Australia is a megadiverse continent, containing an array of plants and animals found nowhere else. The Atlas of Living Australia is dedicated to sharing knowledge about these remarkable species, documenting in extraordinary detail the ecosystems they – and we – call home.
To celebrate 10 years of sharing Australia’s unique biota Martin Westgate was joined by Katharina Nargar, Ian Brennan and Joseph Schubert to talk about the new ways researchers are working to describe the richness of the natural world, and to understand the next steps in documenting the complex legacy of millions of years of evolution.
This webinar took place at 1.00pm AEDT, Wednesday 4 Nov 2020, with 149 live viewers in attendance.
Katharina Nargar is a research scientist at the Australian Tropical Herbarium where she leads the orchid research program. Katharina’s research employs genomic approaches to understand evolutionary relationship in Australasian orchids, their origin, diversification and trait evolution.
Ian Brennan is a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University working on macroevolutionary patterns of Australian vertebrates. His research focuses on resolving the relationships among organisms using genomic data, and identifying the evolutionary processes that have resulted in the incredible diversity we see all around us. Ian generally studies reptiles and amphibians, but isn’t too picky about which of Australia’s amazing creatures he works with.
Joseph Schubert is an Honours student in the Invertebrate Diagnostics Lab of Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute studying the taxonomy and molecular systematics of the Australian badge huntsman spiders. His research has also focused on describing new species of Australian jumping spiders, including the widely adored peacock spiders. He is currently employed by Museums Victoria where he works on the Entomology/Arachnology collection database, making specimen collection data accessible to researchers around the globe.
Martin Westgate is Science Advisor to the Atlas of Living Australia and a visiting fellow at the Fenner School of Environment & Society at the Australian National University. His research focuses on how scientific information can be used to understand and mitigate human impacts on the environment, via a combination of empirical ecology and evidence synthesis. Martin is also a scientific software developer and occasional frog-watcher.
All ALA webinars are available to view on our YouTube channel along with other video content.