming up

The best city in the world: will the proboscis monkeys and other wildlife survive in the new Indonesia capital?

When: 04 October, 2023

Where: Crowther Lecture Theatre A3-003 - JCU Nguma-bada campus (in person)

Time: 4pm (AEST)

Speakers : Stanislav Lhota | University of Life Sciences (Prague, Czech Republic) |

Abstract: In 2019 Indonesia announced plan to translocate the capital city from Java to the island of Borneo. The Indonesian government pledges to develop the new megalopolis without harming the fragile and highly biodiverse lowland and coastal forest ecosystem where the construction is going to happen. Nusantara, as the city was named, is supposed to be the first green, smart and sustainable city in Indonesia,  and indeed in the world. We have been studying a large population of endangered proboscis monkeys in the same area since 2005. I will describe how did the past development impact this species and what can be predicted about its future of threatened wildlife within and around the limits of Nusantara city.

Biography: Stan Lhota is a Czech primatologist and conservationist, currently involved in proboscis monkey conservation program in Borneo, slow loris monitoring program in Sumatra, research on miners resources use by large mammals in Republic Congo, and behavioural research on indris and bamboo lemurs in Madagascar. Coordinator of Education4Conservation program in maternity and primary schools in Indonesia, Madagascar, Uganda and Republic of Congo. An interim director at the Centre ValBio research station in Ranomafana, Madagascar.