AMSI Winter School 2016 was held in July at the University of Queensland for the eleventh consecutive year. As one of AMSI’s flagship higher‐education events, the Winter School enabled participants to expand their skills while broadening and deepening their mathematical knowledge.
The School was opened by AMSI Deputy Director Professor Markus Hegland (Australian National University) at the Science Learning Centre, with warm words of inspiration and motivation welcoming the 45 attendees to the University of Queensland and the advanced program of biological and environmental modelling. Well‐established senior researchers from around Australia and New Zealand, continuing the Winter School’s traditional high standard of attracting leaders in their field to the event, delivered four courses over the intensive two‐week program, focused on biological modelling in Week One and environmental modelling in Week Two.
Attendees appreciated and enjoyed being exposed to fields and topics outside their specialist area, including the opportunity to share their own research through the Participant Talk feature in the program. Professor Hugh Possingham’s Public Lecture “Is Science Any Use for Saving Species and Habitat?”, supported by BrisScience, was a particular highlight of the School, discussing the value of collecting and monitoring information for achieving nature‐conservation outcomes by asking whether some topics of research are more useful than others, and whether utility should factor into decisions about research funding. This event attracted national media interest, and was fully subscribed over a week before the event was held at the State Library of Queensland’s The Edge.