Lectures (talks or presentations)
by Damon Ramsey

The following is a list of over 160 lecture subjects. Covid slowed me down a bit, but doing some new lectures now in late 2023. With large & long cycles of travelling around the world, some of the lectures look dated a few years later, so I update talks as I revisit the areas.

A suggested title is in "quotation marks"; this is usually light in tone and changes depending on the context, focus of a particular area, the company and the audience. (For example: talks on cruise ships are more vanilla and general than talks on expedition ships which may be more challenging and specific. Talks to ships dominated by Australian, British and Norh American audiences have different levels of humour. These days talks to younger audiences are more conservative than older audiences, although it used to be the other way around!). The title of the talk is followed by a description ('blurb') for newsletters and itineraries. An example of a lecture is here.

Talks in light grey are older or in-progress talks that can be updated or finished if given some warning in advance.

WARNING!  The geography and cultural talks include some revealing facts and images about politics, religion, sexuality and violence in these areas, and may challenge your current perspectives.

AFROTROPICAL (sub-Saharan Africa)

 AFRTROPICAL Rainforest 

"Swinging around the African jungle" by biologist Damon Ramsey. Learn about the primates of the Afrotropical rainforest, from gargantuan gorillas to mischievous monkeys. Some are ugly. Some are cute. But they're family!


“A bird in the bush; Bee-eaters, Bulbuls, Barbets & Boubous”. Bumble around in the bush with your binoculars to find the beautiful birds of the Afrotropical savanna woodlands and grasslands, with biologist Damon Ramsey.


 Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“Torn between two hemispheres – an Introduction to the Malvinas/Falklands Islands.” This talk is appropriately enough given by the schizophrenic Damon Ramsey. The land, the wildlife, the war.

“Where there are more penguins than people: An Introduction to the land, wildlife and history of South Georgia”. Come and listen to biologist Damon Ramsey as explains all about this subantarctic island where we spend the next few days.

“Driest, highest, coldest, lowest - An Introduction to Antarctica”. We are on our way and there is no turning back! Why not listen to on-board biologist Damon as he overviews some of the geography, wildlife and history of the frozen continent.

Southern Ocean Wildlife

“From marine to moss to megaherbs – the plants of the southern ocean” by biologist Damon Ramsey. The plants of the subantarctic islands may be small, but they are….there. You’re walking on them right now! (in progress).

“Critters in the cold”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he introduces the secret (but very important) small creatures that explode in number in the Antarctic summer.

“Penguin planet – penguins of the world!”. Biologist and casual ticker Damon Ramsey has seen and photographed all but a few of the penguins of the world, so join him as he parades the penguins through, and notes that each is special and different in it’s own way. How many have you seen? And how much money will you need to see them all? Spoiler: a lot.

ANTARCTIC Ocean & shore 

"The Awesomeness of Ice". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as licks the cold topic of the life of ice around Antarctica, and hopes not to get his tongue stuck - again.

“Waves around Antarctica”. We all know Damon doesn’t like to make waves, except in his talks. Find out all about the waves that effect the frozen continent, from tides to tsunamis to tipping icebergs.

“Frozen feathers: the penguins of Antarctica”. Join biologist Damon as he waddles around pointing out the penguins of the icy continent.

“The other guys! The birds of Antarctica that are not penguins”. Join bird nerd Damon as he looks at the other very few specialized birds that have adapted to live on the icy continent.

“Fins and flippers of Antarctica”. All the mammals of the frozen continent: the whales, seals and even humans of Antarctica.

SUBANTARCTIC Ocean & Islands

“From rainbows to glaciers; an introduction to Sub-Antarctic oceanography” by Damon Ramsey. Just because it’s cold and crazy doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the more spectacular aspects of southerly ocean-ography.

“Is it always this windy? The climate of the sub-Antarctic ocean”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey to shoot the breeze about the climate and weather of the furious fifties and the screaming sixties as we sail through the subantarctic oceans.

“When will the rolling stop?”. Join Damon and find out all about the most annoying part of the subantarctic seas besides the slow internet - the waves!

“Surviving shivering seas: Albatross and other birds of the sub-Antarctic oceans”. Join bird nerd Damon as he stares out over the southern ocean to look for the highly specialized seabirds of the sub-Antarctic seas. He will focus mostly on the peculiar Petrels and other tubenoses, including the amazing Albatross.

