Field hands and Team Leaders wanted for GCS biomass surveys

April 11, 2014 at 6:46 am

Field hands are needed to assist with forest biomass surveys, data entry and camp duties for Native Forest Protection Projects being set-up under the CFI. Native Forest Protection Projects involve protecting forests that would otherwise be cleared for agriculture. Intensive field surveys are required to estimate the biomass of project areas in order to determine the magnitude of CO2 abatement.

Trips are ongoing over the next 3-6 months, and will typically be for 10-12 days at a time.

Field surveys involve measuring the size (stem diameters at 10cm, 30cm and 1.3m and height) of individual trees and shrubs in order to estimate the mass of each individual. The data is collected in field survey sheets and entered into a database each afternoon. Field teams usually camp at field sites. $200-$250 p/day salary plus transport and meals. All equipment provided.

The work can be both physically and mentally demanding often involving significant hiking through the bush, carrying heavy loads in hot conditions.  On site accommodation is often in the form of semi-permanent base camps, with tents for sleeping.  Trips will involve working closely for extended periods with other team members in often stressful conditions.

We are particularly seeking candidates with experience in the operation of 4WD vehicles.  Having the ability to drive a manual vehicle in off road conditions is essential.

If you are a weakling, disinclined to hard physical work, don’t like other people, are a complainer or whinger, then this job is probably not for you. But if you enjoy challenging and exciting field work, working with a dynamic crew, then you could be the person we are looking for.

For more information contact Jonathan at or call 02 8021 4300

Next talk in the ‘Conservation Conversation’ series

March 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm


ATTENTION! Unfortunately, the speaker for our upcoming seminar fell sick and we will have to cancel the talk for now. We will try to reschedule soon.

Our next talk in the ‘Conservation Conversation’ series is coming up soon! This time, Rebecca Spindler (Taronga Zoo) will be talking about Taronga’s role in conservation.

Titel: From Species to Ecosystems, Conservation at Taronga
Date: Monday, April 7th, 2014
Time: 5-6 p.m.                              To be announced
Place: University of New South Wales, Biosciences Bldg. (D26), Biomed Theatre C (1st floor).

Dr. Rebecca Spindler (Taronga Conservation Society): Rebecca Spindler

Rebecca is the manager of research and conservation at the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Her primary role at Taronga is to focus the research of Zoo scientists on wildlife ecology, behaviour, reproduction and health to inform best conservation practice. Rebecca’s previous conservation work includes the development of novel embryo culture systems for rare and endangered species, helping to establish the Giant Panda Genome Resource Bank and heading the reproductive department at Toronto Zoo. Her current research is on the role of immune genes (MHC) in mate choice of Tasmanian Devils.


Taronga’s role in conservation is varied and extensive. This talk will concentrate on conservation science, education and conservation in the field we are involved in, how we prioritise species and projects, what knowledge we are gaining about wildlife and their habitats, how we are protecting wildlife around the world and how we are affecting change in the community right here in Australia.


Annual general meeting

March 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm


After an exciting first year for Sydney SCB, we are now kicking off our second year with our annual general/business meeting on Monday, March 10th at 6.30pm in the Samuels Building’s (F25) Wilton Room (113), at the eastern end of the first floor of the building.

There will be snacks and drinks as well as opportunities to sign up or learn more about our club.

We will also be holding elections for the Sydney Society for Conservation Biology board (2 open positions) and our affiliated UNSW Arc Club (positions to be announced). For more info, contact us at:

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Conservation Biology Position

December 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

The Australian Wetlands, Rivers and Landscapes Centre (AWRLC) through the School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), in collaboration with Taronga Conservation Society Australia, is seeking to appoint a conservation biologist, specialising in endocrinology, to undertake research, teaching and postgraduate supervision within one of Australia’s most dynamic research environments.

The appointee will be expected to integrate a research program in endocrinology focusing on species, populations and ecosystems, and will be based between UNSW and Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. There will be teaching responsibilities in Sydney and in Dubbo.

More info here.

Thanks to Richard Frankham

December 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Richard Frankham Seminar 22/11/2013

We were lucky to have the first talk in our seminar series, “Sydney Society for Conservation Biology Conversations”, delivered by Emeritus Professor Richard (“Dick”) Frankham. Dick talked about the relationship between “Genetics and Extinction”. With plenty of examples, he illustrated how inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity are not only unavoidable in small populations, but also increase the risk of extinction. His presentation also demonstrated how most species are not driven to extinction before genetic factors can impact, and that wildlife management should thus take genetic factors into account. After the talk Dick answered many general questions about the role of genetics in conservation, but also offered specific advise on how to achieve successful genetic rescue. It was nice to see so many new faces, a captivating speaker and an interested audience–a great start to our seminar series!

Keep your eye on our website, we will soon offer an edited video of Dick Frankham’s seminar on this site.

Also, thanks to Dominic Ruefenacht for the nice photos here!

William Winram seminar

November 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sydney SCB is co-hosting the William Winram seminar at the University of Sydney.

