Professor Kingsley Dixon

Professor Kingsley Dixon

Kingsley Dixon is the 16th Australasian Botanic Guides Conference keynote speaker on Tuesday September 17, addressing the topic Beauty rich and rare in the southwest biodiversity hotspot.

Kingsley was named WA Scientist of the Year in 2016 in recognition of his work in conservation science, restoration ecology and plant science. His collaborative work on the identification of the specific chemical in smoke that causes seeds to germinate finally explained why the Australian bush blooms after fire.

Kingsley  was foundation director of the world-recognised research facility at Kings Park and Botanic Garden – the Biodiversity Conservation Centre.

He has worked closely with the WA mining industry to promote excellence through science in mine site rehabilitation and is a full-time research academic at Curtin University.

Professor Stephen Hopper

Professor Stephen Hopper Photo: ABC

Stephen Hopper will deliver the keynote address Walking together: the fusion of Aboriginal experience with modern science on Thursday, September 19.

The former Chief Executive and Chief Scientist of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – the first non-British person in the job – is not only a passionate conservation biologist, but also had a key role in this year’s acclaimed Perth Festival performance Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak, which transformed Kings Park with a spectacular sound and light show.

A graduate of the University of WA, with a PhD on Kangaroo Paw speciation, Stephen was the Chief Executive of Kings Park and Botanic Garden from 1992 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2006, when he took up his appointment in the UK, he was the foundation professor of Plant Conservation Biology at UWA.

Key research includes OCBILS (old climatically buffered infertile landscapes) and collaborative cross-cultural knowledge systems of biodiversity

He is currently Winthrop Professor of Biodiversity at UWA, based at Albany’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Resources Management.

Ryan Zaknich

Ryan Zaknich

Ryan takes a look at guiding Through visitors eyes as a keynote speaker on Thursday, September 19.

His award-winning tourism business Two Feet and a Heartbeat walking tours are designed to be conversational, informative, engaging and entertaining.

Ryan brings an exciting new dimension to the term ‘guided walk’. He believes in making sure that his walks are interactive and memorable so visitors never regret investing their precious holiday time with him.

Since 2007 Ryan has been a heritage and cultural tourism consultant and was chairman of the Fremantle Tourism Association from 2013 to 2015. He lectured in tourism at Challenger TAFE and helped develop their tourism curriculum.

As co-founder of Two Feet and a Heartbeat, which won the gold medal for Excellence in Food Tourism in the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, Ryan trains a small team of tour guides offering walks in Perth and Fremantle.

Professor Byron Lamont

Professor Byron Lamont

Byron Lamont will be speaking at an optional session, Remarkable adaptations of Australian flora, on Tuesday, September 16.

He is well-known for his work on Proteaceae and has published more than 200 articles on banksia and hakeas. In 2015 he published a book on adaptations in South West Australian flora.

Byron rose from senior tutor at the University of WA in 1973 to Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) at Curtin University in 2010 and was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to teaching and research in botany.

He received the Clarke Medal for distinguished research in the natural sciences in 2012. Byron has published more than 50 papers since his retirement in 2010.

More speakers coming soon.