"The little black and white people". Join  Damon Ramsey as he explores the biology and species of the penguins and other birds of the Sub-Antarctic islands.

“Whales and whalers of the southern seas”. Biologist Damon Ramsey explores the biology and different species of whales and dolphins of the subantarctic oceans, and exposes the truth about whaling.

"That's the sealiest thing I ever heard!". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores the biology and different species of the eared and true seals of the remote sub-Antarctic islands.


ARCTIC Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

"An introduction to Greenland;  The land of white described as green by someone named red". Damon Ramsey reviews the most fascinating aspects of the largest island in the world. Well, second largest if you count Australia as an island. Which we won’t.

"An introduction to Canada;  The land of Canucks, Chinooks, and Captain Kirk". Damon Ramsey reviews the second greatest country in North America!

“Hollywood On Ice – popular films set or made in the Arctic” (okay, including Iceland). Lots of the films you probably saw when you were a kid, and up until today. Sci-fi, superhero, action & drama. One character has been here three times (you know his name, you know his number).

ARCTIC Ocean & Shore

"The Ocean of Ice”. Biologist Damon Ramsey introduces northern polar oceanography, including answers to those important questions; Where does the Arctic Ocean begin and end? How salty is the ocean? And can I put the ice in my drink?

"Incredible Ice of the Arctic – the snow, ice, glaciers & bergs”. Damon Ramsey examines the white stuff of the Arctic, from creation to colour.

“Please be careful not to slip on the frozen vomit” Join Damon and find out all about the most annoying enemy of the expedition ship traveller in the northern polar ocean - the waves! What is worse; tsunamis, rogue waves, chop or swell? And what is the cure?

“Oh well, it can’t get any worse! – the climate around the northern polar oceans”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey for a talk about the snow nor rain nor heat of the top of the planet.

“The tides at the top”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey to learn the in and outs of the Arctic tides and be swept along as he talks about currents and whirlpools.

“Kleptoparasites and snotty sneezers”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores the biology and different species of birds of the Arctic Oceans and shores.

“Fat bastards relaxing on the northern shores”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores the biology and different species of seals of the Arctic.

“Whales and Dolphins of the Arctic”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he watches out for some of the amazing and bizarre cetaceans that live in the northern polar waters. Find answers to the questions; how do porpoises mate? Do whales poop? And which dolphin looks like movie genius George Lucas?


"Flashes of colour in a black and white world". The most diverse group of organisms in the challenging Arctic Tundra are the flowering plants. Unlike a regular forest where we search for flowers high in the canopy, here in the tundra they are all around our feet. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he points out the most colourful organisms in the far north.

“Birds, nerds, & twitching in the Arctic tundra”. The open treeless landscapes around the top of the planet are home to a small but fascinating and hardy group of birds.

AUSTRALASIA (Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia & NZ)

AUSTRALASIA Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“The biggest small country in the world" with Damon Ramsey. This talk looks at the general geography of New Zealand's mainland and islands, including some history and sights of the ports visited.

"The violent volcanic history of New Zealand". Join Damon Ramsey as he explores the igneous geology of New Zealand, focusing on the range of volcanoes, from long extinct to intermittently dormant to currently rumbling and active.

"A revolution in evolution" or "Evolution and conservation in isolation" - An introduction to the nature of New Zealand by biologist Damon Ramsey. This talks covers the evolutionary biology of New Zealand, including the 'great drowning', extinct animals, weird and endemic plants, reptiles and birds, and right up to the modern day 'double-whammy' human invasions, and conservation. 

“Silent forests”. Biologist Damon Ramsey looks at the unique rainforests of New Zealand. He introduces both the subtropical rainforest and the cool temperate rainforest, and compares its features to the rainforest of Australia, the Pacific, Asia, and other parts of the world.

'The culture of New Zealand', by Damon Ramsey. Could the Kiwis have the coolest country in the world? This talk covers drinking, smoking, religion, politics, sex and movies.

"Lonely little rock: an introduction to Norfolk Island". Damon Ramsey talk goes from uplift to politics.

"The weirdest island: an introduction to New Caledonia". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores this small outer part of Zealandia, with it's many unique plants and animals.

