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Provocations Public Lecture

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Event description

Parasites, Australia's silent threat: Coincidence, nature's hand, or policy complacency?

Date: Wednesday 28 February, 2024

Time: 6 pm - 7 pm, followed by light refreshments
Venue: CSU Riverina Playhouse, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga campus

This event will also be live-streamed. For this option, you can choose the live-stream ticket when registering for the event.

Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi

Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi has qualifications in veterinary and medical sciences (parasitology) and skills in conventional morphological and molecular parasite identification methods. She is a taxonomist with a huge interest in identifying species, who goes beyond taxonomy to understand parasitism, ecology, evolution, ecosystems and how parasites population changes in response to anthropological and environmental factors. She is currently leading and collaborating on various research projects focussing on health, welfare, behaviour, biosecurity and biology of both wild and farmed, as well as a range of terrestrial and aquatic animals. Recently, her research focus has broadened to include the culture of indigenous Australians in the lessons on sustainability.


Australia is facing a surge in parasitic incidents that have increasingly captured news headlines: Australia gives up the fight against eradication of bee mites; Oyster farms are under siege from deadly parasites; native fish fall victim to gut-burrowing invaders, and the country's unique native wildlife faces the deadly threat of cat-borne parasites. Most shockingly, a python worm was recently extracted from a human brain. Despite this growing wave of parasitic challenges, Australia's tendency to downplay their significance is surprising.

This public lecture explores the heart of this enigma, exploring the origins, implications, and possible human factors contributing to Australia's parasitic predicaments. Are these occurrences mere coincidences, driven by the forces of Mother Nature, or do they serve as stark reminders of complacency within the policymaking domain? Join us for a captivating exploration of Australia's ongoing struggle with parasites and the urgent need to address this silent threat.

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