From Ballarat with love: Great biodiversity videos

Norm cartoonNothing on TV this weekend? Then watch a biodiversity video, or perhaps eight of them!

Last month the University of Ballarat hosted the excellent Biodiversity Across The Borders conference. Videos of many of the talks have just been posted on the University’s video site.

The opening speaker, Professor David Lindenmayer, kick-started the day with a fantastic talk on ‘Effective ecosystem restoration and management’. David’s talk includes many new findings from his group’s research on woodland restoration, and the video is a definite ‘must see’. I gave a talk on ‘Natural regeneration: connecting regional Australia’. An earlier blog contained a different version of the talk which I taped at home. This live, conference video includes a Google Earth ‘fly-over’ tour and loads of bad jokes, which weren’t in the earlier version.

Back in 2011, I posted a story about a remnant woodland at Ocean Grove. In the mid-1990s, I repeated a survey from the 1970s, to find out how the woodland had changed over the 25 years. Tree density increased greatly over the period, especially for Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis). Last year, the unstoppable Ben Zeeman from La Trobe University re-surveyed the site once again (supervised by John Morgan and I) and generated a fantastic tale of 40 years of continual ecosystem change. The vegetation continues to change in surprising ways.

More importantly, Ben also studied an area that was burnt a few years earlier, to see what happens when we try to restore an open woodland from a dense ‘thickened up’ shrubland. Does fire promote those species that declined after the 1970s, or does it promote a different group of plants, creating another ‘novel ecosystem’ perhaps? I won’t steal Ben’s thunder, and encourage you to watch his video and share his discoveries. Ben’s story highlights the many, unexpected lessons we can learn from long-term ecosystem monitoring.


To make sure you can open this blog post quickly, I’ve provided links to all of the videos except Ben’s, rather than embedding them in this blog. The last four videos present valuable findings from a series of large-scale fire ecology studies, with important repercussions for fire management.

Finally, if you like a lot of action in your movies, watch this awesome stop-motion cartoon by Don Driscoll, on how the matrix affects remnant vegetation in fragmented landscapes. It’s a ripper! (This isn’t from the Ballarat conference, but is way too good not to show. Thanks to Dale Nimmo’s blog for the link).


I extend a big thank you to the staff at Ballarat University for their hard work hosting the conference and producing and sharing the videos.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Related blogs

4 thoughts

  1. Well done Ian!! Ill pass onto staff (many of which were there on the day). Very informative presentations. Regards Aaron Organ Sent from my iPhone

  2. “Birds are to landscape ecology what kittens are to Facebook” is probably one of the best lines I’ve heard delivered in a conference presentation, Ian. Great work!

    1. Thanks Tom, was one of those lines that just came out on the spur of the moment. I have many of those, but most don’t come out at all well 🙂

What Do You Think? Please Leave a Reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s