There is nowhere much better to be at in the middle of a Top End dry season than Darwin and there is absolutely nowhere better to be if you are a birder than the Australian Ornithology Conference to be held at the Charles Darwin University Casuarina campus next July.

I’ll be busy running an ethnoornithology symposium – see the abstract below – that will examine recent research in that most interesting field of work. It has been a while since we’ve had a dedicated ethnoornithology session at the AOC – the first we ran was a full day session on Australasian ethnoornithology in 2005 when the AOC was held at Blenheim, New Zealand.

The 10th Australasian Ornithological Conference (AOC) will be held in Darwin, Northern Territory from 3-5th July 2019. The AOC is the primary conference for BirdLife Australia and Birds NZ, and is the largest biennial gathering of enthusiastic amateur and professional ornithologists from Australia and overseas.

The main aims of the conferences are to:

  • Promote communication and interaction among ornithologists in Australasia;
  • Encourage student participation and provide networking opportunities, particularly for early-career ornithologists;
  • Showcase the best ornithological research from across Australasia.

The conference will be a great week of bird talks, excursions, and catching up with friends in the tropics. We look forward to celebrating the wonderful birdlife of the Top End with you in July 2019.

If you are interested in presenting a paper at the ethnoornithology session get in touch with me here or at [email protected] or via Twitter at @bgosford. If you are after more information on AOC 2019 generally go to the conference website here for a wealth of information.

See you in Darwin in the Dry Season!

Symposium convenor: Bob Gosford

Ethnoornithology is the study of the relationship between people and birds, and in recent years the field has emerged as a valuable source of ethnobiological research.  Ethnoornithology provides an opportunity to empower people of all cultures to discover, re-examine and preserve the connections between individuals, groups and cultures and the birds that they hunt, venerate and cherish. The field presents ornithological knowledge from alternative perspectives, which can enrich the more common approaches to ecological research, and contribute to management for conservation.

In this session, we will examine current ethnoornithological research and practice in Australasia, with a shared focus on field and theoretical research across Australia and practical on-the-ground work by Aboriginal ranger and land management groups in northern Australia. Talks will demonstrate the significance of indigenous knowledge of birds and their cultural significance, and how these can assist in framing the research methods of western scientists working in related areas. An overview of previous ethnoornithological research in northern Australia will be discussed, as will future directions.