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Fraser Island excites international interest

Fraser IslandThe latest news on Fraser Island research will be discussed at a Conference in Brisbane on 8th August to help advance the island’s case for its wider use as a natural laboratory and bring with them a global perspective.

The hot topic of Fraser Island dingoes will be addressed by University of Queensland’s Dr Greg Baxter who will report on the results of a satellite-tracking program that followed 18 Fraser Island dingoes over 8 months to see what could be learnt on dingo behavior.

“Climate Change, Biodiversity and Fraser Island” is the subject of an address by Professor Roger Kitching, currently a Coordinating Lead Author engaged in production of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Writer, broadcaster and Australia’s longest serving Science Minister, Hon Dr Barry Jones, will deliver the Keynote Address drawing his experience with UNESCO and as Vice President of the World Heritage Committee.

Conference organiser, John Sinclair from the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation said that the contributions of Prof Kitching and Dr Jones should add more justification for Fraser Island to be treated as a natural laboratory for climate change and this was the theme of this year’s conference that is supported by the Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance and the Fraser Island Scientific Advisory Committee.

A global spotlight will be shone on the Fraser Island patterned fens in November when ten leading peat scientists from the International Mire Conservation Group will visit Fraser Island fens following up the research of Dr Patrick Moss, who will be reporting on his recent discoveries on these peat wetland to the conference.

Another researcher, Jock McKenzie from James Cook University will report on his studies of the mangroves of Great Sandy Strait he has undertaken as part of his Doctoral studies

It won’t only be scientists talking because Fraser Island is acclaimed as much for its outstanding aesthetic qualities as it is for its natural beauty and aesthetic qualities that are going to be discussed by leading Australian artist, Liz Cumming.

Additionally there will be poster presentations covering topics from visitor responses to dingo management, ground orchids, monitoring sediment movement, managing weeds and the coordination of research effort.

This will be the fifth one-day Fraser Island conference and it will be held at the Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium from 9.00 to 5.00 on Thursday 8th August.

Registrations are now open and details can be found at: www.fido.org.au