Victorian Biodiversity Conference 2022 – Workshops


The Victorian Biodiversity Conference (VicBioCon) is an annual scientific conference based in Melbourne that aims to provide an opportunity for postgraduate students, early career researchers and industry professionals to showcase their biodiversity-focused work locally. It also aims to strengthen existing networks and build new connections between Victorian academic institutions, industry, not-for-profits, and local government agencies.
The conference is held over three days towards the beginning of each year and is organised by a dedicated team of postgraduate students and professionals from a range of Victorian institutions.
The sixth annual conference will be held online, from Wednesday 2nd – Friday 4th February 2022. The first day (Wednesday 2nd February 2022) will consist solely of workshops, which are offered as optional extras for an additional cost. The main conference will then take place over the second and third days (Thursday 3rd – Friday 4th February 2022).

Using the R Package ‘galah’ to Investigate the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA):

Date & Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm, Wednesday 2nd February 2022
Location: Online via Zoom
Max participants: 20 people
Ticket Price: $35.00

Facilitators: Dr Jenna Wraith (Training and Outreach Officer, ALA), Dr Dax Kellie (Data Analyst & Lead Developer for galah, ALA), and Dr Martin Westgate (Team Leader, Science & Decision Support, ALA)
Description: The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is Australia’s largest open biodiversity database. In this workshop, we will introduce the ALA R package – galah – and how it can be used to efficiently locate, investigate, and download biodiversity information. Key topics to be covered include:
• Filtering records by taxonomic and spatial criteria
• Finding numbers of records or species within meaningful categories prior to download
• Interacting with taxonomic information using the ‘data.tree’ package
• Tips and tricks for effective data visualisation
Pre-requisites: A basic knowledge of R. Pre-installation of the ‘galah’ package is useful, but not mandatory.

Creating Memorable Wildlife Images:

Date & Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm, Wednesday 2nd February 2022
Location: Online via Zoom
Max participants: 20 people
Ticket Price: $45.00

Facilitator: Doug Gimesy (Professional conservation and wildlife photojournalist)
Objective: At the end of this interactive class, photographers will have developed a better understanding of what to consider when trying to capture memorable and impactful wildlife/nature photographs.
Format: The workshop will run for 2.5 - 3 hours, and will be split into two parts (with a short break in between). In the first part, we will examine why images are so powerful and what features and characteristics, beyond a mastery of the technical basics, can give a wildlife/nature images real impact. In the second part, we will review (as a group) some anonymous images provided by each of the ‘active’ participants, to better understand what worked well, and what could be done differently next time.
Pre-requisites: Workshops participants can elect to be an 'active' participant in the workshop or an 'observer'.
‘Active’ participants:
• A solid understanding of photography and camera basics.
• Experience/understanding of the impact of changing basic functions (e.g. ISO, aperture and shutter speed) on a DSLR camera or equivalent.
• Two wildlife/nature images taken by the participant sent as high resolution jpeg files (no watermarks please). These should have an image title/name as if you were presenting in a gallery, and each file should be less than 2MB. Photos must be sent to VicBioCon committee member Elodie Camprasse by 5pm Wednesday 26th January 2022.

‘Observer’ participants:
• No prerequisites. May be new to photography.