Co-Convenors

Prof. Warwick Sauer
Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Professor Warwick Sauer has been involved in fisheries research for 31 years, first as a commercial fisher, then as a Principal Oceanographer at the Sea Fisheries Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, and for the last 21 years a member of Rhodes University, South Africa with the last 9 years as Head of Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science. He has published over 120 manuscripts in rated peer reviewed international journals, edited two books and numerous book chapters; sat on numerous international panels, has supervised 45 post graduate students and led or participated in more than 40 consulting projects, covering over 20 countries.
Recent research has focused on the management of marine resources and the implementation of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries governance, including the development and application of fisheries policy, the development of fisheries management plans, combating IUU, and Monitoring surveillance and compliance.

Gretta Pecl
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania, Australia

Gretta is an ARC Future Fellow, a previous Fulbright Fellow, and the Deputy Associate Dean of Research at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. She is also the current Editor in Chief of the prestigious Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries journal and a co-convenor of the Global Marine Hotspots Network.
Her recent research activity spans a wide range of topics from theoretical to applied ecology, including assessment of species range shifts, population and fishery responses to climate change, development and evaluation of adaptation options to respond to climate change, and on using citizen science approaches for ecological monitoring and engagement (e.g.www.REDMAP.org.au). Gretta leads several large National and regional marine climate change projects at IMAS and has a strong commitment to science communication with the public and industry.

Organising and Scientific Steering Committee

Amy Angert
Depts. of Botany and Zoology, University of British Columbia

Amy Angert is the Canada Research Chair in Conservation Ecology and Associate Professor of Botany and Zoology in the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.
She is an evolutionary ecologist by training who brings an evolutionary perspective to the problem of climate-driven range shifts. She is currently studying the demographic and evolutionary dynamics of populations perturbed by extreme climate events to understand when and where rapid adaption might forestall range contractions.

Dr. Omar Defeo
Titular Professor at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay.

During the last 30 years, Defeo has worked on biodiversity conservation and the development of adaptive co-management approaches in small-scale fisheries. His long-term research, which also includes experimental designs to better distinguish natural variability from anthropogenic impacts (notably on sandy beach ecosystems), showed that the threats to these ecosystems span a range from the local, such as trampling, through to the truly global, such as sea-level rise. Different lines of evidence derived from his long-term research suggest that sandy beach macrofauna is reorganizing under the influence of climate change. This is reflected in macrofauna sensitivity to increasing sea surface temperature, sea-level rise and erosion of the narrow physical habitat, as well as changes in system productivity. Defeo has published more than 150 papers in primary journals, he co-authored a book on Ecology of Sandy Shores (2018) and three FAO Fisheries Technical Papers. He has supervised more than 90 graduate and postgraduate students from Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Italy. He has received the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation (2010), the SCOPUS award (2010) and the Uruguayan Science and Technology Morosoli Award (2009).

Birgitta Evengård
Umeå University and Umeå University Hospital, Sweden

Birgitta Evengård is professor of infectious diseases at Umeå university and a senior consultant at Umeå university hospital in northern Sweden. After having focused on tropical medicine, for 10 years she has been involved with the impact of climate change on the epidemiology of infectious diseases in the Arctic.
Presently she is the PI of a Nordic Center of Excellence, www.clinf.org, which takes a multi-disciplinary approach involving an international consortium of scientists with interests in One Health and the impacts of ecosystem changes on human societes. She has been the author/ editor of 12 books, 20 book chapters and > 135 scientific publications.

Michelle Greve
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Michelle Greve is based at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Her research reflects her interest in biogeography, i.e. understanding how patterns of diversity and distribution of organisms have come about, what these patterns tell us about the evolutionary drivers of these patterns, and how we can use this information for conservation prioritisation, with a particular focus on the Southern Hemisphere.
More recently, she has also become interested in the invasion ecology of the sub-Antarctic islands, where she and her team are using a combination of trait ecology and modelling approaches to better predict invasion threats and impacts.

Roger Griffis
Climate Coordinator, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, USA

As Climate Change Coordinator for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Roger works with scientists and resource managers to increase the production and use of climate-related information for management of U.S. fisheries, protected species and other marine resources.  He led development of the NMFS Climate Science Strategy and works with regional teams to track changes, assessing risks, and evaluate best resource management strategies with changing oceans.  He is a marine ecologist with experience leading marine science and management programs.

