All workshops at VicBioCon22 will be held online on Wednesday 2nd February 2022


Please note: Workshops are optional extras and are not included in conference registration. You must register for workshops separately to purchasing a conference ticket.

Workshop registration for 2022 has now closed.

This year, we are offering two workshops on the following topics:

Using the R Package ‘galah’ to Investigate the Atlas of Living Australia

Date: Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Max participants: 20 people

Ticket cost: $35


Dr Jenna Wraith – Training and Outreach Officer, ALA

Dr Dax Kellie – Data Analyst & Lead Developer for galah, ALA

Dr Martin Westgate – Team Leader, Science & Decision Support, ALA


The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is Australia’s largest open biodiversity database. In this workshop, we will introduce the ALA R package – galah – and how it can be used to efficiently locate, investigate, and download biodiversity information. Key topics to be covered include:

  • Filtering records by taxonomic and spatial criteria

  • Finding numbers of records or species within meaningful categories prior to download

  • Interacting with taxonomic information using the ‘data.tree’ package

  • Tips and tricks for effective data visualisation

Pre-requisites: A basic knowledge of R. Pre-installation of the ‘galah’ package is useful, but not mandatory.

Creating Memorable Wildlife Images


Date: Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Time: 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Max participants: 20 people

Ticket cost: $45

Facilitator: Doug Gimesy

Doug is a professional conservation and wildlife photojournalist who
focuses on Australian issues. A Senior Fellow of the International League of
Conservation Photographers (iLCP), his clients include National Geographic,
BBC Wildlife, bioGraphic, Australian Geographic, Audubon, as well various
mastheads like The Guardian. Initially trained as a zoologist and microbiologist,
he later completed a Masters of Environment and a Masters of Bioethics. Together,
these two qualifications helped shape his thinking as what type of issues he should be
focusing on and why – conservation and animal welfare issues.

Believing people should focus on the issues they care about and those that are close to home, his recent work has focused on the conservation and animal welfare issues facing the platypus and the Grey-headed Flying-fox – having recently facilitated the platypus being listed as threatened species in his home state of Victoria, as well as launching
a children’s book with his partner on Grey-headed Flying-foxes titled ‘Life Upside Down’. Current on-going projects
include covering the illegal reptile trade out of Australia, the use of scent dogs in conservation, and a series of portraits called 'Wildlife Warriors, Conservation Champions and Animal Advocates’.

His hope is that the images and information he shares, will inspire people to stop, think, and treat the world more kindly.

Objective: At the end of this interactive class, photographers will have developed a better understanding of what to consider when trying to capture memorable and impactful wildlife/nature photographs.

Format: The workshop will run for 2.5 - 3 hours, and will be split into two parts (with a short break in between). 
In the first part, we will examine why images are so powerful and what features and characteristics, beyond a mastery
of the technical basics, can give a wildlife/nature images real impact.
In the second part, we will review (as a group) some anonymous images provided by each of the ‘active’ participants,
to better understand what worked well, and what could be done differently next time.


Pre-requisites: Workshops participants can elect to be an 'active' participant in the workshop or an 'observer'.

‘Active’ participants: 

  • A solid understanding of photography and camera basics. 

  • Experience/understanding of the impact of changing basic functions (e.g. ISO, aperture and shutter speed) on a DSLR camera or equivalent.

  • Two wildlife/nature images taken by the participant sent as high resolution jpeg files (no watermarks please).
    These should have an image title/name as if you were presenting in a gallery, and each file should be less than 2MB. Photos must be sent to VicBioCon committee member Elodie Camprasse ( by 5pm Monday 31st January 2022.


‘Observer’ participants:

  • No prerequisites. May be new to photography.