Our Kea Konvention speakers come from very diverse backgrounds and organisations around the country. What brings them all together, is their fascination for kea and a commitment to kea conservation. As such we are very pleased to welcome the following speakers, all specialists in their field, to the Kea Summit:
Lou Sanson (Director General DOC), Tamsin Orr-Walker (Chair Kea Conservation Trust)
Keynote Speaker - Peter Hillary (www.peterhillary.com)
The Hillary family is synonymous with mountains so who better to be our Keynote speaker than Peter Hillary, a man with a passion for our mountains and a passion for kea! Like his father, the late Sir Edmund Hillary, who made the first ascent of Mt Everest with his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Peter has summited Everest and forged a new route to the South Pole. Sir Ed also built schools and hospitals for the people of Everest, a legacy that lives on today through the Himalyan Trust and other foundations. Less well known however, is the Hillary's family history in parks, conservation, outdoor recreation and walking trails.
"From the formation of Sagarmatha/Mt Everest National Park in Nepal to gifting an iconic coastal headland on the wild West Coast of Auckland in New Zealand, it is a history that we are very proud of.
It’s great to have Peter on board with the Kea Conservation Trust and our South Island mountain communities, helping now to raise awareness of the plight of the world’s only mountain parrot, our unique and charismatic kea!
Department of Conservation/KCT Science Advisor
Josh completed his MSc in Kea nest survival and population biology in 1999. Since then he has worked for the Department of Conservation (DoC), on a wide range of projects including Chatham Island Tui population research, Okarito brown kiwi recovery, North Island brown kiwi recovery at Moehau Kiwi Sanctuary, Huttons Shearwater research, Wandering Albatross population research on the Auckland and Antipodes Islands and research on the impacts of aerial 1080 on tomtits. Josh continues to work extensively with monitoring of wild kea.
KCT Chair/Trustee/Community Engagement Coordinator
Tamsin is co-founder of the KCT and has been the Chair since its inception. Tamsin manages the Trusts day to day operations and coordinates the research projects. She continues to be involved in field work and advocacy in the South Island and developed the 2010 Kea Husbandry Manual (endorsed by DOC) aimed at increasing the captive management standards of all kea in NZ facilities. Tamsin is also Community Engagement Coordinator for the lower half of the South Island.
KCT Conflicts Coordinator/Community Engagement Coordinator
Andrea has worked on a number of off-shore islands, the back-country, the Sub-Antarctics and Papua New Guinea during her conservation work. Her work has ranged from working with volunteers, intensive species management, ecological monitoring and surveying, and pest management. She worked in the field with kea during the 1990’s at Nelson Lakes. Andrea also has project management, community and iwi liaison experience and experience in conflict resolution.
University of Canterbury
Lydia spends her summers in the field for KCT and DOC whilst occasionally working towards her PhD on kea behaviour at the University of Canterbury.
Talk: Behavioural differences between kea populations
Both within and between populations, kea differ in their behaviour and in the foods they eat. What makes some birds curious and others cautious? How does diet vary between different kea and what might this mean for conservation?
Talk: Fire Hoses, Fake News and Future Shock: Why Facts No Longer Work
Facts and fallacies are now superweapons, and lies rain down like bombs. How do we earn trust in a world befuddled by doubt?
Dr Laura Young
KCT Community Engagement Coordinator
Laura has always had a passion for kea, but also for the New Zealand forest and mountains in general. She a strong interest in, and broad research background in the ecology and conservation of native biodiversity. After working in ecology both in NZ and overseas, Laura completed her PhD in 2012 investigating the role kea play in the ecosystem, specifically seed dispersal of alpine plants (along with other animals, native and introduced). She enjoys sharing scientific research with the public and has given many talks at ecological conferences as well as community groups, and written popular articles for the wider community about particular aspects of kea research among other topics. Laura has worked both as a volunteer and as an experienced bird handler for the Kea Conservation Trust and DOC since 2008 and has considerable experience with catching, banding, attaching transmitters and taking blood samples from kea. Laura also studied kea feeding behaviour and diet analysis for her own research and working for other researchers.
University of Auckland
Amalia Bastos is a PhD Candidate at The University of Auckland. She works with the captive kea population at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and is interested in comparing cognitive signatures of human cognition and emotion to those of non-human animals, particularly in terms of convergent evolution.
Talk: Probabilistic reasoning in kea
Over the course of three studies, I show that kea can use relative quantities to predict sampling outcomes, and then integrate both physical information about the presence of a barrier, and social information about biased sampling by an experimenter, into their predictions. Kea are the first nonhuman animal to date to exhibit all these three signatures of statistical inference, providing the first conclusive evidence that true statistical inference is found outside of the great apes, and that aspects of domain-general thinking can convergently evolve in brains with a highly different structure from primates.
Nelson Forests Limited
Talk: No, we’re not feeding kea
Our forestry operations are undertaken in kea country, with our large yellow machinery quite an attraction to kea. Kea activity is often a challenge for our contractors, leading to damage, frustration and unexpected costs. We aim to minimise damage and manage potential conflict through education, coaching and practical solutions.
David Sutherland and Candace Borchert
Talk: Using Creativity to Engage Children in Kea Conservation
Mammalian Corrections Unit
Thomas Hayward is the owner of Mammalian Corrections Unit, a conservation contracting company based in Te Anau, specialising in pest control and monitoring.
Talk: "Different types of trap box security and the best practice methods to prevent non target death"
Zero Invasive Predators
Predator ecologist for Zero Invasive Predators Ltd. based in Christchurch studying ecology and animal behaviour. My PhD thesis examined optimal camera trap deployment methods and statistical modelling methods for estimating feral cat populations. As part of my current role at Zero Invasive Predators, I design and test various detection devices and networks for invasive mammals at very low densities. I currently lead the technical side of ZIP's research with kea; including captive birds and a wild population in the Perth River Valley, South Westland.
Talk: Kea risk mitigation from aerial 1080 operations
Developing and testing techniques for kea risk mitigation during aerial 1080 operations.
Stuart Hamlett & Roy Sloan
Talk: The birth of Hunter conservation and community collaboration
Ngā Whenua Rāhui
School drop out, outdoor loving individual doing my part to ensure what we have today, will be here tomorrow.
Talk: A Collaborative Approach to Conservation
Utilising multiple agencies to achieve common goals
Dr. Pauline Howard
Veterinarian, Hornby Vets