Get a Sydney SCB Karma Kup!

June 24, 2014 at 5:30 am

Karma Cups

We’re taking the next step in our fundraising efforts for conservation projects such as habitat regeneration and nest box building for a declining colony of Little Penguins. Get your Sydney-SCB Karma Kup today! They’re just $10 for members and $13 for non-members and will make your coffee or tea taste much better, knowing you won’t need a disposable cup ever again!

To get one of these cups you can either:

contact Sandra (room 552B) or Simone (room 570) in the Biosciences Building (D26)  if you are at UNSW,


email us to get your cup posted to you (for an extra $10 within Australia for postage).


Help save the Maui dolphin!

May 21, 2014 at 7:48 am


WWF-NZ needs to collect 55,000 petition signatures by the end of August, in order to help convince the government that they urgently need to do more to protect them before they go extinct!

You can help by either:

Visiting to create an image of your last 55 Facebook friends (which can be shared on Facebook) and sign the petition.


Visiting the WWF website directly to just sign the petition.


Photocredit: Kaitiaki our dolphins

Get your 2014|2015 Entertainment Book and support SydneySCB!

April 28, 2014 at 3:48 am

We are now raising funds for our conservation projects by selling Entertainment Books for any city in Australia or New Zealand through the link below:

Entertainment™ Memberships include over $20,000 worth of valuable 2-for-1 and up to 50% offers from many of the best restaurants, arts, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel and much more!

If you want the book sent to you, there is a small additional charge for postage, but we also have hard copies of the Sydney edition (only $70) available at UNSW and Macquarie University campuses.

At UNSW, just pop into Rm 552B (Sandra) or 570 (Simone) of the Biological Sciences Building and ask for the book.

At Macquarie University, contact Monica ( to arrange for a book.

You can also buy the (iPhone or Android) app instead of a book using the same link above.

Have fun exploring new places in your city while supporting our work!


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!