Reviving rivers: a community-led tale of fish conservation

Communities and conservation

When I was younger, I used to love visiting our local creek: it was a beautiful spot of nature a short walk from home. On a couple occasions, my Dad took me to the creek to catch yabbies – for a suburban kid, it was one of the few times I actually held and interacted with wild biodiversity, and helped foster my love for conservation and inquiry into biology. In the late 2000s to early 2010s, a likely combination of local pollution and extensive drought extirpated the yabbies from the creek – I would never see one in that creek again. I was devastated for the local loss of a fascinating creature, and the connection to nature it represented, but felt powerless to remedy the situation. To my knowledge, there are still no yabbies in that creek.

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Validating vulnerability: ground-truthing projections from genomic offsets

How can we predict which species will adapt to climate change?

Across the globe, threatened species are already becoming impacted by the effects of climate change. While we understand many of the characteristics that make a species particularly vulnerable to climate change – those with small ranges, fragmented populations, or long lifespans, for example – predicting the capacity of a given species to respond remains a challenge. Developing analytical approaches and science-based frameworks to predict adaptive capacity in all species is a critical step forward for conservation management.

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A wrap-up of ICTC 2023

It’s been a brief while (oops!) since the last post on The G-CAT (I promise more content is coming soon!), so I thought I would give a quick research update. This week, I had the absolute privilege of attending the 3rd International Conservation Translocation Conference 2023 here in sunny Perth (Fremantle, to be more specific). Hosted through the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and particularly the IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, the conference brought hundreds of attendees from across the globe to share the trials and tribulations of conservation translocation efforts.

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Species diversity on PNF-404: a biodiversity assessment of the Pikmin series

The Pikmin series

Like many “Nerds by Profession” (scientists), much of my love for evolutionary biology as a young kid was fostered by an amazing diversity of creatures, both real and fictional. A formative influence in the latter category for me was through gaming – while I hold love for many great gaming franchises, the Nintendo series Pikmin holds a special place in my heart. The series of puzzle-cross-strategy games primarily following the misadventures of diminutive space explorer Captain Olimar, who crash lands on what is heavily implied (and later confirmed) to be a post-human Earth (or PNF-404, as it’s known). There, he is greeted by a strange plant-like species called Pikmin, who assist him in repairing his ship or collecting treasure (depending on the game). The Pikmin games require a certain degree of strategy, planning and time-efficiency in order to complete the necessary tasks within the limited timeframe of the game (or individual day).

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Mixing fishes and climate change – adaptation by hybridisation

Adapting to a changing world

The global climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, approaching conditions last seen globally over 3 million years ago. Impacted by the compounding effects of climate change, habitat modification, invasive species and direct exploitation (e.g., fishing and hunting), species across the globe are threatened with extinction. Key to the effective management of global biodiversity is the understanding of how species may (or may not) rise to the challenge of climate change: can species adapt? Which species will adapt? How will they adapt? The answers to these questions are elusive and complicated.

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