The recent CIEEM Autumn Conference 2023 held in Liverpool was a hugely enjoyable and informative 2 days. For someone such as myself who is gaining knowledge in order to become a practicing ecologist it was incredibly insightful as well as at times being over my head in terms of comprehension of some of the topics covered.

Overall, the conference was a testament to the evolving landscape of ecological practices and technologies, showcasing an array of innovative approaches that are shaping the future of Ecology and  BNG. With a diverse range of sessions and discussions, the conference provided a deep dive into evidence-based ecology, technology-driven methodologies, and emerging ecological advancements.

Embracing Evidence - Based Ecology

The conference emphasized the significance of evidence-based approaches in ecological studies. Talks on Ecoacoustics and radio tracking bats highlighted how modern techniques are revolutionizing wildlife monitoring, offering  greater insights into the behaviour and habitats of various species.

The Role of Technology in Ecology

Natural England's groundbreaking presentation on collecting and utilizing DNA samples underscored how genetic analysis is redefining our understanding of species distribution and biodiversity patterns. Sessions delving into machine learning for analytics and reporting showcased the potential for technology to streamline data analysis and interpretation, allowing for more efficient decision-making processes in conservation efforts. Exploring innovative methodologies like LiDAR for tracking hazel dormouse and employing UAVs for surveying indicated the burgeoning role of technology in ecological research and habitat management.

Redefining Ecological Practices

Discussions on new career pathways in ecology shed light on hidden barriers and taboos that have historically hindered access to the profession.

This was particularly interesting from my point of view and generated a huge amount of discussion.

Given the huge demand for more staff to work in the industry, there was a lot of discussion around making graduates more employable for consultancies.

It was very encouraging to see how many initiatives are underway to support more people to work in the industry including people from a vocational background.

Unveiling Hidden Ecological Realms

Furthermore, sessions on soil acoustics opened up a new frontier, demonstrating how sound can reveal crucial information about soil health and ecosystem dynamics, offering a non-invasive means of studying underground biodiversity.

The CIEEM Autumn Conference 2023 served as a platform not only to showcase the latest ecological advancements but also to inspire ecologists to embrace these technologies and methodologies.

As we continue to witness the convergence of science and technology in the field of ecology, the conference was a testament to the ever-expanding horizons of ecological research and conservation practices. It highlighted the pivotal role of innovation in driving the sustainable management and preservation of our natural world.

The conference undoubtedly highlighted the progress being made in new ecological practices, inspiring the profession to explore and adopt cutting-edge tools and techniques, which will ultimately contribute to a more holistic and effective approach to effective protection and restoration of our natural ecosystems.

Lastly the threat of A1 machine learning was widely considered as not something we should be worried about. It will only enhance our effectiveness and hopefully reduce some of the more arduous aspects of the profession.

JM Pic

Written by:
Jeremy Money
Director, JSM Associates

I have worked within the Environmental and Sustainability sector for 20 years, making me one of the most established and well connected networkers in the market.

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