In this year’s Talbot Oration held on Wednesday 31 May 2023, Dr Anne Hoggett AM, Co-Director of the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS), shared her extensive knowledge about the importance of coral reefs, their complex biology, and the urgent need for action. Learn about the latest research and conservation efforts being made to protect these underwater wonders and what you can do to help.

Following her address, Dr Hoggett was joined by ichthyologist, Dr Joseph DiBattista and Melissa Malu, Manager of Pasifika Collections and Engagement, in a conversation with sustainability adviser and former President of the Australian Museum Trust, Sam Mostyn AO. There will be an opportunity for a brief Q &A with the audience.

Australia is in a unique position as custodians of the largest Reef system on Earth...we have committed to the world that we will look after them and we're a rich nation with strong scientific expertise and untapped opportunity to reap the rewards of a renewables revolution so if not us then who? Dr Anne Hoggett AM, Co-Director of the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) on the Great Barrier Reef.

Watch the Talbot Oration: Coral Reefs in Hot Water

As Co-Director of the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) on the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Anne Hoggett AM has spent the last four decades bearing witness to the impact of climate change on our reefs and marine ecosystems. Along with her husband, Dr Lyle Vail AM, Dr Hoggett has tracked the devastating effects of threats like coral bleaching, cyclones, pollution, and Crown-of-Thorns Starfish outbreaks.

There is hope, but we must act now. In Australia, we hold a unique role as custodians of several reef systems including the largest on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef. We must work together to protect these amazing ecosystems and the incredible diversity they support.

Dr Anne Hoggett AM

Dr Anne Hoggett AM and her husband, Dr Lyle Vail AM, are Co-Directors of LIRS. Together, they develop and manage the internationally-renowned coral reef research facility on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Since starting at LIRS in 1990, the couple has comprehensively redeveloped LIRS and markedly increased its scientific productivity. Raising funds to enable further research is an important part of their work.

Anne’s background is as a taxonomist specialising in echinoderms. With collaborators, she initiated the Lizard Island Field Guide and continues to expand this valuable resource. The many joys of running LIRS include living at the cutting edge of coral reef research, helping young scientists attain their goals in the field, and maintaining close contact with the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation.

Dr Joseph DiBattista

Dr Joseph DiBattista is a NSW Senior Research Scientist and Curator and Group Manager in the Ichthyology Section at the Australian Museum. Joseph’s current research is focused on understanding the origins of reef fish biodiversity and how it is maintained using a combination of traditional and next generation sequencing approaches. He is particularly interested in coastal ecosystems, understanding the effects of tropicalisation on Australian fish species and identifying those that may act as indicators of change, and exploring new ways to track monitor and monitor environmental shifts in our oceans with environmental DNA (eDNA).

Sam Mostyn AO

Sam Mostyn AO is a businesswoman and sustainability adviser, with a long history of executive and governance roles across business, sport, climate change, the arts, policy, and NFP sectors. She is Chair of Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, FYA, AIIW, ANROWS and Aware Super, serves on boards of Mirvac and the Climate Change Authority; alongside a broad portfolio of other roles including chairing Ausfilm and the Centre for Policy Development; past President of Chief Executive Women, Chair of Citi Australia and Climate Council board member. Sam was awarded the Order of Australia in 2021 for distinguished service to business and sustainability, and to the community, through seminal contributions to a range of organisations and to women.

About The Talbot Oration

Named in honour of former Australian Museum Director Professor Frank Talbot, this annual oration celebrates Talbot’s commitment to, and achievements in marine research and environmental studies in Australia and on the global stage.

The Talbot Oration will showcase advances in the field of climate change research and environmental conservation, enabling the public to better understand how responses to the climate challenge determine our future prospects, health, and the sustainability of our natural environment.

The Climate Cure is a Nights at the Museum special event.