The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) provides access to Australia’s largest collection of biodiversity information via the provision of open infrastructure and tools. Many of the tools available help support citizen science activities, including resources to support communities to respond to disaster events.

For our first webinar series for 2021, join us for three talks from leading scientists enabling citizen science in the disaster response and recovery area. The three speakers will discuss how their projects support data collection to monitor how the landscape is recovering from bushfires, how citizen scientists are helping us understand coastal processes and how the diet of echidnas has changed in fire affected landscapes.

This webinar took place at 1.00pm AEDT, Wednesday 3 March 2021, with 126 live viewers in attendance.


Dr Patrick Norman

Patrick Norman

Dr Patrick Norman is a research scientist for the Griffith Climate Change Response Program at Griffith University, Australia. He specialises in assessing human impacts to the environment, particularly through remote sensing and volunteered geographic information. He was employed in natural area management by the Queensland Government, prior to undertaking his doctoral research, which focused on assessing people’s movements through national parks to identify areas likely to suffer environmental damage. His research is now focused on assessing broad-scale spatial impacts to forest, including from fire.

Tahlia Perry

Tahlia Perry

Tahlia Perry has recently finished her PhD at The University of Adelaide, where she has combined her passions of molecular biology and public outreach to aid in conservation and captive breeding of the iconic short-beaked echidna. During her PhD, Tahlia created and continues to run the Australia-wide citizen science project EchidnaCSI. This project has engaged thousands of the general public to submit echidna sightings and scat material in order to gain unprecedented insights into wild echidna populations across the country. Tahlia will discuss how EchidnaCSI joins together various research fields such as ecology, genetics and microbiology in combination with citizen science to increase the knowledge surrounding the biology and health of wild echidnas as well as how bushfires have impacted echidna populations.

Dr Mitchell Harley

Mitchell Harley

Dr Mitchell Harley is a Scientia Senior Lecture in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales.Mitchell is an expert in coastal erosion and how it impacts coastlines worldwide. His research entails the use of advanced coastal monitoring technologies to enhance our understanding of coastline change. He was awarded his PhD at UNSW in 2009 and subsequently spent five years undertaking research in coastal hazard early warning systems for the European Union. In 2017 Mitchell founded the CoastSnap citizen science beach monitoring program that is now established in 15 countries worldwide.

Moderator bio

Erin Roger is the Citizen Science Program Lead for the Atlas of Living Australia (based in CSIRO Sydney) and working to align and embed citizen science within the bushfire response. The Citizen Science Program aims to deepen existing partnerships and build new collaborations, delivering a strategic approach to citizen science nationally. Erin is also the Chair of the Australian Citizen Science Association. Before delving into the citizen science space, Erin worked in climate change adaptation and has a PhD in Terrestrial Ecology.

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All ALA webinars are available to view on our YouTube channel along with other video content.