Latest News Celebrating over 20 years with Biosis
11 September 2023

Consultant Spotlight: Mark Venosta

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This week we sat down with our Team Leader – Zoology (Victoria), Mark Venosta to find out more about his time at Biosis.

What technological approaches and equipment have you used in your zoology work, and how have these techniques evolved over time?

I’ve always had a technological approach to zoology, such as taking equipment into the field and trying different methods to solve issues. I’ve done this with thermal cameras and bats, using missile tracking software to count bats, surveying breeding brolgas from planes, developing bat call recorders when they consisted of a tape deck and a detector, using mp3 players in the early 2000’s to ID bird calls.

I love using technology and seeing others do the same, which we’ve done with remote cameras, modeling collision risk, using tablets to collect field data.

Many of these techniques have become standard practice now.

During your time at Biosis what is your biggest achievement or a project you worked on that you are most proud of?

I’m very proud of the work I’ve done surveying the Critically Endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat, which enabled us to use the technology described above to count them and work out what they were doing across multiple years in the vicinity of a proposed wind farm. We did a lot of caving, which isn’t something zoologists get to do very often for work!

I’m also very proud of the work I’ve done describing Brolga breeding home ranges which we then used to create turbine free buffers at a wind farm site. I’m also very proud of the achievements of all the staff I’ve worked with over the years. It’s the dedication and hard work of others that make Biosis a great place to work.

I was also the first Research Assistant and the first Team Leader at Biosis, so being the first to go into these roles was a great opportunity that I’ve really appreciated.

What is the biggest change that you have seen within Biosis as a business ?

Unsurprisingly, technology! I didn’t have a mobile phone when I started at Biosis.

The proliferation of electronic data collection and interpretation through GIS have made enormous advances in the past 20 years. I remember going into the field at Biosis using paper 1:25,000 topo maps.

Who knows where the Melways is? Does Steve have the VicRoads directory?!

If you could give your younger self any advice on day one walking into Biosis what would it be?

Don’t be shy and use the extensive knowledge of the people around you, get to know the people you work with.

I can guarantee they are also passionate about their fields and willing to share their experience and provide support. Our staff and their experience is the most valuable asset that Biosis has!