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David Obura
CORDIO, East Africa

David Obura is a Director of CORDIO East Africa, a knowledge organization supporting sustainable management and conservation of coral reef and marine systems in Eastern Africa/the Western Indian Ocean. CORDIO takes research to management and policy, builds capacity, and works with stakeholders, managers and policy makers.
His primary research is on coral reef resilience, in particular to climate change, and the bio-geography of Indian Ocean corals, and have worked extensively in coral reef monitoring. This work provides a platform for contributing to regional scale marine management: in the Northern Mozambique Channel to design and promote an Integrated Ocean Management approach.

Dr. Nathalie Pettorelli
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London

Dr Pettorelli’s expertise is in methods to assess, predict and mitigate the impacts of changes in environmental conditions on species and ecosystems. She has authored/co-authored two books and over 130 scientific peer-reviewed publications on this topic. Nathalie sits on the editorial board of Journal of Applied Ecology, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, a journal she launched in 2014. She is the Secretary of the Conservation Specialist Interest Group for the British Ecological Society (BES), while also being a member of the BES Equality and Diversity Working Group and the BES Policy Committee. She also heads the GEO BON working group on ecosystem functions, which seeks to research, identify and derive essential biodiversity variables related to ecosystem functions.

Elvira Poloczanska
Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremen, Germany

Elvira is the Head of Science of the Technical Support Unit of Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Sixth Assessment Cycle. She was a Lead Author on Chapter 30 Ocean for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
Elvira has over 15 years research expertise in climate change ecology, with a focus on ocean ecosystems and fisheries particularly in the north-east Atlantic and south-west Pacific. Her research includes detection and attribution of observed impacts of climate change, projections of ecological impacts under warming scenarios, and the development of adaptation options for ecosystems and industries. She has led or contributed to assessments of climate change impacts, risks and adaptation across disciplines and sectors.

Dr. Katya Popova
National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom

Katya Popova is a global ocean and climate modeller working at the National Oceanography Centre, UK. Her main interests include ocean connectivity and impact of ocean advection on marine ecosystems.
Dr. Popova is  particularly interested in two regions: The Arctic Ocean and its transition to the seasonally ice-free state under continuous global warming and the Western Indian Ocean and climate impacts on its living marine resources. As well as scientific research, Dr.Popova is interested in policy and industry uptake of global high resolution modelling in the following areas:

  • Impact of climate change on living marine resources
  • Environmental risk assessment of potential oil spills
  • Navigability of the Arctic sea routes
  • Risk of oil spills in Arctic from increased exploration and transportation
  • Adaptation to climate change in communities dependent on living marine resources
  • Ocean geoengineering

Morgan Tingley
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Morgan Tingley is an Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. His research combines original data collected in the field with ecological big data and hierarchical modeling to answer critical ecological questions about organisms.
His work primarily focuses on how large-scale anthropogenic drivers of change (e.g., climate change, invasive species, fire) affect geographic distributions and community interactions over short (years) to long (centuries) timespans. His studies frequently focus on bird communities in temperate mountains around the world.

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Bruce Webber
CSIRO and Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute

Bruce Webber is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO, the Program Director of Processes and Threats Mitigation at the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia.  He is exploring the effect of global environmental change on plant-resource allocation and plant-ecosystem interactions to better understand range shifts, landscape connectivity and plant fitness.
Bruce leads projects that translate novel research findings into improved management solutions to address the biggest challenges at the nexus of landscape change, species invasions and native species resilience.

Grete K. Hovelsrud
Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research

Professor Grete K. Hovelsrud is an arctic anthropologist focusing on interdisciplinary studies of   adaptation to changing climatic and societal conditions, adaptive capacity of coupled social-ecological systems, and on the transformation to a low-emission society in the context of climatic and societal change. She has extensive fieldwork experience from communities, primary sectors, such as fisheries, agriculture, reindeer herding, aquaculture, and municipalities in the sub-Arctic and the Arctic. She has a particular interest in perceptions of risk, cultural theory of risk, co-production of knowledge and adaptive co-management with respect to changing climatic, environmental and societal conditions. The emphasis on the local context is a critical starting point for understanding impacts, risks, adaptation, adaptive capacity, and change. While this research is critical for understanding the particularities of the local context, the processes and insights are highly relevant for other local communities and for national and international policy for governing risk.
Grete is vice-president in the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research.

