Qatar Natural History Group

People, Nature, Culture

January Talk:Birds in Qatar & Marine Conservation – The Hong Kong Experience

We welcome members and non-members alike and do not charge for our monthly talks. Doors will open at 6:00 PM this month. This allows time to join us for light refreshments, pay your membership dues, and to peruse the QNHG library before the meeting begins at 7:00 PM and mingle with other members.  

Speakers: Becky Cramer: Teaching Specialist, Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar  & 

Prof/ John MK Wong, Adviser, Cetacean Conservation Committee, Asia Pacific Ocean Lifestyle and Culture Alliance and Chairman, Hong Kong Marine Conservation Society.

Date & Time: Wednesday, January  15th  at Doha English Speaking School (DESS).  

Venue: Doha English Speaking School - Map

Synopsis of talk #1

Many birds live in Qatar year-round, and many more travel through Qatar during migration. This talk will introduce you to some of Qatar’s common birds and describe how Qatar fits into global bird biodiversity.

Speaker biography

Dr. Cramer began studying birds as an undergraduate, and continued to focus on birds in her Ph.D. and two postdoctoral positions. She moved to Qatar in 2018 and is continuing to study birds here, while also teaching biology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Cramer received her Bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College of Maryland in Biology, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University (Ithaca campus), Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. Her dissertation was on "Sexual selection in house wrens".


Synopsis of talk #2

Alarmed at the rapid decline in local marine resources, caused by rapid coastal development and uncontrolled exploitation in Hong Kong (HK), Dr. Wong and a group of marine scientists and ocean lovers, established the HK Marine Conservation Society (HKMCS) in 1989. The aim of the Society is to act as the spokesperson and protector of the Marine Environment, its Resources and Marine Lives. Since 1989, HKMCS has managed to educate the local community and government officials on marine conservation through public awareness campaigns and talks. HKMCS initiated the Marine Protection Areas program, and the Coral and Dolphin research and monitoring program. HKMCS also gave advice to Government on Fishery Control policy and Sewage Treatment in Harbor areas. As a result of these efforts, Hong Kong has established sound Marine Conservation Policies and will expand its Marine Protected areas to 10% of its territorial waters in the next four years.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Wong has been a qualified and active scuba diver since 1966, and he has been carrying out research on the marine environment with a special interest in marine mammals including dolphins, whales and dugongs in Asia Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Dr. Wong has been promoting marine conservation since 1989. His contribution to this area has been recognized by his appointment as Adviser to Chinese Academy of Sciences Polar Scientific Committee, as Honorary Professor to a number of Universities in China and Scotland, and as Research Fellow to the Third Institution of Oceanology, State Ocean Administration of China.

Professor Wong was awarded the Gold Star Award by the International Biography Centre, Cambridge, England for his contribution in Marine Conservation and Education.

Professor Wong has been appointed Chairman of Country and Marine Parks Board of Agriculture and Fishery Department by the Hong Kong Government.

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