Island Arks Symposium VII Keynote Speakers

Dr Rachel Paltridge, Kiwirrkurra IPA Coordinator

Dr Rachel Paltridge is an ecologist who has spent 20 years as a freelance ecologist based in Alice Springs working on a variety of threatened species monitoring and management programs across the deserts of WA and NT and in the Gulf of Carpentaria. She is passionate about 2-way Science and Management, integrating Indigenous knowledge, skills, strengths and motivations with contemporary science, technology and research methods. Controlling the impacts of feral cats has been a common theme of her work with Indigenous Rangers over the past three decades. Rachel currently works as the Coordinator of the Kiwirrkurra Indigenous Protected Area, but disappears to the Pellew Islands whenever possible.

Dr Caroline Blanvillain

Caroline Blanvillain has a PhD & a veterinary PhD and is a conservationist. Caroline is in charge with land bird conservation for SOP manu (a French Polynesia ONG) since 2012 and has worked for this ONG between 1998 and 2003. Caroline initiated the Tahiti monarch recovery program in 1998, with only 21 adult birds identified and now has reached 103 adult birds in 2020 and at the same time learning to fight more than 10 invasive species in order to protect the birds, including the use of a drone against ants. She has also established a security population for a giant Pigeon and has found the last population of a nearly extinct ground dove and worked to establish a strong biosecurity of the two last inhabited islands of French Polynesia free from black rat.

Dr Mark Norman, Chief Conservation Scientist and Executive Director of Environment and Science

Mark joined Parks Victoria as Chief Conservation Scientist in April 2016. Mark is responsible for Parks Victoria’s nature conservation and research programs, ensuring effective evidence-based conservation management and support for environmental program delivery across the state. The Environment and Science Division works closely with a wide range of researchers, partner agencies, Traditional Owners, stakeholders and community groups in addressing nature conservation needs and challenges. Mark has extensive experience in wildlife research, biodiversity surveys and science communication. He is also well known as an effective science communicator. Previously, Mark was Head of Sciences at Museums Victoria. His research background has been in marine biology but he has also worked extensively in the establishment of marine protected areas, fisheries research, bird and seal ecology, conservation programs, running terrestrial, freshwater and marine wildlife surveys, science communication, media and ecotourism. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Zoology, a Diploma of Education (Biology and Environmental Science), and a Doctorate of Zoology from University of Melbourne.

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