This ARC funded network was funded in 2005, with the following history: Conveners of the network seeding application titled "Understanding the Australian ecolsystem: integrating contemporary and historical perspectives on the evolution, ecology and management of Australia's living resources" had always intended to run a large scale meeting should they be successful with their seed funding application. When the outcomes of seed funding were announced, three other networks merged with this network and adopted its plan for a meeting of interested parties to develop a plan for the network application and web site. This meeting was followed by another facilitated by Mr Mark Douglas, Ethos Australia Pty Ltd with an agenda to develop the aims of the network, its structure and governance.
The network can be scoped in the following ways:
The network ranges over the Australian continent, which we take to include Australia, Papua New Guinea, associated islands and continental shelf waters, In broad habitat terms this includes terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.
The network will cover the changes in the Australian biota from the time when Australia finally separated from Antarctica (approximately 35 million years ago), through to the present day, and in a predictive sense, into the future, probably at the level of decades. We will not treat time in linear way, since there are key intervals in the past when critical events occurred that we believe shaped the Australian biota in fundamental ways, and once these are properly defined they will receive special attention.
The network carries a very brad range of expertise, and can cover most issues that will arise about biodiversity assessment in Australia, past present and future. This includes specialists in climate, dating and other physical characteristics of the biota that may have impacted on the biota. We do not pretend to have an exhaustive list of people in the network, and we will be open to new membership as needed and interest arises. We do not have any managers within the network, even though "managing" appears in the title. Our scope finishes at the level of interacting with managers outside the network to understand their research needs and also to explain our research outcomes to them. Our structure specifically plans for a mechanism to achieve this. We carry a very strong element of science communication within out network.
|Members of the Management Committee: Left to right: Margaret Byrne, Andy Austin, Steve Donnellan, Simon Haberle, Bob Hill, and Sean Connolly. (absent Arthur Georges)|