ALA Advisory Board

The newly established ALA Advisory Board held its first meeting in Canberra on 21 September 2017. The role of the Board is to support the high-level direction and delivery of the ALA through provision of vision, advocacy and advice.

The Board currently comprises five Members and three ex-officio members, and is Chaired by Dr Patrick Greene. Other Board Members are:

  • Professor Melodie McGeoch, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University
  • Dr Lyndall Osborne, Executive Director – Collections, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Mr Greg Terrill, Assistant Secretary – ERIN, Department of the Environment and Energy
  • Dr Kate Wilson, Executive Director – Science Division, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Dr John La Salle (ex-officio), Director, Atlas of Living Australia
  • Ms Toni Moate (ex-officio), Director, National Collections and Marine Infrastructure, CSIRO
  • Professor Michelle Waycott (ex-officio), Chief Botanist, State Herbarium of South Australia


First meeting of ALA Advisory Board 
Back Row (L-R): David Cantrill (for Michelle Waycott), Greg Terrill, 
Middle Row (L-R): Heather Walsh, Kate Wilson, Patrick Greene
Front Row (L-R): Lyndall Osborne, John La Salle, Toni Moate, Melodie McGeoch

National Science Week – are you up for the challenge?

Commencing tomorrow, National Science Week is celebrating its 20th birthday, and it’s your opportunity to help do science! There are numerous ways that users of the ALA can participate in National Science Week activities:

Citizen science is a very important source of data about biodiversity to the ALA. Data and insights gained through the efforts of citizen scientists can be as valuable as those obtained by scientists working in academia, natural history collections, government agencies and business, and the ALA welcomes more collaborators.


Last chance to register for the Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure Symposium

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in environmental infrastructure? Would you benefit from learning how NCRIS infrastructure has been used for cutting-edge ecosystem science and management among research, government, community and industry? Don’t miss out on your opportunity to participate in the conversation and help shape the future of environmental research infrastructure! Registrations are still open for the upcoming Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure Symposium, but you’ll need to hurry as registrations close Tuesday 9 May 2017.

Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of NCRIS

Tuesday 16 to Thursday 18 May 2017, National Library of Australia

We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers.

Professor Suzanne Miller
Queensland Chief Scientist
Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Queensland Museum Network

Professor Mark Westoby
Macquarie University’s Genes to Geoscience Research Centre
NSW Scientist of the Year 2014

Dr Helen Cleugh
Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Lead, National Environmental Science Programm, Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub

You will also hear from experts from across the sector, including our very own Dr John La Salle, Director of the ALA.  Take a look at the full program and list of speakers.

Sessions include:

Demonstrating Impact – how can we best evaluate and communicate the impact of NCRIS environmental infrastructures?

Enabling Government – how the infrastructure has supported the needs of Government, and what next for the future?

Indigenous Knowledge – how can traditional knowledge systems be supported by the infrastructure?

Empowering Researchers – what is some of the new science and innovation enabled by the environmental research infrastructure?

Data Quality – how can environmental infrastructure support efficient delivery of data that is ‘fit for use’?

Registration is FREE and closing soon!

You can register for single days or for the whole symposium.

What are you waiting for? Register now!

For more information please email

You can also join the conversation before and during the symposium on Twitter via #NCRISimpact

We hope you’re able to join us!


Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure Symposium – registration open

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of NCRIS, the ALA is partnering with a number of NCRIS facilities to host a symposium to celebrate the collaborative impact of Australia’s environmental infrastructure. The symposium will showcase the impact of 10 years of NCRIS investment into environmental infrastructure, as well as providing a platform to foster new collaborations and shape future innovations.

Registrations are now open for the Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure Symposium which will be held at the National Library of Australia, Canberra from 16-18 May 2017.

Further information, including the draft program, can be found on the dedicated symposium website:

The ALA is made possible by contributions from its many partners. It receives support from the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and is hosted by CSIRO.

For the first time, the 2016 Atlas of Living Australia Science Symposium was held interstate and hosted by one of our partners, the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Perth, Western Australia.

We had a full program, with many stimulating talks. With thanks to the authors who have made them available, copies of the presentations can be found HERE. Some presentations contained information that has not yet been published and for this reason cannot be made public at this stage.

This is our third Science Symposium, and it seems to me that each year they just get better.  Not only have we had a great deal of positive feedback on the quality and enthusiasm of the various participants – but the range of topics and ways the ALA is supporting people and activities seems to grow every year.  Again this year one of the main successes of the Symposium was seeing how the Atlas community is coming together and is excited about our shared future.  As stimulating as the presentations and discussions were, the sense of excitement I saw in the room during the breaks was even more impressive.  Everywhere there were lively discussions, interested people getting more information from presenters, and various networks being formed to develop and progress some of the emerging ideas.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2016 Atlas of Living Australia Science Symposium such a success.  This includes presenters, moderators, the Atlas staff who worked so hard at the organisation – but also all the participants who contributed through attending and creating such a lively atmosphere.  This high level of community engagement is compelling evidence of a strong future for the Atlas.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at our next Symposium!

John La Salle


2016 Science Symposium Presentations

Presentations made available from the ALA Science Symposium 2016 at the Keiran McNamara Conservation Science Centre, Kensington, WA, 11-12 May.