"An introduction to the happy islands – Vanuatu”. Travel with biologist Damon Ramsey as he introduces the New Hebrides, an island chain where the French and the English tried to live together. Uh-oh. From the edges of volcanoes to the original Bungy jumpers.

"Surviving the Solomon Islands". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he introduces these islands that are rich in biology, history and anthropology. From World War 2 to crashing expedition ships, and all the fun in between! 

 "An introduction to New Guinea; the island split in two" (or why are there (almost) no monkeys in New Guinea?) by Damon Ramsey. From the world's largest butterflies to kangaroos to that live in trees, welcome to amazing New Guinea! On this expedition we get the unique opportunity to travel between the provinces of Indonesian New Guinea and then the independent nation of PNG (Papua New Guinea). Learn about the similarities - and important differences - from Damon Ramsey. 

 "An introduction to the nation of Papua New Guinea" by Damon Ramsey. The land. The people. The violence. The independence. (OR)  “An Introduction to the culture of Papua New Guinea; or how to avoid trouble". A talk that looks at modern day life in New Guinea, the island that leapt from tribal days to mobile phones in a generation. This talk includes some do's and don'ts that might help you avoid trouble by the great trouble-maker himself, Damon Ramsey.

"An introduction to Australia - nature and wildlife".

"An introduction to Australia - modern day culture". Culture? in Australia? Must be a short lecture. By Damon Ramsey.

"As old as the hills: the geology of tropical Australia" with Damon Ramsey. This talk delves into real history, the history of the land itself. Northern Australia includes some of the oldest exposed rock in the world. The oldest is 1.7 billion years old, and therefore older than most life as we know it.

"The prehistory of tropical Australia' by biologist Damon Ramsey. Join us for a journey back through deep history; the life of the planet. Some of the oldest rocks in Australia contain hints of cyanobacteria, and gives us hints to how the atmosphere changed with the appearance of life. Hear about Australia's little known dinosaurs. Learn about the spectacular giant mammals, such as giant kangaroos, that once inhabited the plains and made the country resemble a marsupial version of Africa.  

"Surviving in the bush: archaeology of ancient Australian Aboriginal lives" with Damon Ramsey. This talk covers some of the ways people lived thousands of years ago including the tools used and the food eaten.

"The history of Australian Aboriginals through their rock art" with Damon Ramsey. This talk covers some of the different styles of the rock art, and the dating techniques used to figure out the ages of the art.

"From trepangers to tourists: the maritime history of western Australia" by Damon Ramsey. This epic talk follows the explorers of the tropical coast of Australia. We start with the first arrivals from Asia, then follow the famous and infamous, including Tasman, Brookes, Dampier, Cook, Flinders, Baudin, King and Stokes. We end with us, and the ecotourism explorers of today.

"From bloody Batavia to sheep-killers to exploding turtles: the coastal settlement of Western Australia" by Damon Ramsey. This epic talk follows the attempted settlement of Australia, from the unplanned and murderous Batavia, to the disastrous sheep farming and ‘Singapore of the north’, and up to the tales of survival during World War

“Introducing the Kimberley coast - coping with crocodiles, colossal tides and no coconuts”; Biologist Damon Ramsey introduces the quirky country of the Kimberley.

 “A city of cyclones and very few females: An introduction to Darwin". Damon has lived in Darwin twice and has survived to tell the tale. Come and find out what makes Darwin tick and some things you might like to do when you hit the town. 

“An Introduction to Broome, the little town at the end of Australia”  If you would like to learn how to find or avoid camels, pearls and dinosaurs, come join Damon for this mostly true talk.

"An introduction to South-west Australia: How to enjoy the remote city of Perthlings, Pinot Noir & Potatoes". Damon Ramsey spent his covid 'gap' year wandering the state of Western Australia. One of the results was this talk, so at least it wasn't a complete waste of time. 

"Sounds of Sunshine coast (south-east Queensland) suburbs". While we are all stuck at home, we are left to explore the local surroundings. What are all the weird yet familiar sounds we hear around us? Join biologist guide Damon Ramsey for a light-hearted and noisey talk as he explains some of the croaks, cackles and calls, of the local fauna found around homes and in gardens.

“Invaders from another world! The farm and garden plants in New Zealand". The everyday garden and crop plants of NZ have a fascinating history. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores the sights and smells of the plants we can't do without. The talk includes wine vines, and the Kiwi fruit.