William Winram, a world record breath-hold diver, conservationist and storyteller, will share with the audience some stories from 30 years of diving with more than 20 different species of sharks – including the most feared, the Great White – never using protective devices or cages. He will present an 18min documentary that spans 3 different expeditions, swimming and interacting with Great White sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and manta rays after which he will host a Q&A followed be the trailer for the soon to release in Sydney IMAX Film Great White Shark.

William, who holds several world records in free diving, has been actively involved in shark conservation for many years. In 2012 he founded the Waterman Project, an NPO where breath-hold diving is at the service of ocean conservation. This year he was named IUCN Marine Ambassador.

The seminar will be held:

Tuesday, December 3rd, from 12 pm

DT Anderson Lecture Theater (A08)

University of Sydney

Admission is free. The talk is followed by a lunch at the Grandstand in Glebe ($5 students, $10 staff). If you wish to attend the lunch please contact

Seminar series kick-off

November 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm



We will be kicking off our seminar series ‘Conservation Conversations’ with a great talk on “Genetics and Extinction” by Richard Frankham  (Macquarie University & Australian Museum) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW):

Title: Genetics and Extinction

Date: Friday, November 22nd.

Time: 3-4 p.m.

Place: UNSW – Kensington Campus, Biological Sciences Building (D26), Biomed Theatre A (1st floor)

Richard Frankham photo

‘Dick’ Frankham’s research, published in over 160 journal articles, features pioneering work in conservation genetics and population viability analyses. He is also the lead author of the books “Introduction to Conservation Genetics” and “A Primer of Conservation Genetics”.


The role of genetic factors in extinction has been controversial since genetics was first introduced into conservation biology in the late 1970s. I will review the evidence on the contribution of genetic factors to extinction risk. Inbreeding has deleterious effects on reproductive fitness in almost all cases for naturally outbreeding diploid and polyploid species in captivity and in the wild. Inbreeding depression and loss of genetic diversity increase extinction risk in laboratory populations of naturally outbreeding species.

Individual case studies and computer projections indicate that inbreeding depression contributes to extinction risk in outbreeding species in natural environments. In addition, most species are not driven to extinction before genetic factors have time to impact. Thus, there is now sufficient evidence to regard the major controversies regarding whether genetic factors contribute to extinction risk as resolved. Fortunately, small inbred populations with low genetic diversity can often be rescued by augmenting gene flow from other populations within their species, provided they are screened to ensure that the risk of outbreeding depression is low. If genetic factors are ignored, extinction risk will be underestimated and inappropriate recovery strategies may be used.    

We would love to see you there!

Manly to North Head Hike and Coastal Cleanup

September 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

Map of Manly

Saturday, September 21st is International Coastal Cleanup Day, and we decided to combine the cleaning with the fun:

We will go on a hike along the coast from Manly, Shelley Beach and half way across North Head and pick up any garbage we may find along the way.

Place & time to meet

Circular Quay, No. 3 (Manly Ferry) at 11:45. We plan to take the ferry leaving at 12 p.m. If you need to purchase a ferry ticket you may want to come a little earlier. If you are late, you may not catch the ferry and it might be difficult to catch up with us later on, so try to be on time.


We will take the ferry leaving at 12 p.m. and arrive at Manly Wharf at 12:30. We will then have lunch somewhere in Manly (restaurant, café, etc.). After lunch we will walk along the coast from Manly to Shelley Beach and then across North Head through the Sydney Harbour National Park, Collins Beach and back to Manly Wharf (see map). Along the way, we will pick up any garbage—our little contribution to the International Coastal Cleanup. But don’t worry there will be plenty of time to enjoy and have fun—we won’t attempt to clean all of North Head.

What to bring

Yourself and friends, some sturdy shoes, something to drink and perhaps some snacks for the hike and some sun lotion. If you have some gloves or tongues or anything suitable to pick up garbage, please bring it along. We will provide some bags to collect the garbage.

Other important notes

At our welcome & social event at UNSW a few weeks ago we announced that this excursion would take place on Saturday, Sept. 14th—this is NOT the case anymore. (The weather forecast predicts rain for that day, and we decided to postpone it until Sept. 21st).
Should it rain on the 21st, we will cancel or postpone this event. Likewise, if less than 4 people sign up, we may cancel. Check our Facebook page for updates.

If you are interested in joining, it would be good to sign up here on Facebook, so that we have an idea of how many people to expect. We look forward to seeing you then!




ICCB Poster

August 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Sydney SCB Chapter Poster Final

This is the poster Sandra, our treasurer, presented at the International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) at Baltimore last month.

Check out our cool poster, and if you are at or near UNSW, don’t forget to join us at our Welcome & Social Event next Friday, August 23rd!

Welcome & Social Event at UNSW

August 13, 2013 at 11:01 am


We are going to hold a social event at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to welcome new UNSW students and to introduce our chapter to anybody at UNSW who is interested in wildlife conservation.

The event will take place Friday, Augusut 23rd from 5 p.m. at the ”Wilton Room” (formerly known as BABS tea room), Room 113, Samuels Building (1st floor) at UNSW. Drinks and nibbles provided.

This will be a great opportunity to get to know likeminded people and to get involved in local conservation projects.

We look forward to seeing you there!!!