Have you seen the confronting images of dead seabirds full of plastic debris? Beyond the media-induced shock, what is the science and the story behind these gruesome images?
Join Dr Heidi Auman for this informative evening, where she will explain the physiological and toxicological impacts of marine plastic debris on seabirds from her own research. You will also hear from Matt Dell, one of the coordinators of the South West Marine Debris Cleanup that is carried out each year on Tasmania’s remote wilderness coastline. For the past 15 years, a dedicated team of volunteers collect, count and sort nearly half a million items of marine debris. Learn more about the clean up team and how you can be involved.
Beverages will be available by donation, and all proceeds from this evening will go directly to supporting the 2017 South West Marine Debris Cleanup.
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About the Speakers:
Dr Heidi J Auman, PhD (Adjunct Lecturer, IMAS)
Heidi has studied human impacts on seabirds for the past twenty-five years. She has explored plastic ingestion in subantarctic and Tasmanian seabirds, chemical pollutants in Great Lakes birds, and the effects of junk food on urban gulls. She has demonstrated that our ecological footprint has reached the farthest corners of the earth, often with disturbing consequences. Recently Heidi found that 96% of Tasmanian muttonbird chicks were full of plastic debris.
Heidi is also the author of educational children’s book Garbage Guts, which details the challenges Aria the Albatross and her ocean friends encounter due to marine debris. It has become a call to action to preserve some of our planet’s most fragile habitats for the wildlife that depends on them.
Matt Dell, Environmental Scientist
A cartographer, photographer and keen surfer, Matt has been involved with organising the South West Marine Debris Cleanup in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area for over 15 years. He and fellow coordinator Dave Wyatt lead a team of up to 20 volunteers who, as a not-for-profit organisation, receive funding from public donations, crowd funding campaigns, and partnerships with like-minded organisations.
Marine debris is trashing some of our wildest beaches. We’re absolutely committed to fighting this toxic wave of rubbish that’s choking our oceans and destroying our marine life. We need all hands on deck to tackle this crucial issue, and help protect Tassie’s globally renowned wild places, over 80% of marine debris globally is derived from the land, we need to stop the rubbish at the source – Matt Dell.