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On 2 June we held Day 2 of the Australian Academy of Science Fenner Conference on the Environment. This invitation-only hybrid event was hosted by the Shine Dome in Canberra. It was funded by the Australian Academy of Science and through the expert workshop component of funding from The Ian Potter Foundation. We had 44 attendees either in person, online or in hubs in WA, Victoria and NSW.

We started the day with a speech from The Ian Potter Foundation’s Senior Project Manager, Louise Arkles, and an evaluation of the Germplasm Guidelines project outputs and impact. Dr TJ Higgins AO FAA FTSE welcomed attendees to the Shine Dome on behalf of the Australian Academy of Science. Jacqui Goonrey, Director of the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner, spoke about the important role of ex situ conservation, including seed banking and living collections, in helping to insure our plant species against extinction. The rest of the day was dedicated to discussion and activities about plants that require complementary methods of ex situ conservation, in addition to seed banking. We discussed the types of habitats and threat combinations that require prioritisation of these methods for both threatened and at-risk species. We plan to use the evaluation session in our reporting and strategic planning for ANPC; and the exceptional species discussion to write up a scientific paper in the next year.

Image of in person conference participants by Damian Wrigley