National Science Week 2022 forum: Caring for the rare

Join us during National Science Week 2022 to hear from our state's leading botanists, zoologists and collection managers who are caring for the rare in the face of mounting challenges.


Victoria’s Zoos, Museums and Botanic Gardens are more than interesting places for people to visit - they are also engines of cutting-edge research and field work.

Join us for a special online event, streamed live from Victoria’s Parliament House during National Science Week 2022, to hear from the botanists, zoologists and collection managers leading this important work.

Find out about the ways they are planning to help our plants and animals adapt and persist through multiple challenges in our immediate future. 

Our State's remarkable botanical collections and zoological species are carefully managed by Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and Zoos Victoria, while Museums Victoria maintains significant collections related to the natural history of our region and the wider world.

Our panel of leading experts will discuss initiatives such as the Care for the Rare program and the Victorian Conservation Seedbank, the BioBank of tissue and DNA samples cryogenically stored by Museums Victoria, and the captive breeding programs for species on the brink of extinction, diligently nurtured back to population health by biologists and ecologists at Zoos Victoria. 

Panellists

John Arnott

John Arnott
Manager of Horticulture
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

John works in conservation horticulture, caring for threatened plant species through ex situ cultivation. Adding conservation to the horticultural mix has led to a project titled Care for the Rare, a Victorian Botanic Gardens initiative supporting the work of regional botanic gardens, who develop collections of locally significant rare and threatened plant species.

 

Dr Megan Hirst

Dr Megan Hirst
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
and Deakin University

Meg works with the Victorian Conservation Seedbank (VCS), which performs as a primary facility for the conservation of the state’s most threatened plants. VCS staff collect seed in the wild, and manage the complexity of storing native Victorian plants, particularly endemics and at-risk species, including effective long-term germplasm storage, germination characteristics, and propagation.  Building on the seedbank work, Meg and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria colleagues collaborate on public programs such as Botany Bootcamp and Raising Rarity, which aim to motivate people to become involved in plant conservation.

 

Dr Joanna Sumner

Dr Joanna Sumner
Manager, Genetic Resources
Museums Victoria

Joanna is a geneticist and conservation biologist who manages the research laboratories and the Ian Potter Australian Wildlife BioBank at Museums Victoria. The BioBank contains irreplaceable tissue samples and DNA from Australian animals, used for research on evolution, taxonomy, and conservation. With the addition of the Ian Potter Australian Wildlife BioBank, the museum is taking a more proactive approach, preserving tissue samples from species at risk of extinction in a state-of-the-art liquid nitrogen cryofacility for long-term storage. This resource offers conservation biologists in the field an opportunity to reintroduce genetic diversity to small populations at threat of extinction.

 

Dr Marissa Parrott

Dr Marissa Parrott
Reproductive Biologist
Zoos Victoria

Marissa is the Reproductive Biologist at Zoos Victoria, a zoo-based conservation organisation fighting extinction for some of the world’s most endangered species. Marissa works across Healesville Sanctuary, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and a variety of field locations to improve sustainable wildlife populations, reproductive research, and captive breeding and reintroduction success. She has a particular focus on threatened species, including the endangered Mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the critically endangered Mountain Pygmy-possum.

 

Darren Grover

Darren Grover
General Manager, Threatened Species
Zoos Victoria

Darren joined Zoos Victoria this year following a career as Head of Healthy Land and Seascapes for the World Wildlife Fund in Australia. He is now managing Zoos Victoria's challenging mission to protect 27 key species from extinction in Australia through a variety of special programs and interventions. 

Watch live

Date and time

Sunday 21 August, 2022
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Streaming live

You can watch this event here on the parliament's website or tune in via Facebook Live, where you can take part in the conversation.

Contact

For queries, please contact

Email: community@parliament.vic.gov.au