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Guest Speakers 


Professor Tim Flannery

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Professor Stephen Hopper


Dr Shelley James & Kylie Sadgrove (WA Herbarium)


Dr Shelley James & Kylie Sadgrove (WA Herbarium)

Topic: "The Western Australian Herbarium: botanical collections and their use in biodiversity discovery and science."

Herbaria contain centuries of botanical specimens gathered through time and from around the globe. The Western Australian Herbarium is no different, housing more than 850,000 specimens, mostly from Western Australia. While all the collections data is available online for science and conservation, the Herbarium has begun in earnest to link this data to images of all of the specimens to make the collection even more accessible to researchers, land managers, policy makers, and citizen scientists.  The Herbarium collections grow by about 10,000 items a year. These specimens come from various sources, including botanical surveys and the federally-funded Bush Blitz nature discovery program, such as the Wudjari Country (Esperance) Bush Blitz held in 2023. This presentation will highlight the importance of the State’s Herbarium collections for documenting the biodiversity of WA and species discovery, the services we provide, and share insights into how we manage the collections for longevity while keeping them as an active research and identification tool.


Dr Shelley James 

Biography - Dr Shelley James

Dr Shelley James is a botanist dedicated to enhancing, expanding, and increasing access to herbarium collections and biodiversity data. With more than 20 years of experience in the digitization and curation of botanical collections at herbaria located across the globe, she has a passion for biodiversity data management, data repatriation and mobilization for scientific research, and collections care. She is passionate about discovering ways to contribute to, understand, and improve conservation efforts in Western Australia, Australia and around the world. She collaborates nationally and internationally with collections, research, cyberinfrastructure, and education communities. 


Shelley has a Doctor of Philosophy in Botany from The University of Western Australia and is the Collections Manager of the Western Australian Herbarium in Perth. Shelley's career has seen her work at the Bishop Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA), the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida, USA) and the National Herbarium of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), and undertake fieldwork in Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Indian Ocean Territories, and across Australia. She is a 2023 Churchill Fellowship recipient.


Kylie Sadgrove 

Biography - Kylie Sadgrove

Kylie Sadgrove is a recent addition to the Western Australian Herbarium as an Identification Botanist. Through having an interest in botany and ecology, Kylie has qualifications in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Restoration Ecology from the University of Western Australia. Throughout Kylie’s career she has undertaken several different roles from Environmental Licencing, an Environmental Technician to conduct on-ground works to implement bushland maintenance and revegetation, as well as working as an Environmental Consultant undertaking flora and fauna surveys mainly within the Swan Coastal Plain and Avon Wheatbelt regions of Western Australia.

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