Early Career Committee

Curtis Champion
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), UTAS & CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania

Curtis is a PhD candidate passionate about enhancing the capacity of natural resource managers to adapt to future change through tailoring quantitative analyses for specific user groups. His PhD research utilises spatial modelling techniques and novel body condition tools to understand and predict the ecological effects of climate change for key marine species. Curtis has published research on topics ranging from natural hazard management, coastal artificial reefs and climate change ecology. He draws on these diverse research experiences to effectively link quantitative ecology with climate change adaptation. Curtis will submit his Doctoral thesis in 2019.

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Carla Edworthy
The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Rhodes University

Carla is a PhD candidate researching the impacts of coastal ocean warming and acidification on fishes. She uses experimental approaches to understand the eco-physiology of fishes in order to determine their vulnerability and potential adaptation to changes in their environment as a result of global climate change.
In her PhD, Carla aims to identify the physiological tolerance limits of a few coastal fish species, during their various stages of development, in order to identify potential physiological bottlenecks and the potential for local adaptation under conditions predicted for the coastal ocean in the near future. She is also implementing one of the first ocean acidification monitoring programs in South Africa under the guidance and support of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean Acidification Program.
Carla is also a member of the Aquatic Eco-physiology Research Platform and the Southern African Fisheries Ecology Research Lab at SAIAB and Rhodes University where she is involved in various other fish eco-physiology studies.

Raquel A. Garcia
Department of Botany and Zoology and Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Raquel’s interests began with climate change biogeography. She has used ecological niche models and climate change metrics to explore potential range shifts for African vertebrates under climate change scenarios. Her work has then turned to understanding the response mechanisms, at the organismal level, that underlie biogeographic patterns. She is interested in working across scales, linking pattern and process.
Raquel is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the CLIME Lab at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Focusing mainly on ectotherms, her ongoing projects combine modelling with lab and field experiments to address questions under three broad topics: a) ecologically relevant climate descriptions; b) climate- and bio-geography changes, and c) thermal physiology mechanisms underlying biogeography.

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Phillipa McCormack
Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania

Phillipa’s research investigates the design and operation of international and domestic environmental laws in response to climate change. Her work focuses in particular on legal frameworks for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation.
Phillipa’s broad research interests include laws for establishing and managing protected areas, enhancing landscape scale connectivity and engaging in proactive habitat restoration and conservation. Her recent research investigates legal frameworks governing the translocation of organisms to new habitats outside their ‘native’ distributions – a strategy that has been proposed to overcome barriers to independent redistribution and climate-driven extinction.

UTAS Staff – Phillipa McCormack

Shane Morris
Dynamics of Eco-Evolutionary Patterns, University of Tasmania

Shane is part of the Dynamics of Eco-Evolutionary Patterns (DEEP) research group at the University of Tasmania. His research focuses on translocations, or human-mediated range changes, particularly the potential of conservation translocations in combating our current and future rate of species loss. He is exploring this by looking at a number of Australian candidate species; some of which could be reintroduced from Tasmania to areas which they previously occupied on mainland Australia and others whose ecophysiological limits will likely shift, due to climate change, into areas which they historically haven’t occupied. He is also working on developing models of what novel faunal communities will likely occur as we head further into the Anthropocene.

D.E.E.P. – Shane Morris

Dr April Reside
Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland

April Reside is a postdoctoral research fellow with the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub on threatened species refugia, and lecturer in climate change and environmental management at the University of Queensland. April’s prior research focused on climate change impacts to Australia’s terrestrial vertebrate and freshwater species. By modelling species distributions for both current and future climate scenarios, this work identified future biodiversity hotspots and climate refugia.  April applies conservation planning frameworks to identify spatial priorities for climate change adaptation for biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Her research has fed into Natural Resource Management and government planning for climate change adaptation.  April is involved in on-ground threatened species conservation through the Recovery Team for the Black-throated Finch; and Birdlife Australia’s Research and Conservation Committee and Threatened Species Advisory Committee.

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Species on the Move

An International Conference Series

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.


Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

Conference Managers

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