Charles Darwin Symposium lifts the lid on regional risks 


Emerging infectious tropical diseases, biodiversity in crisis, drivers of change and prospects for the future were just some of the topics discussed during the second day of the Charles Darwin Symposium.

Chair of the Symposium, Justin Murphy, said the closing sessions delivered a diverse range challenging topics with passionate speakers bringing real urgency and immediacy to a whole range of regional environmental issues.

“It’s the best Symposium I’ve been to by a country mile,” he said.

Speakers on the second day included Associate Professor Navjot Sodhi from the National University of Singapore, who spoke about the growing biodiversity crisis in the region and the urgent need for realistic solutions that are embraced by politicians, scientists and demographers.

Associate Professor Sodhi was also on hand during the lunch break when CDU Vice Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett, launch his new book which is co authored by CDU researcher Professor Barry Brook and entitled South East Asian Biodiversity in Crisis.

Other speakers included Associate Professor Simon Tay from the Institute of International Affairs in Singapore who spoke on Trade and Environment in South East Asia.

CDU Professor Tony Cunningham from the CRC Desert Knowledge gave a presentation on the Drivers of change: Culture, livelihoods and conservation which prompted some vigorous debate with the audience during question time.

CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Robert Wasson, said the aim of the Charles Darwin Symposia is to create stimulating and enriching debate which enables people of different perspectives and disciplines to share ideas and experiences.

For full transcripts of presentations or downloads and background on speakers please visit