“Colours in the desert: Plants of arid Australia”. Western Australia has one of the highest diversity of flowers in the world. Damon has had a chance to hunt them down in the last few years while waiting for covid to finish. Come and hear what he discovered! (This talk has not yet been given).

“Songs of the desert”. Birds of arid (western/central/southern) Australia, by Damon Ramsey. The arid lands of the Australian outback may seem lifeless, but they hide a range of beautiful and colourful birds. (This talk has not yet been given).

“Mammals of arid (western/central/southern) Australia". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he hunts for the secretive and often quite rare mammals of outback Australia. (This talk has not yet been given).

AUSTRALASIAN Mangroves (Australia, New Guinea & Melanesia)

"Mangroves of Australia and their wildlife" by biologist Damon Ramsey. From crabs to crocs!

AUSTRALASIAN Temperate Ocean (New Zealand & southern Australia)

"Why is it so bloody wet?". Biologist Damon Ramsey introduces Southern Australasian Oceanography, including answers to those important questions; Why is the sea blue? What is the difference between an ocean and a sea? and why was the Last Jedi so bad?

“Why is it so bloody windy?”. The crazy climate and wild weather of the roaring forties.

“Why is it so bloody bumpy?”. Find out all about the most persistent passenger in the southern temperate seas; the waves!

“Soaring over seasonal seas”. Join bird nerd Damon in the temperate waters off the coast of New Zealand and southern Australia, looking for albatross and other seabirds.

“Big blubbers of the temperate seas”. The whales and dolphins off the coast of southern Australasia, including our very own human adaptations to the marine lifestyle.

AUSTRALASIAN Temperate Seashore (New Zealand & southern Australia)

 “The making of the southern temperate seashore”. A look at the beautiful formations and how they are made along the high energy and dynamic coasts of the southern temperate coasts of New Zealand and southern Australia.

"Climate of the NZ and southern Australian shores". The wild wind and waves of the southern temperate coasts of the world. 

 “Critters of the southern temperate seashore”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he crawls along tthe coast to collect crabs, sea stars, and other critters. 

“Are you shore it’s a shag?”. Join bird nerd Damon as he looks at the birds of the temperate coasts of New Zealand and southern Australia.

“Penguins of the world”. Many people assume most species of penguins are found in Antarctica, but in fact they are more diverse in the sub-Antarctic and cool temperate seas, so join biologist Damon Ramsey as he examines the penguins of the world, and find out why he was attacked by a Little Penguin when he was a teenager.

 “Seals and other slappers of the southern temperate seashore”. Seal biology and species, and human evolution and influences of seashore.

AUSTRALASIAN Rainforest (Australia, New Guinea & Melanesia)

 “The making of the Dark Jungle”. Listen to biologist Damon Ramsey as he explains the physical environment and evolution of the tropical rainforest of Australasia and Melanesia.

 “How the rainforest works”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he unravels the interactive and evolutionary ecology of the tropical rainforest of Australasia and Melanesia.

 “Plants of the tropical rainforest of Australia/New Guinea”. Join Damon Ramsey as he trips over giant rainforest tree roots and gets caught up in wait-a-while in the Australasian jungle.

 “Creepy crawlies of the jungle”. Join Damon Ramsey as he pokes about in the steamy rainforest slapping mosquitoes and catching butterflies.

 “Croakers and Hissers of the jungle”. Join Damon Ramsey as he shows you how to catch frogs and what snakes to avoid in this rainforest.

 “Jewels of the Jungle”. Biologist Damon Ramsey shows you some of the prettiest birds in the world, the avian fauna of the Australasian/Melanesian Jungle.

 “Eyeshine of the night”. Mammals of the tropical rainforest of Australia and New Guinea (this lecture is not so good for the other islands of Melanesia). 

AUSTRALASIAN Savanna (Kimberley, Northern Territory, & Cape York)

"Bush Tucker". Follow Damon as he slurps and munches his way through the flowers and fruits of the northern Australian bush.

"Buzzers of the bush" by biologist Damon Ramsey. The diversity of spiders, insects and other inverts of the northern savanna woodlands. 

"Hoppers and Hissers of the bush" by biologist Damon Ramsey. The frogs and reptiles of the tropical savanna woodlands of northern Australasia.

