Whether it’s above the waves or below the surface, the ocean is Adrian Gleiss’ happy place, and the inspiration for his work as a behavioural ecologist at Murdoch’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems.
Last week Dr Gleiss shared his passion for all things marine at the TEDx Kings Park Oceans event.
He took his audience on an underwater journey, sharing insights into the behaviour of marine megafauna such as whale sharks, and explaining how the latest biometric technology is helping ocean conservation efforts by identifying what its inhabitants need to survive and flourish.
Such research is vital with marine ecosystems around the world facing critical threats posed by global warming, exploitation, and pollution.
But arguably equally as important is how scientists communicate what is happening and how the general public can help to mitigate the damage.
He said TEDx was a unique platform that linked science and thought leadership with a broad audience, and generated enthusiasm for new and exciting ideas.
“Public speaking is something that most scientists are well versed with, but the medium of TEDx is really quite different from your usual scientific talk at a conference,” Dr Gleiss said.
“It is important to take a big step back and not delve into the minutia or technicalities of a topic, which is what we as scientists love to do."
For Dr Gleiss TEDx presented an opportunity to communicate a concept, rather than pure science.
“It is about showing the audience the excitement and passion that speakers have for their chosen subject and to therefore raise the profile of the subject at hand, or science more broadly,” he said.
“It really helps to create emotional connections between the public and the species being studied, which is going to be hugely beneficial for conservation.”
The next TEDx Kings Park event will be on February 2 at the WA Museum Boola Bardip. Titled 'Earth', four speakers will tackle the big picture questions facing our species.