Moths, Mountains and Canopy Cranes: or, how to keep busy in your declining years!

Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests seminar followed by drinks

This talk will review key aspects of recent research on the use of insect assemblages to detect and quantify natural and anthropogenic ecological transitions. The multi-national, multi-authored, multi-method approach to community biodiversity known as ‘IBISCA’ will be discussed covering projects in Panama, Queensland, Vanuatu and France, as will derived projects in Yunnan, the Pyrénées and Borneo. Finally, the history of an idea – ‘a science of the forest canopy’ will be investigated and the serendipitous sequence of events that have, finally, resulted in a massive global infrastructure for canopy studies will be described – and the underlying moral tale teased out.

Emeritus Professor Roger Kitching AM retired from the Chair of Ecology at Griffith University in May 2016 – a position he held since 1992. Previously he had held the Chair of Ecosystem Management at the University of New England, Armidale (1986-92). Roger graduated in Zoology and Entomology from Imperial College in 1966 and completed a doctorate at Oxford University in 1969. He received a Doctor of Science degree from Griffith in 2003. A post-doc at the University of British Columbia was followed by a position in the CSIRO Division of Entomology working on sheep blowfly. Roger first joined Griffith in 1976 and taught the very first cohort of third year undergraduate students. Author or co-author of 250+ articles and author or editor of 11 books, Roger’s research interests span insect population ecology, butterfly biology, food-web studies and forest biodiversity. Over many years Roger has been also involved in government advising and, most recently, was a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was created a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010.