“A bird in the bush”. What bird is what? of the tropical open woodlands of northern Australia.

 “Galahs and Drongos”. The ecology and behaviour of birds - and birdwatchers - in the tropical open woodlands of northern Australia.

“Furry and cuddly critters of the bush” by Damon Ramsey. The mammals of the savanna of northern Australia.

HOLARCTIC (combined PALEARCTIC Eurasia and NEARCTIC North America)

HOLARCTIC Northern temperate oceans (including England, Scotland, Canada & Japan)

“Be careful of the motion in the ocean!”. Join Damon and find out all about the nemesis of the traveller across the frigid north Atlantic - the waves! Experience Tsunamis, chop, swell, and Rogue Waves? And what is the best solution for the slop in the sea?

“Critters of the northern temperate oceans”. From giant squid to basking sharks!

“Birds of the northern Pacific sea & shore”. From puffins to gulls to those strange northern albatross. 

INDO-MALAYAN (India & south-east Asia)

INDO-MALAYAN Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“An Introduction to the nature of Indonesia” by biologist Damon Ramsey.  An archipelago split between two natures. Indonesia is one of the most geologically violent and biologically diverse countries on Earth. Be blown away by her exciting volcanoes. And learn how she straddles two very different biogeographic zones, and thus includes both kangaroos and monkeys in the one country!

“Explaining Indonesia: An Introduction to the history of Indonesia”.  An epic lecture that begins with the peopling of the south-east Asian islands. Damon Ramsey takes us through the formation, politics, religion and revolution of this archipelago of archipelagos. This is the fascinating and frustrating country called Indonesia.

“An Introduction to the culture of Indonesia; or how to not look like a complete idiot". A fun talk that looks at modern day life in Indonesia, including some do's and don'ts, by Damon Ramsey, an expert of being an idiot.

"An introduction to Singapore", by biologist Damon Ramsey. A look at the only city island state in the world. The garden city. The 'red dot'. The Asian metropolis that did good. Just don't break any laws.

"It's always more fun in the Philippines!". Join Damon Ramsey for an introduction to this volcanically active, biologically diverse nation, where most of our crew come from.

"Introducing India” by Damon Ramsey – It's big and noisy and in your face. It's India.

"Surviving Sri Lanka” by Damon Ramsey – The tear drop island: from Tsunamis to Tea to Tamil Tigers.

“An Introduction to mysterious Myanmar” by Damon Ramsey.  An introduction to the country at the crossroads of south-east Asia and south Asia.

“An Introduction to Bangladesh and the Sundarbans” by Damon Ramsey. Learn about the bizarre country of Bangladesh, including the biggest bay in the world, the biggest delta in the world, and the biggest mangrove area in the world, in this, the biggest lecture in the world!


“Birds of the Sundarbans mangroves” by Damon Ramsey. The mangroves of the Sundarbans include the largest expanse of mangroves in the world. The ecosystem includes the widespread waterbirds, but also smaller and lesser known birds unique to the Asian tropics.

“The Wildlife of the Asian mangroves (besides the birds)” by Damon Ramsey. The mangroves of tropical Asia include bizarre creatures from walking fish to swimming handbags.


“The making of the Dark Jungle” by biologist Damon Ramsey. Explore the climate and land underneath the tropical rainforest of Asia. 

“The ecology of the Jungle” by biologist Damon Ramsey. How does the tropical rainforest actually work? A look at the structure of the forest, and how the different animals evolve, interact and eat each other!

“Colourful critters of the Asian jungle”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he hunts through the rainforest of south-east Asia for invertebrates, from giant spiders to stunning butterflies.

“Hoppers and slitherers of the jungle”. One of the most feared groups of animals in  Asia are the snakes and their relatives. Yet many species of snakes, skinks and dragons are stunning. Both ‘reptiles’ and amphibians are hard to find, so come and learn all about these rarely seen critters photographed by biologist Damon Ramsey.

Colours in the dark”. Birds are difficult to see in the rainforest of south-east Asia, but it is worth the effort to try and find them. This talk by biologist Damon Ramsey covers the main groups and many species that call the Oriental jungle home.

