a collection of small modern styled paintings laid out on a table on the theme of mangroves

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

A Compendium of Ecological Interviews

We are thrilled to provide opportunities to connect to and learn more about the ancient lands in which we live, work and play.

Discover the following fascinating ecology interviews with a variety of specialists who are often humble quiet achievers in their fields. These informative and positive interviews live on here in perpetuity.
We hope you enjoy these contributions, celebrating the amazing mystery, nature’s capacity and the deep connection between all living things across ecosystems, time and space. Scroll down past the links to find out more about each interview or return to the Salty Forest project page.


Brittany Williams and Highways of Sound:
Could our future oceans could be ones full of rhythms and melodies that are engineered to attract and restore organisms to degraded habitats? Brittany Willams is a PhD candidate at Adelaide University whose work has been based on luring baby oysters to reefs in SA using highways of sound. These reefs and their underwater music were dredged to extinction over 150 years ago, and have never naturally returned. This is an issue because oyster reefs filter our oceans for us, are barriers to erosion of our beaches, are homes to fish and much more. Fortunately, SA is now working to bring the reefs, their music and their ecological benefits back. Brittany has been trying to speed up this reef recovery by using underwater speakers that play snapping shrimp music to baby oysters. The cacophonous, crackling sounds produced by snapping shrimp are attractive to baby oysters, because it tells them that nearby is a healthy reef. As a result, the babies follow this crackle to its source, landing on our reefs, helping us speed up reef growth. You can listen to these sounds during the interview with Brittany and team illuminart. Did you know that the snap made by the shrimp itself is very bright, being nearly as hot as the Sun? …something that has been called ‘shrimpoluminescence’: how illuminating! Brittany is also fascinated by the deep sea and the ever-advancing technology that is taking us there. She hopes to use her knowledge of underwater acoustics to help discover it.

Patrick James and Geo Trails of South Australia and the World:
There are examples of Geotrails globally that are well travelled by tourists. In Ireland, they vigorously promote their own Copper Coast and its geology to tourists. South Australia’s Hallet Cove reveals remarkable evidence of the Permian Period and ancient glaciations and geologists around the world come to see it. While doing so, they head to places like the Flinders Ranges and Arkaroola to see more remarkable geological features. How can we engage local people here in Australia more effectively with their own stories about the geology of the places in which we live? Why are scientists coming to visit places that many South Aussies don’t even know about? What is it about this place that is so remarkable? What might be some of the steps we can take to better engage people with their local geological story, so that they can deepen their connection to their own place? What opportunities can be explored for developing tourist trails across the state? Patrick has a strong research record in geoscience, including structure, tectonics, geological mapping, remote sensing and mineral and hydrocarbon exploration. He was a field and structural geologist and developer of innovative educational technologies within geoscience for almost forty years. Since retirement he has developed a considerable new research strand and activity in Geotourism Development, Geoconservation, Geodiversity and Geoscience Interpretation in conjunction with UniSA and Nature Foundation SA. He is also involved with Project LIVE, a cross-disciplinary initiative that focuses on creating virtual and augmented reality experiences that bridge the research-teaching nexus.

Joe Benshemesh, Malleefowl Mysteries and Future-Mending:
What are the origins and ancestry of the mysterious malleefowl, here and around the world? These vulnerable birds compost vegetation in mounds to generate heat and protect their eggs. How might such a strategy have evolved and how might it evolve into the future? How effective is this strategy? Although they have adapted to cope with a drier mallee environment, the malleefowl rely on biodiversity and need connected corridors of habitat to find their mate. What are the most critical threats to their survival and what can we do about it?
In the projection story at Karoonda, future humans live under temperature controlled domes tended to by Mallee-bots… Is there something we can learn from a species such as the malleefowl in how we might better engage with and interact with the environment so we can avoid such a future?  For this and other significant talking points listen in! The interview forms part of a series of events designed to help inspire and educate emerging scientists. Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board also looked at the mysterious malleefowl and local ecology as part of the Loxton Insect investigators Science Week event which included a Scinema screening. Get on board to learn more about how you can be a citizen scientist and help conserve this iconic species!

Kym Manning and Fish Hotel Fetish – Supporting Habitats and Ecosystem Recovery
The SA Carp Frenzy occurs every March at the beautiful Lake Bonney, which formed from the meandering flows of the mighty Murray River many millions of years ago. But what is quietly being achieved throughout the rest of the year to augment the purpose of this award winning competition? Kym Manning, a local fishing guru and environmental mover and shaker, has been at the tiller of this important project from its inception. With a will and passion to ultimately remove the invasive carp from these wonderful waterways, Kym is often found on land beside massive root balls or on the water setting in place fish hotels: super cool habitat replacements for our struggling Murray Cod that provide shelter, food and nesting sites. In the last decade, Kym has created over 100 such fish habitats. He’s been involved in nearly every Murray Cod fingerling release in SA – over 400,000 of them. Kym’s habitat installations are an SA first and he has undertaken them all for free in his own time. In this fascinating interview you will learn a plethora of facts, figures and statistics and be awed and inspired by Kym’s sensational stories of determination. Join us for these and other significant talking points. SA Carp Frenzy has raised over $100,000 and donated 100% back into community projects or to someone in need, and has removed over 35,000 carp from Lake Bonney. It is now the biggest Freshwater Fishing Comp in SA by three-fold and 100 people short of the biggest comp outright, salt or freshwater. In 2021 there were 1,008 competitors. Subscribe to Kym’s YouTube channel and check out some of the fish habitat projects he and the amazing volunteers have carried out: eg Volunteers Build A 4km Fish Habitat Trail and Construction of Native Fish Habitat – Murray River 2018 and Murray River Habitat Replacement SA.

Return to the Salty Forest project page
See how creativity, community engagement, ecology and future building intersect : Constellation

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