Discover conservation at the Museum of Tropical Queensland

17 September 2010

The challenges of conserving biodiversity in an era of climate change will be addressed in the next Discover More series lecture by Professor Stephen Williams, Tuesday 14 September, 12 noon at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Professor Williams is Director of the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change at James Cook University, a multidisciplinary research centre aimed at understanding the patterns and processes underlying tropical biodiversity and the impacts that global climate change will have on the natural environment.

Museum of Tropical Queensland Director Peter McLeod said the talk would address one of the most significant threats to global and local biodiversity.

“The Wet Tropics rainforest of North Queensland has the highest biodiversity of any region in Australia,” Mr McLeod said.

“Up to 46 percent of the unique rainforest fauna could be lost with an increase in temperature of 3.5 degrees Celcius according to the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change research.

“September is Biodiversity Month so the timing is opportune for the Museum to help raise awareness of the issue and how it will impact our region,” Mr McLeod said.

Professor Williams said his research currently aims to produce models explaining patterns of biodiversity and predicting climate change impacts.

“I am particularly interested in determining the relative vulnerability of the rainforest species and ecosystems and their potential for adapting to climate change,” Professor Williams said.

“All of my research has a strong focus on conservation biology aimed at providing the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about the management of the natural resources of the region.”

The lecture is part of the Museum of Tropical Queensland’s Discover More Talk series, held on the second Tuesday of each month.

Entry to the Museum of Tropical Queensland is free for locals through the Council Community Pass supported by Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook Councils.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum, is open from 9.30am - 5pm daily.

Media Contacts:    Stephen Wilson 4726 0604 or 0431 334 583
                             Mei Nee Cheong 4726 0603 or 0414 264 987