GWI sponsors 3rd Australia and New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Conference

UNSW GWI successfully held the 3rd Australian New Zealand Marine Biotechnology (ANZMB) conference between the 20th to 22nd May 2019. The Australia New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society aims to advocate and represents all aspects of marine biotechnology in Australia and New Zealand. The objective of the conference was to engage members from industry and communities, academic institutions and government to the latest updates relating to marine biotechnology. Other topics that were discussed were:

  • Science and technology that underpin marine biotechnology and the blue economyProf Emma Johnston, UNSW Dean of Science, welcomes conference delegates
  • Marine bio-products, processes and their commercialisation
  • Environmental remediation, restoration and sustainability
  • Public engagement and policy on marine biotechnology matters

It was a bustling event with a total of 103 attendees from across local (Sydney), regional (South Coast NSW, Newcastle, Port Stephens), interstate (Brisbane, South Australia, Tasmania) and international (Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, China) locations. Seven sessions were included in the program with a special Indigenous art exhibition and networking event occurring at the first day. The program started off with a welcome by UNSW Dean of Science, Professor Emma Johnston and a speech from one of the conference’s keynote speakers, Pierre Erwes (Chair of the International BioMarine network). Furthermore, during the program, talented students displayed their work to a panel of assessors and a total of four prizes were won for exceptional posters and oral presentations. The conference dinner was held at the Coogee Bay Hotel.

Another highlight was a session dedicated to the rights and concerns of First Nation People. This started with keynote presentations by Libby Evans-Illidge (AIMS) and Chels Marshall who highlighted the current case in Australia and discussed potential solutions towards increasing engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Caine Taiapa (Manaaki, New Zealand) presented current projects that are empowering local Maori communities in Tauranga, New Zealand. Both presentations highlighted the strong connection Indigenous people have to their coastal home.

The Indigenous roundtable included panel members Chels Marshall; Laura Parker and Mitchell Gibbs from Australia and Bobby Turongo and Caine Taiapa from New Zealand. The discussion was focused on questions around the mutual benefits Marine Biotechnology engagement with Indigenous groups and what that engagement should look like.  Everyone in the room agreed on the importance of continuing the conversation, with one possible outcome being the development of a Marine Biotechnology best practice guide.   

Suhelen Egan, Chair of the Organising Committee, said "the conference was a huge success with a diverse number of presentations ranging from discovery of new antibiotics, ecoengineering, responses to climate change to aquaculture and seafood provenance."

The conference has been sponsored by UNSW GWI, UNSW Centre for Marine Science and Innovation CMSI), BioMarine, NSW Government, Wonderful Capital Biotechnology Group, UNSW School of BABS, CSIRO, Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Marine Drugs Journal, Leica microsystems, The University of Waikato and Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Keep up with the latest updates on the ANZMBS website!

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