The interface of evolutionary biology and policy impact


6–7 September 2016


ANU Commons, Canberra


 Claire Stephens
 02 612 59492

Event series

An engagement and dialogue workshop for research providers (scientists) and research users (policy makers and managers).

Innovative capabilities in biodiversity science are rapidly emerging at the boundaries of evolutionary biology, genomics and spatial ecology.

These new concepts and tools have been heralded as having considerable potential to assist with many of the complex issues confronting policy and management (see background discussion paper), such as:

However, there is often a distinct gap between academic research, where the majority of this new biodiversity data is being generated, analysed and interpreted; and the current, and future, needs of practical policy development and real-world management.

Closing this gap will begin to address two current policy priorities - for academia, research engagement and impact; and for policy-makers, transparency, citizen engagement and evidence-based policy making.

The meeting aims to transfer knowledge, perspectives and challenges amongst scientists and policy makers and find ways to effectively engage into the future. It will address the 'push and pull' dilemma information agenda setting that often shapes the relationship between researchers and policy makers.

Accordingly, it will have a different format to previous CBA conferences. Rather than sessions of traditional conference talks (e.g. science ‘push’), the meeting will be in the form of a two-day engagement and dialogue workshop (see schedule here).


Questions / themes

  • What does the interface of science and policy currently look like? What are the key issues that will need to be addressed into the future? 
  • What do policy-makers and managers want and need (problems) from biodiversity scientists?
  • What sorts of information can evolutionary biology and spatial ecology (concepts) and new genomic technologies and bioinformatics (tools) provide to real-world policy and management? 
  • What are the most useful approaches to transfering these knowledge and needs? What are the best processes of engagement and how can a dialogue be maintained?


Invited speakers

  • Gregory Andrews (Threatened Species Commissioner)
  • Sam Banks (ANU)
  • Linda Broadhurst (CSIRO)
  • Margaret Byrne (WA Dept. of Parks and Wildlife)
  • Emma Campbell (Dept. Environment and Energy)
  • Dave Coates (WA Dept. of Parks and Wildlife)
  • Sue Fyfe (Parks Australia)
  • John Kanowski (Australian Wildlife Conservancy)
  • Adrian Manning (ANU)
  • Cate McElroy​ (Dept. Environment)
  • Craig Moritz (ANU)
  • Dan Rosauer (ANU)
  • David Salt (ANU)
  • Carla Sgro (Monash)
  • Cameron Slatyer (Australian Museum)
  • Andrea Taylor (Monash)
  • Stephanie Vongavel (Atlas of Living Australia)
  • Andrew Weeks (U Melbourne & cesar Pty Ltd)
  • Kate Wilson (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage)


Full workshop report (PDF 5.98MB)

Decision Point article: Evolutionary biology - what is it good for?

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