We are delighted to invite you to the 8th annual Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture, which is proudly presented by The University of Queensland and Australia Zoo.

This lecture recognises the legacy of Steve Irwin and highlights the work of enthusiastic and outstanding conservationists. The 2017 speaker is Dr Brad Norman, Director of ECOCEAN Inc, the not-for-profit group dedicated to whale shark conservation.

Event details

Date: Wednesday 12 April 2017
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Refreshments: Pre-event refreshments available from 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Venue: Abel Smith Lecture Theatre, Building 23
St Lucia campus, The University of Queensland
Parking:  P10 carpark, St Lucia campus - flat rate of $7. Entry from Sir William MacGregor Drive.
Registration: 8th Annual Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture
Contact: science.events@uq.edu.au


2017 lecture: How do citizens contribute to conservation science?

whale shark










Working on the biggest fish in the sea has its challenges. The sheer size of the world’s oceans, combined with the fact that whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) can dive to depths below 1000m, means monitoring is difficult.  New challenges demand new strategies. 

“Citizen Science” is the practice of recruiting members of the general public to collect data for scientific research. Over the last decade, there has been an explosion in the number of studies using Citizen Science, which is now making a huge impact in the fields of biology, ecology and conservation science.

In the 1990’s, a pioneering project to study the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia was set up. The ECOCEAN (renamed Wildbook) photo-identification database for whale sharks is now a global phenomenon with almost 37,000 reported sightings of whale sharks from citizen scientists in over 50 countries.  It has become the primary monitoring tool for researchers and management agencies around the world.

ECOCEAN is now engaging the next generation of citizen scientists by involving school students in an innovative whale shark satellite tracking program.

Join Dr Brad Norman as he shares stories from his 20+ years of working with citizens to protect the endangered whale shark.

This is a free event. Please register to secure your seat.

About Dr Brad Norman

Brad Norman holds a BSc., MPhil and PhD from Murdoch University and is the Director of the not-for-profit group dedicated to whale shark conservation, ECOCEAN Inc. Dr Brad Norman

He has been studying whale sharks since 1995, completing his Masters thesis on the ecology of whale sharks and the ecotourism industry at Ningaloo Reef, and his PhD thesis on integrating telemetry and citizen science to understand the movements of whale sharks.

Dr Norman is a globally-recognised expert on this species, having prepared reports for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2000 and 2016 and contributed to having the whale shark listed on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) in 2001, and the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2002.

He initiated the global photo-identification monitoring program for whale sharks which is implemented throughout the world and has received several awards for his work, including the first Australian to receive the Rolex Awards for Enterprise in 2006; National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2008; and National Geographic Ocean Hero in 2010.

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