Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
11 March 2016
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Salon: Robots – The New Eco Warriors
Scientists and researchers spend countless hours, days, months and years in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments mapping, assessing, surveying and collecting data.
This can be a slow and sometimes dangerous process as well as expensive and time consuming. Now more than ever the world requires this crucial research to address species conservation, environmental changes and the ever-increasing impact of humans.
Could robots, drones and other autonomous vehicles, together with big data, provide the answers? Join a panel of scientists who have adopted robots and other revolutionary technology to go beyond the limits of researchers alone.
What is a Salon event?
World Science Festival Brisbane SALON events invite you to dive deeper into the science of specific topics, these informal discussions challenge participants to consider their shared passions from a fresh perspective.
By starting a dialogue, the Salon is designed to spark new explorations of science by the participants and the audience. The Salon sessions are smaller in capacity so audience and participants can enter into conversation at a detailed and thorough level.
Meet the Speakers
Dr Matthew Dunbabin
joined QUT as a Principal Research Fellow (Autonomous Systems) in 2013. He is known internationally for his research into field robotics, particularly environmental robots, and their application to large-scale marine habitat and aquatic greenhouse gas monitoring. He has wide research interests including adaptive sampling and path planning, vision-based navigation, cooperative robotics, as well as robot and sensor network interactions.
A strong advocate of robotic systems in civilian applications, Dr Dunbabin is involved in a number of initiatives aimed at promoting, educating and demonstrating autonomous systems to a range of interest groups nationally and internationally. He has also served as President of the Australian Robotics and Automation Association (ARAA), and Secretary of the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS)
is an award-winning Australian environmental campaigner, best-selling author and science journalist. She is also a media commentator on science and environmental issues, a behaviour change researcher and was a delegate to the Australia 2020 Summit.
Tanya is currently an Associate of Science in Public and of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. She was a reporter for ABC Catalyst and a tour ambassador for National Science Week. She has also served on the boards of Sustainability Victoria and Keep Australia Beautiful (National Association).
’s research area is in Invasive species and Pest Modelling and Management - studying the distribution, ecology, sampling and management pests of agricultural concern. Projects include: Improving the sampling strategies for detection of pests of bulk stored gain; determining driving factors for rodent damage in Northern Queensland macadamia orchards; assessing the use of community reported data to discover the environmental drivers of wild rabbit distributions.
Exploring the dynamics of range expansions using novel quantitative tools. Range expansions are a fundamental process that invasive species undergo, however understanding, analysing and predicting range expansions across real landscapes presents enormous challenges. In this project, an Approximate Bayesian Computational approach is being used to analyse and predict the future expansions of a range of organisms including cane toads and Black Pine.
is the Research Program Leader, Data and Innovation for the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He has a technical background in marine biology, analytical biochemistry/chemistry and molecular pharmacology as well as extensive experience with very large datasets, their management, database design, interrogation, and visualization. He has led and managed projects with industry collaborators ranging in size from start-ups to publicly traded companies. His publications cover a wide variety of formats including traditional research publications, major technical reports to industry, patents and an electronic data atlas.
is a statistician whose research interests are in Bayesian and other modern methods for statistical modelling and computation. She currently holds a Chair in Statistics at Queensland University of Technology. Professor Mengersen has maintained an active collaborative and consultancy profile in both the development of statistical methods and in their application to a wide variety of problems in environment, health and industry. She is a Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers, which aims for research excellence and its translation to collaborative domains in Healthy People, Sustainable Environments and Prosperous Societies.
For the past decade Kerrie has led the Bayesian Research and Applications Group (BRAG) which aims to engage in world-class, relevant fundamental and collaborative statistical research, training and application through Bayesian and other modern methods. Professor Mengersen was announced as one of 15 new ARC Laureate Fellows for 2015 for her project, Bayesian Learning for Decision Making in the Big Data Era.
Dr Guy Williams
background is in observational polar oceanography, focusing on dense shelf water formation in the coastal polynyas of East Antarctica and its role in the production of Antarctic Bottom Water.
Williams’ new work is developing a new unmanned aerial vehicle project to work in concert with the underwater vehicles for to map Antarctic sea ice from above and below.