This summer the Great Barrier Reef suffered its third serious bleaching event in five years, with climate change threatening to destroy one of nature’s most stunning wonders. The Great Barrier Reef is not only a treasure of biodiversity but an icon of Australia and the lifeblood of North Queensland tourism. What do these massive bleaching events mean for those whose livelihoods rely on tourism? What could we do to preserve and protect the Reef from climate change? Marian Wilkinson will host a conversation with UQ experts Dr Selina Ward and Dr Pedro Fidelman to discuss the economic, political and scientific questions that will determine the future of the Reef and those on land who depend on it.

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Marian Wilkinson​

Marian Wilkinson is a multi-award winning journalist with a career that has spanned radio, television and print.

She has covered politics, national security, refugee issues and climate change as well as serving as a foreign correspondent in Washington DC for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. She was a Deputy Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Executive Producer of the ABC’s Four Corners program and a senior reporter with Four Corners.

As Environment Editor for the Sydney Morning Herald she reported on the rapid melt of Arctic sea ice for a joint Four Corners-Sydney Morning Herald production which won a Walkley Award for journalism and the Australian Museum's Eureka prize for environmental journalism. She also covered the UN climate conferences in Bali and Copenhagen.

As a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), she reported on the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers for Four Corners. She has written several books including the political biography, “The Fixer”, on former Labor powerbroker, Graham Richardson, and “Dark Victory”, on Australia’s response to asylum seekers which she co-authored with David Marr. In 2018 she was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame.

Dr Pedro Fidelman

Dr Pedro Fidelman is a Senior Research Fellow with UQ Centre for Policy Futures with extensive experience in marine and coastal governance.

He has contributed to several national and international initiatives in this area, serving as cluster co-leader (climate change) for the Ocean Governance Taskforce of the Earth System Governance Project, theme co-leader (marine and coastal governance) for the Centre for Marine Socioecology, member of the Future Earth Australia Oceans and Coasts National Strategy Expert Working Group, and lead author (oceans and coastal policy) for the UN Global Environment Outlook 6.

His current research focuses on governance, policy and regulatory innovation in the context of global environmental change.

Dr Selina Ward 

Dr Selina Ward is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. 

She is a coral biologist who specialises in coral reproduction and recruitment. She is Academic Director of Heron Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef and enjoys spending time there. Selina is a past president of the Australian Coral Reef Society and a director of the International Riverfoundation and  the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

Her passion is the sea, but she is also very keen on rainforests, long hikes, travelling, reading and theatre.

Webinar details 

Date: Wednesday 17 June 2020

Time: 11am – 12pm AEST 

RSVP: By Tuesday 16 June 2020

Webinar link will be emailed to you after you register


Banner image credit: Cedric van den Berg