Organising Committee

The Victorian Biodiversity Conference is organised by postgraduate students. early-career researchers and early-career professionals from a diverse range of Victorian institutions. If you're interested in joining the team, or want to express an interest in helping with future conferences, feel free to contact us. The committee for the 2021 conference includes members from the following nine institutions:

Cassie Speakman

Deakin University

PhD candidate investigating the effects of climate change and other threats on the foraging behaviour of Australian fur seals, and what population-level impacts may result.

Nick Bradsworth

Deakin University

PhD Candidate investigating the impact of urbanisation on a threatened apex predator, the powerful owl, via GPS tracking devices.

Elodie Camprasse

Deakin University

Recently completed a PhD with the Centre for Integrative Ecology on individual specialisations in seabirds. She now works as a casual academic at Deakin University, as Project Manager at nature connection charity Remember The Wild, and as Emergency Response Operator at Wildlife Victoria. Elodie is passionate about science communication and is a coordinator for Pint of Science and the World Seabird Twitter conference. She is doing research on human-wildlife conflicts and is passionate about finding better ways for humans and wildlife to coexist and hope to pursue this research further though a post-doc.

Jess Lynch

Deakin University

Undergraduate student studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. 

Ielyzaveta Ivanova

Monash University

PhD candidate looking at understanding the relative contribution that private protected areas make to Australia’s reserve system in the biodiversity values protected.

Cristóbal Gallegos

Monash University

PhD candidate investigating the drivers of divergence in a marine invertebrate in the coast of south east Australia, and how this process might be affected by climate change in a rapidly warming sea.

Allie Nance

Monash University

PhD candidate working on understanding the unique challenges of, and opportunities for conservation on small islands inhabited by humans. Allie works on the ecology and management of Norfolk Island endemic passerines as a case-study, and looks at global patterns and experiences of conservation management on inhabited islands.

Jacinta Humphrey

La Trobe University

PhD Candidate, Research Centre for Future Landscapes. Jacinta is investigating the impacts of housing density and canopy tree cover on urban bird communities throughout greater Melbourne.

Iris Hickman

La Trobe University

Biological science student, currently investigating future climate change scenarios for alpine shrubs, in particular the variation of alpine shrub traits when protected by snow verse exposed with low snow cover.

James Shelley


James is a research scientist in the Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation program at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. His current research focussed on eDNA detection of aquatic organisms and determining early life-history traits of the Mountain Galaxiid species complex.

Christine Connelly

Victoria University

Christine finished her PhD looking at the effects of urbanisation on eastern yellow robins with Deakin University in 2019. She now lectures in environmental science at Victoria University. She is an advocate for citizen science, because she loves working with passionate community groups.

Arabella Eyre

Zoos Victoria

Works in the Leadbeater’s possum field team within the Wildlife and Conservation Science group at Zoos Victoria, helping to support Victoria’s critically endangered faunal emblem. Arabella's interests are in threatened species ecology and conservation

Marco Gutierrez

RMIT University

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

Marco's research focuses on how biodiversity and ecosystem services are addressed in strategic environmental assessments, and the opportunities and risks that they present to biodiversity conservation

Katherine Berthon

RMIT University

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

Katherine uses a variety of methods to understand and predict the influence of green space design on plant-insect relationships, to better inform how green spaces can be designed to support biodiversity in cities.

Blythe Vogel

Department of Transport

Blythe graduated from the Master of Science at the University of Melbourne in 2019. She is now an environmental officer at the Department of Transport. She is passionate about urban ecology and achieving positive environmental outcomes


We acknowledge and respect Victorian Traditional Owners as the original custodians of Victoria’s land and waters, their unique ability to care for Country and deep spiritual connection to it. We honour Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom has ensured the continuation of culture and traditional practices.

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