Gonzalo GiribetGonzalo Giribet

Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Alexander Agassiz, Professor of Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Curator-in-Charge of Invertebrate Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, USA

Biogeography meets genomics—new trends in data analysis of biogeographic data

Gonzalo is Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Zoology at Harvard University. His major research interests are systematics of invertebrates (marine and terrestrial) and biogeography of ancient terrestrial invertebrate groups, as well as many aspects of the evolution, ecology and genomics of invertebrates. He has served as president of the International Society for Invertebrate Morphology, and is vice-president of the Spanish Malacological Society. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, a Membre Corresponent de la Secció de Ciències Biològiques del Institut d’Estudis Catalans (the Catalonian Academy of Sciences) and a Research Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and of the Field Museum of Natural History.


Judy WestJudy West

Executive Director, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Assistant Secretary, Department of the Environment and Energy, Parks Australia

Can systematics evolve beyond its years?

Judy has research interests that centre on the systematics of Australian plants, particularly related to morphological and breeding system evidence in combination with molecular data. She has a keen interest in widely disseminating the results of taxonomic research and has focused on facilitating incorporation of this knowledge into interactive identification packages of nationally significant groups, such as eucalypts, legumes, grevilleas and orchids, as well as tropical rainforest plants. Judy also takes an active interest in applications of biological collections data and identifying opportunities to value add to herbarium collections.

Nerida WilsonNerida Wilson

Senior Research Scientist, Western Australian Museum, Adjunct Research Fellow, The University of Western Australia, Australia

Out of sight, out of mind—marine invertebrate systematics and conservation

Nerida is a marine molecular biologist who received her BSc from University of Melbourne, and BSc (Hons) and PhD at University of Queensland (2004). She had a brief sojourn at the University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum, and then moved to the USA to pursue postdoctoral work at Auburn University (Alabama), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (San Diego). She returned to Australia in 2010 to the Australian Museum as a Senior Research Scientist, and in 2014 moved to the Western Australian Museum. She founded the Equal Opportunity Science- Australia Facebook group, and loves that her job combines science, travel, and discovery.

Shelley James

Manager Collections, National Herbarium of NSW, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Herbarium data—global biodiversity and societal botanical needs for novel research

Shelley is a botanist who has worked internationally with the Bishop Museum and more recently with the iDigBio program as their Data Management Coordinator based out of the Florida Museum of Natural History.  In addition to her work as a leader in collections management and digitisation efforts, Shelley’s botanical research focuses on the biodiversity and biogeography of the flora of the Pacific and Melanesia.


Kevin Thiele

K Thiele

Program Manager, Biosystematics and Taxonomy Plan, Australian Academy of Science

The Biosystematics and Taxonomy Plan–including discussion session. 

Kevin has an extensive and diverse background as a botanist with expertise in science leadership, plant systematics, biodiversity informatics, and conservation ecology, policy and planning. Currently, Kevin works as an independent consulting scientist. Kevin previously led the Western Australian Herbarium (2006–2015) and was the Chair of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (2012–2014) where he built relationships with state, national and international bodies relevant to systematics, taxonomy, nomenclature and biodiversity informatics.
Currently, Kevin is the Program Leader for the development of a Decadal Plan for our discipline in Australia and New Zealand. Taxonomy and systematics are foundational sciences for all biodiversity sciences, yet throughout the world these areas are consistently poorly funded, and often declining through time. The decadal plan development includes Kevin taking a leadership role in working with colleagues in the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH), Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections (CHAFC), Australasian Systematic Botany Society (ASBS) and Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB) along with the whole systematics and taxonomy community.
Please join us as it will be an amazing opportunity for us all to understand where the plan is heading and to contribute.

Kristofer Helgen

Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide

Systematics and other collections-based sciences in the Anthropocene

Internationally renowned zoologist, Professor Kris Helgen, returned to the University of Adelaide in early 2017 after 10 years as Curator-in-Charge of the Division of Mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He’s worked as a zoologist in more than 50 countries and is best known for his role in the discovery of a mammal called the olinguito, which made international headlines in 2013. The olinguito was the first new species of carnivore to be identified in the Western Hemisphere in almost 40 years and was found living in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador.

Aside from his academic credentials, Professor Helgen is also an explorer with the National Geographic Society, was named one of Business Insiders Most Inspiring Innovators and Entrepreneurs Under 40 and has featured in numerous documentaries including BBC’s Wild Burma.