Dr Bob Godfree ‘How Great Historical Droughts have Shaped Australia’

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Thursday, 1 July 2021 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Bob, a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO, will talk about his research on the impact of great droughts on Australian people and landscapes, particularly the 1895-1903 Federation Drought.  Lessons learnt give key insights into the likely future of the Australian landscapes and society in coming decades of climate change.

Abstract  Drought has always posed a formidable challenge to life in Australia, often leaving ecosystems and landscapes so deficient in resources that human populations have frequently been forced to adapt, move, or perish. The most severe, protracted droughts also have the capacity to cause irreversible ecosystem collapse and land degradation, particularly when combined with overgrazing and other land use practises. In this talk I will discuss some of my recent research on the impact of great droughts on Australian people and landscapes, spanning from the last glacial maximum to the recent severe drought in northern NSW. I particularly focus on the 1895-1903 Federation Drought, which devastated inland Australia and was the first 'megadrought' to occur in the post-European era. The lessons learnt from these droughts give us key insights into the likely future of Australian landscapes and society in the coming decades of climatic change.

Biography Bob Godfree is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO where he works on the ecological, evolutionary and biogeographical implications of drought. He completed his Bachelor degree at Macquarie University before completing his PhD in the USA where he studied the impacts of dwarf mistletoes on pine forests. He comes from a background on the land and so has been interested in drought from a young age, and today also runs a farm in northwest NSW.

This talk will be held in the ANBG Theatrette.

Bookings are essential because of the COVID-19 guidelines related to the Thursday Talks and limited seating (tickets are free). Bookings will open on the Friday before the talk; they will close on the following Wednesday night or when seating limits are reached.

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- You have not been in a hotspot or prohibited area before attending Thursday Talks.
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Tickets are limited, please notify us if you are unable to come on 0437 298 711 or 0407 299 704.