 “What poo is that? Mammals of the tropical Asian jungle”. Mammals can be hard to spot in the Asian rainforest. Come along to this talk and see and hear about some of many small and rare mammals photographed by biologist Damon Ramsey in the Asian rainforest at night. Even large mammals are hard to find in the south-east Asian rainforest. But their scat and spoor can give clues to what they are, who they ate, and where they are.

“Monkeying around in the jungle the primates of tropical Asia”. Primates fascinate and scare us, due to the ‘uncanny valley’ effect. They are not humans, but they kind of look and act like us. This talk by Damon Ramsey covers some of the primates we have seen, and may see, on this expedition, and their fascinating behaviour.


Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“An Introduction to the region of Polynesia; the triangle of extinction”. Join Damon Ramsey as he introduces the largest and latest spread of humans on the planet, Polynesia, including enigmatic Easter Island, the Hawaiian hotspots, friendly Fiji, titillating Tahiti, and nippy New Zealand.

“An Introduction to French Polynesia; from nuclear tests to the third gender”. Join Damon Ramsey as he introduces the beautiful islands that make up famous (and infamous) French Polynesia.

"The most remote place in the world! An introduction to the Pitcairn Islands". Our most distant destinations! Our hardest landings! Four very different islands.

"An Introduction to the Cook Islands".  Join Damon and learn how to find beautiful Pacific island girls and how to avoid large footy players (or the other way around if you wish).

“An introduction to Niue”. Damon overviews the small nation comprising of just one single island. This is one of our more challenging landings, with one landing and one chance. Hear about everything from sea snakes to stamp collecting.

“An introduction to Tonga”. Join Damon as he prepares us for the proud Kingdom of Tonga. Hear an overview of the island group, from the biggest Kings to the biggest blowholes. Enjoy the amazing island. Except on Sundays when everything is closed. (NOT QUITE FINISHED).

"An Introduction to Fiji; from kava to cannibals".  Join Damon as he explores the quirky bits of Fiji, the island group where Melanesia meets Polynesia.

"The geology of Polynesia; the violent making of a peaceful paradise". Join Damon Ramsey as he explores the geology of these remote tropical Pacific islands. The islands include the full development and every stage of volcanic island and atoll development, from sea mounts, to emerging volcanoes, to subsiding islands, to a ring atoll.

“Tiny islands in a huge ocean; and introduction to Palau and Micronesia. Join Damon Ramsey as we sweep through a bit of everything, from the geography to ‘hobbit’ humans, to introduced extinction-causing snakes, to flying fox soup.

“Birds of Micronesia". Join biologist Damon Ramsey as we stalk the islands of Micronesia hoping to see the rare and often pretty birds of the tropical islands of Micronesia. Included are a few bird-watching tips. And some bad bird jokes.


“Why is the sea blue? and other questions about the tropical oceans....” by biologist Damon Ramsey. This talk defines the oceans & seas; we dip a toe in the temperature of the water, blink at the light streaming though the surface, and taste the salinity. Get back to the basic questions that people ask about the very nature of nature.

“From squalls to cyclones (from calm clouds to crazy cyclones)” by biologist Damon Ramsey. Some of the wildest and highest winds on the planet are right here in the tropical ocean. Be blown away by facts and figures on the world’s worst sea borne storms and cyclones.

“Why is it so sloppy?" (or "Why is it so smooth?" if we have good weather!). The enemy of comfortable life at sea is movement. Damon Ramsey will help you learn all about the what’s, where’s and why’s of waves across the tropical seas, and also how to deal with sea-sickness.

“Tiny life in a huge ocean” by biologist Damon Ramsey. Life is pretty sparse across the open tropical oceans. Learn about the smaller plants and animals that make a living in this beautiful but harsh habitat, from squids to salps. 

“Scaley critters of the sea part 1” by biologist Damon Ramsey. The open tropical oceans are home to a fascinating range of cold-blooded creatures, from leaping rays to flying fish.

“The other scaley critters of the sea” by biologist Damon Ramsey. The open tropical oceans are home to a fascinating range of cold-blooded creatures to sea snakes and marine turtles.

“Salty slappers of the seas”. Biologist Damon Ramsey guides you through the different species and biology of some of the whales and dolphins we have seen, or may see, on our journey through the warm waters of the tropics.

“Cannibals, Sailors and Sightseers”. The history of us humans at sea, including the early navigators, the great explorers, and our safety at sea (in progress).

