PhD Seminar - Conservation in the context of prevailing data deficiency: the case of the Tasmanian masked owl

Data deficiency remains an impediment to conservation both globally and locally. Research and monitoring can sometimes improve data availability, however, substantial barriers to overcoming data deficiencies for some species mean that uncertainties are not always able to be resolved. When prevailing data deficiency persists for threatened species, conservationists must embrace high uncertainty when deciding which management interventions are most appropriate.

This seminar will explore Adam Cisterne's PHD research, which centres around the endangered Tasmanian masked owl. The masked owl’s dependence on forests places it in direct conflict with logging and other industrial practices.

However, data deficiencies have limited the development, application and assessment of conservation research and actions for the subspecies. Adam took an adaptive research approach, investigating the utility of different data sources and analytical methods to target population scale questions with high relevance to conservation, and exploring the effect of high uncertainty in quantitative threat assessments.

About the speaker

Adam Cisterne is a PhD student with the Difficult Birds Research Group based in Tasmania. His research with the DBRG is focussed on the endangered Tasmanian masked owl, and explores different sources of data and analytical methods to study a widespread but rare and elusive species. His key interest is in the application of genetics to the study of ecology and conservation.

Adam's background is microbiology, cell biology, genetics and behavioural ecology, and holds a BSc (microbiology) from the University of Sydney and a MSc (Tropical Ecology and Conservation) from James Cook University.