# Presentation name File type File size
1 The Biodiversity Information Landscape in Terrestrial Western Australia (Steve van Leeuwen) PDF 7MB
2 Western Australia’s Marine Biodiversity – scene setting (Diana Jones) PDF 7MB
Name Ext Size
Day 1 Plenaries
The Biodiversity Information Landscape in Terrestrial Western Australia (Steve van Leeuwen) pdf 7 MB
Western Australia’s Marine Biodiversity – scene setting (Diana Jones) pdf 7 MB
Session 1 WA Focus Session
The Pilbara Strategic Assessment – a case study for biodiversity information in the service of conse Not currently available for publication
Where’s Weedy? Outlining the case for improved weed data aggregation to improve on-ground outcomes for management (Bruce Webber) pdf  3.25 MB
Biodiversity information from a Western Australian NRM perspective: the ins, the Outs, and the Ins-and-Outs (Richard McLellan) pdf 4.66 MB
The ALA in the world of environmental consultants (Geoff Cockerton) pdf 1.35 MB
The ALA and Citizen Science in WA (Alex Chapman) pdf 4.83 MB
ALA or State Portal? A guide to selecting the right portal for the job (Paul Gioia) pdf 1.45 MB
Session 2 Systematics & Collections
Small projects with Big Conservation Outcomes: databasing TCLE taxa (& yep, tickle, you read it right … charismatic megafauna aren’t the only cuties …) (Lisa Kirkendale) pdf 2.33 MB
Practical considerations of integrating genetic data and museum records (Joel Huey) pdf 8.33 MB
Code Names for Putative New Australian Animal Species: a proposal for a national framework (Mark Harvey) pdf 2.74 MB
Annotation Services and how to make them work for collections curators (Ben Richardson) pdf 1.75 MB
National Research Collections Australia: digitising the collections (Simon Checksfield) pdf 1.50 MB
The BioCollect Tool (Peter Brenton & Stephanie von Gavel) pdf 2.95 MB
Session 3 Evolution & Phylogenetics
Phylodiversity Applied: supporting program and policy decisions (Tania Laity) pdf 1.80 MB
Mapping endemism in South Australian flora from species occurrence datasets using range-weighted, phylogenetic and categorical metrics (Greg Guerin) pdf 1.07 MB
Conserving evolutionary diversity in the Kimberly (Dan Rosauer) pdf 3.67 KB
Strategies for optimising sampling design when using museum specimens for phylogenetics and phylogeography (Gaynor Dolman) pdf 2.89 MB
A worldwide marsupials database applied to biogeography and phylogenetics (Margarita Medina) pdf 4.86 MB
Phylolink: working with phylogenies in the ALA (Rebecca Pirzl) pdf 2.38 MB
Much room for mushroom muddles in the ALA (Elaine Davison) pdf 6.22 MB
Day 2 Plenary
GBIF: progress and status in integrating global biodiversity data (Donald Hobern) pdf 3.93 MB
Session 4 Plenary
Bioclimatic Scaling: a middle-ground approach to using species location records to assess and address potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity (Simon Ferrier) pdf 4.63 MB
Ecology & Environment I
Conservation Decisions with ALA: a case study in the Queensland Brigalow Belt (Rocio Ponce-Reyes) pdf  1.95 MB
Biogeography, richness and edemism in non-resprouting and mallee post-fire response types in Eucalyptus (Carl Gosper) Not currently available for publication
Session 5 Ecology & Environment II
A spatially explicit approach to support the decision-making process for seed provenance for ecological restoration in a climate change context (Cristina Ramalho) pdf 3.21 MB
Do species niche widths vary along environmental gradients for the Australian wet tropics flora? (Hugh Burley) pdf 4.69 MB
Maximising Value from Presence-only Biological Data: a method to model community-level patterns with species observations (Andrew Hoskins) pdf 3.99 MB
Use of Atlas of Living Australia for data-driven analysis of biological survey gaps supports species discovery through Bush Blitz (Kristen Williams) pdf 2.99 MB
Building on ALA connected data infrastructure: bridging the gap between ecologists and modellers: the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) (Hamish Holewa) pdf 2.61 MB
Can we Record Key Ecological Information in Taxonomic Databases? A case study with banksia woodland plants (Mark Brundrett) pdf 6.97 MB
Session 6 Community Science
Bringing more Aboriginal Knowledge into the Atlas of Living Australia: work from Ngukurr Community (Maritza Roberts & Basil Murrungun) pdf 5.92 MB
Learning and working together with Olkola people on the ALA Pilot (Pethie Lyons) pdf  1.49 MB
Caterpillars which are mountains: opportunities and challenges in relation to Aboriginal people’s knowledge and the ALA (Fiona Walsh) Not currently available for publication
Are Western Australian banksia species contracting as a result of climate change? (Sarah Randell) pdf 1.51 MB
Capacity building in citizen science using DigiVol (Paul Flemons) pdf 3.96 MB
Increasing local Government use of the Atlas of Living Australia using volunteers (Mick Davis) pdf 2.92 MB
Session 7 Communities & Linkages
Linking research and teaching via the ALA (Lyn Cook) Not currently available for publication
Embedding the ALA (and other tools) in student learning (Kristina Lemson) pdf 1.37 MB
What’s in a name? Key partnership projects of the ABRS and ALA (Haylee Weaver & Sue Fyfe) pdf 1.30 MB
Supplying the Missing Links: connecting the scientific names in ALA with the taxonomic literature online (Nicole Kearney) pdf 6.30 MB
The North West Atlas: comprehensive and accessible information promoting the biodiversity, heritage and value of Australia’s north-west marine region (Cordelia Moore) pdf 4.82 MB
A report from the TDWG/GBIF task groups on ‘Data Quality’ (Arthur Chapman) pdf 1.56 MB
What’s new, old, neat and unknown in the ALA Spatial Portal (Lee Belbin) pdf 0.98 MB

Feedback on the Symposium is always appreciated.