INDO-PACIFIC Tropical Coral Reefs

“What Coral Reef Critter is that?” by Damon Ramsey. This talk goes through the amazing range of invertebrates found on the coral reefs of the world. There is a bizarre range of different body types, from simple sedentary sponges, to complex colonies of colourful corals, to sliding five-armed sea stars.

“What COMMON coral reef fish is that?”. Biologist Damon Ramsey goes through the six main groups of fish encountered on the tropical coral reefs of the world. By looking at the distinctive features of each of the dominant groups, identification of the thousands of species is made much easier. During this talk, superstar Tom Cruise pops in to give us a smile!

“What UNUSUAL coral reef fish is that?”. Biologist Damon Ramsey chases after the lesser known groups of fish encountered on the tropical coral reefs of the world.  Special guest star is Roger Moore as James Bond.

“Sex and violence underwater” by Damon Ramsey. This fun talk looks at some of the varied and strange physiology and behaviours of coral reef fish, from false eyes to sex changes. Special guest star is famous character actor Steve Buscemi!

INDO-PACIFIC Tropical Seashores

 “The making of the tropical coast”, by Damon Ramsey. The gentle shores of the tropics seem like a peaceful paradise. But in many cases they have a violent background, with exploding underwater volcanoes and lava flows in their history, and for some, their future…   

 “The shaping of the tropical coast” by Damon Ramsey. Learn about the mighty and not-so-mighty natural forces that have shaped the tropical coasts, from wind to waves to tsunamis.

“The ebb and flow of the coast” – a talk about the terrific and terrible tides.

 “From clouds to cyclones; weather along the tropical shore” by Damon Ramsey. Go on a journey exploring the climate of the coast. Start at the pretty and peaceful, the types of clouds. End at the wet and wild, with the cyclones.

“What a lovely pair of coconuts! Drift seeds on tropical beaches”. Want to know what fruit will poison that annoying husband? What island tree eats birds? Which seashore plant causes pain and pleasure at the same time? Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he identifies the drift seeds that end up on tropical beaches around the world.

“Sweet scent of the seashore: flowers and plants of the tropical seashore”. The plants that grow specifically along the tropical shores are not hugely diverse, but they are some of the most widespread organisms on the planet. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he shows off the flowers of the tropical seashores of the Indo-Pacific.

“She sells seashells by the seashore” by biologist Damon Ramsey. There is range of weird and wonderful creatures living in the intertidal zone along the tropical coasts, including crustaceans, starfish and sea cucumbers. But of course among the most famous of these are merely the remains of long since dead molluscs, the beautiful and intricate seashells.

“From cute to creepy; the creatures of the coast”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he takes us along the tropical seashore and points out walking fish, pregnant turtles and snapping crocodiles.

“Birds on the beach”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explains the different groups of birds found along tropical coasts and how to identify them. If you would like to know how to recognize a Booby, this is the talk for you!

“Sex and violence on the beach”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he shows us the tropical sea and shore birds, and explains their often bizarre lives. Indulge in some kleptoparasitic behaviour when you make other birds throw up their catch so you can eat it. Kill your younger brother or sister through siblicide so you can survive. Fun for the whole family!


MADAGASCAN Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

"An introduction to magnificent Madagascar: mantellas, mammals, and mad monarchs” by Damon Ramsey. Before (or as) we arrive into Madagascar, here is an overview of the natural and human history of the island.

"Modern day and future Madagascar” by Damon Ramsey – As we end our journey through Madagascar, it is a good time to look back at what we have see and explain modern day culture in this country and think about it’s future potential. Warning; this talk will cover corruption, drugs, and sex.

"An introduction to the Seychelles” by Damon Ramsey – The islands of sand, seashells, and sexily shaped seeds. 

MADAGASCAN Forest & Woodlands

"The colourful micro-fauna of Madagascar" by biologist Damon Ramsey.  Madagascar is known for it's vertebrates such as chameleons and lemurs, however it's invertebrate fauna is just as distinct. 

"Charismatic Chameleons and Goofy Geckos; the frogs and reptiles of the rainforest and woodlands of Madagascar" by biologist Damon Ramsey.  Madagascar has some of the most amazing reptiles in the world, and the majority of them are found nowhere else on the planet. The really good news is that are easy to find. And the really good news is that none of the snakes are fatal to us humans! 

