Call for abstracts


Four workshops are available at the 2020 Victorian Biodiversity Conference. All work shops take place on Wednesday 5th February and will be located at Monash University, Clayton campus.  Please note that workshop attendance incurs an additional cost than conference registration. You can sign up for workshops when registering for the conference.


ArcGIS for Biodiversity – Building a Model (SOLD OUT)

Organiser: Sabrina Sayers and Marycarmen Martinez Diaz (Monash uni)

Time: 9.00am-12.45pm

This introductory workshop will focus on helping participants learn the fundamentals of ArcGIS through building a model specific to biodiversity in Victoria, in keeping with the theme of the conference. Participants will be taken through the entire process of building a model from downloading datasets, correct application of ArcGIS tools and finally producing a workable model that includes species distribution, environmental variables and land use land cover (LULC) changes.


R: Functions and Control Flow

Organiser: David Wilkinson (UniMelb)

Time: 9.00am-12.45pm

This workshop is for R programmers who have a solid understanding of the R basics and are looking to take their coding skills to the next level. In this workshop you'll learn how to leverage the power of control flow and functions to improve your code efficiency and reproducibility. We will introduce you to the two primary components of control flow: if statements, which let you run different code depending on inputs, and for loops, which let you repeatedly run the same code with changing inputs. Almost everything you do in R involves functions (even if you're not aware of it!) and we will provide an introduction to how functions work and show how to write custom functions for your own research.


Introduction to Behaviour Change for Biodiversity Conservation (SOLD OUT)

Organiser: Lena Jungbluth and Kim Borg (Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash uni)

Time: 9.15am-5.00pm

When designing biodiversity conservation or species management programs that focus on human behaviour – what do we actually mean by this? What influences whether audiences adopt the behaviours we want them to? How can we design effective interventions to achieve conservation impacts through our projects?

In this interactive workshop we will talk about what behaviour is, why we are interested in influencing it and some of the key drivers or motivators that affect behaviour adoption. Together we will apply tools to identify and prioritise behaviours and investigate how we can use audience insights for effective intervention design.


Introduction to Academic Writing and Science Communication

Organiser: Lucie Bland (Dr Lucie Bland: Book Coach, Editor)

Time: 2.00pm-5.30pm

Getting started with writing can be a baptism of fire, especially for early-stage graduate students. In this entry-level workshop, you will be given the first tools to succeed at academic writing and science communication. In this hands-on workshop, we will cover three essential steps to writing for both scientific and general audiences, with tips applicable across genres and disciplines. You’ll find that good writing (regardless of its intended audience) obeys a few simple rules that are easy to implement.


The workshop is divided into three parts:

•             Getting words down (i.e. beating writers block!).

•             The basics of academic writing: formulating your pitch and structuring your manuscript.

•             Communicating your research to the public (including through blogs, social media, and traditional media).


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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