Fresh look at our beaches and climate change

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Fresh look at our beaches and climate change

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Published on 4 September 2014

Coast residents will be encouraged to see the opportunities climate change could create and to view our treasured sandy beaches as thriving ecosystems at a fascinating free public lecture at USC on Tuesday 16 September.

Two of USC’s leading ecologists, Associate Professors Thomas Schlacher and David Schoeman, will share their latest research about the environment in thought-provoking talks.

The one-hour presentation will be held at the Innovation Centre auditorium from 5.30pm, followed by a question and answer time and the opportunity to meet the presenters while enjoying light refreshments.

Dr Schlacher’s presentation ‘Beaches and Undersea Volcanoes – Marine Ecology at the Extremes’ will outline two habitats that define much of the landscape of the Sunshine Coast above and below the water: sandy shores and seamounts.

“Contrary to popular belief, beaches are amazingly diverse and rich ecosystems – not just piles of sand, while submarine seamounts dwarf those little hills you see around the Glasshouse Mountains,” he said.

Dr Schoeman’s presentation ‘Like frogs in a pot, or not? Some thoughts on responding to a changing climate’ will describe alternative ways in which we can think about the changing climate.

“By conceptualising the pathways along which climates move, we could plan for future environmental change not only so that we can minimise its impacts, but also so that we can take advantage of new opportunities as they arise,” he said.

“We need not sit like frogs in a pot, becoming ever more gloomy as the water warms. With a little imagination, we could plan for our warmer future while at the same time pushing our public representatives to ensure that the water doesn’t boil.”

This event is the third in a series of free and informative talks – Research@USC – open to the Sunshine Coast community. The series will continue with Primary Industry on Tuesday 21 October and Education on Tuesday 4 November.

To register your attendance, email ed.foshee@usc.edu.au or phone 5459 4529

— Jane Cameron

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