2015, April | SA56 Keynote Lecture – Andy Mack

Date - Saturday, 04/18/2015
Time - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Trip Leader(s): Andrew Mack, Keynote Speaker

Total spaces for this event: 400

Total spaces remaining (not yet booked): 317

Godwit Days 2015 Keynote Speaker,
Andrew Mack, author and Executive Director of Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance presents

“Uphill Struggles: Of cassowaries, seeds and conservation”

About Andy: No ordinary poo-chaser, is Andy! Yes, that’s right, Andy chases bird poop in the forest. Even picks it up, puts it in bags, and takes it home. But Andy’s not picking up ordinary poo. He’s interested in cassowary poo and his forest is a fabulous, isolated, mountain rainforest in Papua New Guinea. Arguably chasing one of the most sought-after jobs in the world, Andy studied the habits of cassowaries, large flightless birds in New Guinea, to learn about seed dispersal and to discover how important these birds were to the maintenance of diversity of fruiting trees in such a forest.

Now, with that teaser, you’re probably brimming over with exciting, earth-changing questions. Such as, what is cassowary poo like (and does it smell)? How does one collect it?—just in case you ever find yourself in the New Guinea rainforest with a pile of cassowary leavings at your feet, right? How does one study elusive cassowaries? What are these fruits and what trees do they come from? What did Andy find out? And why is this important?

Be assured! You’re going to have the chance to meet Andy, and in his exciting presentation he’ll reveal all there is to tell about cassowary dung and why, if you happen to be one of any number of large fruiting trees, you’d be very thankful that these giant, hungry birds are doing what they’re doing and where they’re doing it. Andy will be our guest keynote speaker at the 2015 Godwit Days Bird Festival in Humboldt County. To have such an exciting and passionate international speaker and author this coming April is a fitting way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Godwit Days!

Birds have always been a central part of Andy’s life and he was already developing a reputation as an accomplished, hardcore birder in the early 1970s as a member of a birding expedition to the summit of El Triunfo in Mexico. He has studied birds in diverse nations, most notably in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia, Malaysia and Indonesia, and of course, North America. But he is most well-known for his work in Papua New Guinea on cassowaries and seed dispersal and just about anything that is related to that, as well as for his work in international conservation, including the founding and directing of Crater Mountain Biological Research Station in Papua New Guinea.

[portfolio_slideshow id=1767]
(see more pictures from New Guinea)

Andy holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Tropical Biology from the University of Miami. His first trip to Papua New Guinea was as a Fulbright Scholar. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and is a Research Associate at the University of Kansas. He has extensive experience working with the largest conservation organizations, and has held senior positions at Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society and was Collections Manager for Birds at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Andy has authored over fifty scientific publications and has been honored for his contributions by having a New Guinea tree frog, Litoria macki, and a canopy tree named after him.

Andy is passionately committed to raising up future generations of indigenous biologists wherever he works, concentrating on building scientific capacity in developing countries, and training national students and budding scientists in biodiversity and conservation science. He is a captivating speaker and presenter on birds and all aspects of conservation, and has developed a well-deserved reputation as a dynamic and inspiring speaker. Andy is now the Executive Director of Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance. His exciting book, Searching for PekPek: Cassowaries and Conservation in a New Guinea Rainforest, has just been released and is available at local Humboldt bookshops.

Each paid registration includes a keynote ticket. To purchase separately the fee is $10.00 per person.


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