BioQuest photograph. Image supplied by Madeleine Culp
Each April and August, our University community comes together to watch nature with a purpose.
Questagame runs a series of “bioquests” where people of all ages and experience levels can photograph animals and plants they encounter. It’s an international competition, where Team USYD is pitted against other Universities on a mission to capture and identify as many wild images of flora, fauna or fungi as possible. Data submitted by participants is then fed in to resources to enhance biodiversity knowledge and research world wide.
We are fortunate to have a committed group of staff and students who participate with impressive results. BioQuest in 2022 saw our University teams scoring high in semester 2 taking 3rd place in the Champion Spotters, 2nd and 3rd in the Champion Identifiers, 1st in the Most valuable player, 1st place in the Champion Spotter, and 2nd and 3rd in the Champion Identifier awards.
The University released it’s first Sustainability Strategy in 2020 which committed to improving the ecosystems that support flora, fauna, and wildlife species on our campuses. Biologically diverse natural environments matters – it can create a healthy and resilient environment and benefit species (including us humans) well-being . We established a Biodiversity Management Plan to set our biodiversity targets, aiming at managing our environment and encouraging staff and students to think about how our actions impact the land and life around us.
In 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) noted the accelerating rates of species loss. In Australia, 1/3 of our threatened species live in our cities. One of our principles is to ensure no net loss and do more biodiversity enhancement. We are also aware that causing attitudinal and behavioural change is the key, so we share stories and information about biodiversity with our students, fund projects which promote biodiversity, allowing students and staff to use flora and fauna for research and education.
To celebrate another amazing round of BioQuest and biodiversity, the Sustainability Strategy, Associate Professor Rosanne Quinnell and the Libraries have teamed up to host a BioQuest photographic Competition.
We’re inviting all students and staff to submit their best three pictures of flora, fauna, or fungi for exhibition in the ThinkSpace, Jane Foss Russell Building, Darlington Campus during Week 12 and 13. Prizes are on offer including Judge’s Award and People’s Choice.
Complete the registration form with information on your photos then email your pictures before Thursday 11 May at 5pm.