More dates

Trees & Tapas: How does nature bounce back after bushfires?

This event has passed Get tickets

Event description

Find out how our native plants and animals have been faring since the bushfires of 2019-2020. Learn about new monitoring sites established across the Lithgow region, helping us to track the health of trees into the future. Discover how hundreds of citizen scientists have contributed to tracking the return of biodiversity across the fire grounds, and how you can get involved.

Join us for an evening of delicious food and conversation at the Lithgow Transformation Hub, 154 Mort Street, Lithgow. 

This event is being funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, which is an initiative of the Commonwealth Government- National Recovery and Resilience Agency.


Dr Eli Bendall is an early career researcher and forest and fire ecologist, primarily working to understand eucalypt population responses to disturbance. His current research aims to quantify levels of tree mortality and recruitment across a range of different forest types in response to the extreme drought and fires of 2019/2020. Dr Bendall travelled extensively in 2022/2023 to survey eucalypt populations in coastal and mountain ecosystems across NSW, from the QLD border to the VIC border, including the Blue Mountains and Kanangra-Boyd National Parks, conducting one of the largest surveys of its kind. His previous research also focused on eucalypt responses to drought and fire within the greater Sydney region.

Brendan Choat is a Professor at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University. He studies plant ecology with a focus on how climate change is affecting Australian forest and woodland ecosystems. This includes understanding the physiological tolerance of Australian tree species to extreme water stress and heat stress. His recent work covers the response of forests to the record 2019/20 drought and bushfires in southeastern Australia. Prof. Choat has held previous roles at Harvard University, the University of California, and the Australian National University. He was awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in 2010 that allowed him to work at Ulm University in Germany for two year. In 2014, he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for his work on mapping drought response in trees. Prof. Choat has more than 125 peer-reviewed publications including articles in top-ranked international journals Nature, Science, and PNAS.

Alice Blackwood is an environmental scientist and educator who grew up in Bathurst, and now lives in Lithgow. Over the past 18 months, she has been working at the Lithgow Transformation Hub, running a series of popular citizen science events, and organising Lithgow’s first participation in the Great Southern Bioblitz. She also coordinated the establishment of 10 long term monitoring plots at sites burnt by the 2019-20 bushfires in the Lithgow region. This included conducting surveys to assess the current health of trees, allowing this to be tracked into the future.

Thomas Mesaglio is a PhD candidate at UNSW Sydney working on our understanding of Australian plants and how to improve this knowledge. He also currently works for the CSIRO's Atlas of Living Australia, and is a curator and forum moderator on the global biodiversity citizen science platform iNaturalist. Although much of his research involves analyses of citizen science data, Thomas has published across a wide range of disciplines, including marine forensics, bushfire recovery and invertebrate taxonomy and ecology. As part of the Environment Recovery Project team, Thomas received the Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ 2022 Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.

Additional speakers to be confirmed.

Feature Image: CSIRO Science Image by Robert Kerton

Powered by

Tickets for good, not greed Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to charity

Refund policy

No refund policy specified.