Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2018October 7 - 11, 2018 Melbourne, Australia


Taking place on Wednesday afternoon, times TBC

Student Workshop: Job application and interview skills

Facilitators: Josh Barrow & Henry Wootton 
Completing a degree in fish biology or fisheries science can lead to a range of different job opportunities, including academia, ecosystem and fisheries management, governance, consultancy, and education. Applying for a job is exciting, but it can also be time consuming and frustratingly difficult. Writing job applications and preparing for interviews take time and effort, so it is important that students have skills and experience to ensure that they can be standout candidates. This is a vital step in the career progression of young scientists that is often overlooked in graduate and post-graduate courses.

This student and early career workshop will focus on three areas that are vital to getting a job: 1) written job applications, 2) the interview process, and 3) what you can do more generally to get noticed. A panel of professionals from different industries will present their experiences going through the process of getting a job, and hiring new employees. Panel members will reveal tips that will help to make your job application or interview stand out from the crowd.

The main objective of this student workshop is for participants to leave confident about applying for, and getting a job. Students will be given the opportunity to submit a written response to selection criteria for a job prior to the conference. Fish and fisheries professionals will assess applications and provide feedback to participants. Experts will be invited to share examples from the very best applications and explain why some stand out from others.

Threatened fishes workshop: tools and support for saving species

Michael Hammer & Mark Lintermans, ASFB Threatened Species Committee Co-convenors

Freshwater fish are disproportionality threatened compared to many faunal groups, with large and competing human demands on their restricted habitat. Fish conservation is invariably poorly funded, often difficult to achieve, and personally and academically challenging. But it is in critical need, can be very rewarding, provides tangible application of science, and fits well with new research models for citizen science and community engagement. ASFB through the Threatened Fishes Committee has played a leading role in assessing conservation concern and supporting researchers working with threatened fishes in Australia and New Zealand. This workshop is designed to help support current and future researchers and practitioners (often people do both) in continued and combined efforts for conservation, with an objective to share knowledge, tools, experiences and professional contacts.

This workshop fits perfectly with the theme of the 2018 conference of "Science into Practice, Practice into Science" by covering an applied field of conservation and linking to an active ASFB committee: “Through sharing experiences, priorities, skills and new ideas, we will inspire delegates to forge even stronger and more productive relationships with other stakeholders in their field.”

The workshop will be led by the co-convenors of the ASFB TFC with support of the TFC state and territory representatives. We plan to have panel discussions, incorporating slides to speak to, involving delegates from across Australia and New Zealand, with an emphasis on regional diversity. Particular a short listed topics include:

1. Preparing nominations and explaining IUCN criteria.
2. Taxonomy as a foundation – recent discovery phase, lost before they are known?
3. Bottom up approaches – experiences of on-ground actions including urgent response; positive examples to help inspire others, but also learning by trail and error.
4. Top down approaches – experiences on ecosystem restoration.
5. Genetics for captive breeding – what is the latest as far as best practice?
6. Reintroduction lessons (numbers, life stage/size, training, soft release).
7. Alternate funding sources – crowd funding, NGOs.
8. Citizen science – engagement, taking ownership, eyes on the ground (e.g. ‘Find a Flaty’).
9. Career perspectives – student, early career, senior.
10. Practise into Science – balancing academic and on-ground needs (e.g. MFR special issue).
11. Legislation and management perspective – update on new and emerging arrangements.
12. Promoting threatened species – avenues and ways to package messages, ASFB social media.

A wide spectrum of researchers and practitioners. We aim to link the workshop off the back of open Threatened Species themed Special Sessions in the morning and run the invited speaker panel discussion for the afternoon (3 hours). We will specifically target both freshwater and marine perspectives.

Fisheries management workshop: The importance of cohesion to confront uncertainty

Chair: Bryan McDonald
Fisheries management is becoming increasingly complex. Social expectation is growing steadily about how fisheries should be managed within the context of broader aquatic resource management. Delivering ecosystem-based fisheries management according to multiple (and potentially cumulative) risk in biological, environmental, social and economic contexts at various scales is often challenging enough without the overlay of issues associated with broader ecosystem-based management. Integrated planning continues to emerge as conceptually important but it is difficult to implement.
Done well, integrated management is a science-based approach to help evaluate trade-offs in resource uses so as to maintain the integrity, resilience and productivity of ecosystems and the services they provide. As such, the delivery of real integrated management is dependent on cohesive diagnoses of resource and system condition linked to uncertainty and risk identification. It is also subject to a diverse and often disparate set of stakeholder, political, private and public sector interests, expectations and opinions.
Successfully managing fisheries as a part of an integrated approach to aquatic ecosystem management will depend on a level of transparency that services the growing needs and expectations of previously unfamiliar levels of public scrutiny and skepticism. The most powerful approach available to address that dilemma is likely to be in the form of a more cohesive and dynamic form of collaboration between scientific experts and fisheries managers in a way that allows uncertainty to be defined, clearly articulated and addressed objectively and systematically.
A workshop session is proposed to coincide with the scheduled 2018 ASFB Conference in Melbourne to explore better ways to collaborate and options to build greater cohesion between science and management. The workshop has the potential to provide platform for building a Fisheries Managers Committee. The intent is to form a pathway for engagement between the established scientific arm of ASFB membership with the emerging arm of resource management to facilitate collaboration and drive change. By way of example, it is anticipated that fisheries managers can also have valuable input into other sessions and workshops held throughout the 2018 conference.


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