"An extraordinary experiment in evolution – the birds of Madagascar" by biologist Damon Ramsey. Learn about some of the birds we may see in the mini continent. Or may not see. Bring your binoculars!

"Leaping Lemurs! and other mammals of Madagascar" by biologist Damon Ramsey. Lemurs are cute. That should be enough of a reason for you to come to this talk.

NEOTROPICAL (South & Central America)

NEOTROPICAL Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“An introduction to Argentina - beautiful women and juicy steaks?”. Damon Ramsey knows just enough about this country to fill in 39 minutes. From beautiful butterflies to fighting for the Falklands!

“The South American country with no monkey – the making of Chile”. Damon overviews the geology, nature & history of this unique country.

“The country with two pronunciations - an introduction to modern day Chile”. Damon talks about Chile today, from red wine to divorce, and everything in between.

(or those two talks combined into: “An introduction to Chile”. Damon talks about Chile in general and covers an eclectic pick of topics covering the skinniest country in the world - from stray dogs to café con piernas.)

NEOTROPICAL Temperate Rainforest (Southern South America)

Note: The following lectures may have been lost in a yet another Western Digital HDD hard drive breakdown:

“The most southerly forests in the world – the ecology (and some fungi, insects & mammals) of the temperate South American forests”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he guides you through some of the environment, ecology, fungi, insects, and mammals of this Valdivian and Magellanic forest.

“Red flowers in a green forest – the plants of the temperate South American forests”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he points out many of the flowering plants of this Valdivian and Magellanic forest.

“The endemics of the southern cone – the birds of the temperate South American forests”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he finds some of the birds of this beautiful Chilean forest.


(Slide show only): "Cerrado and wetlands of Central and South America" by biologist Damon Ramsey. The seasonally wet woodlands and wetlands of the neotropics.

(slide show only) "The tropical Rainforest of Central and South America" by biologist Damon Ramsey.

“So many species, so little time! The diversity of flowering plants in the Neotropical jungle”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey for an overview of some of the incredible range of native angiosperms in the tropical South & Central American rainforest.

"The secret diversity of the jungle: butterflies & other invertebrates of the Neotropical Jungle" by biologist Damon Ramsey. There are really WAY too many types of little critters here! I will have to talk really fast to finish this lecture in time!

(in preparation) "Sticky & Slippery - the Frogs and Reptiles of the Tropical Rainforest of Central and South America" by biologist Damon Ramsey. One group is really noisey, the other is really quiet; together they might cancel each other out?

"The most colourful birds in the world? The non-passerine birds of the Neotropical Jungle: from Toucans to Hummingbirds". Biologist Damon Ramsey overviews the main groups of non-songbirds in the rainforests of South & Central America.

"The best birdwatching in the world? The songbirds of the Neotropical Jungle". Biologist Damon Ramsey overviews the main groups of passerine birds in the rainforests of South & Central America. Meet the most famous British birdwatcher of all time (you know his name, you know his number).

(in preparation) "Mammals of the Tropical Rainforest of Central and South America" by biologist Damon Ramsey. Furry and funny.

NEOTROPICAL Temperate Ocean (Southern South America)

“The most remote ocean in the world”. Join biologist Damon for an introduction to the oceanography of the seas off southern South America, including the far-flung Robinson Crusoe islands!

“Why is it so windy?”. Damon explains the crazy climate and wild weather of the roaring forties that smack South America’s bottom.

“Why is it so bumpy?”. Biologist Damon Ramsey reveals all about the most persistent passenger in the southern Pacific off South America; the waves!

“Marine wildlife off southern South America”. Hang onto the railings as biologist Damon points out some of the seabirds and marine mammals of the temperate South American seas. (combination of following talks).

“Soaring over seasonal seas: seabirds of temperate South American oceans”. Look into the sky in awe with biologist Damon as he points out some of the local seabirds. Just don’t leave your mouth open when you look up!

“Big blubbers of the southern seas: Whales and dolphins off southern South America”. Hang onto the railings as biologist Damon points out some of the marine mammals around us.

NEOTROPICAL Temperate Seashore (Southern South America)

“Secrets of the southern South American seashore: the nature & wildlife of the Chilean coast”. Biologist Damon looks out for some of the critters and creatures along this spectacular coast.

“Life on the edge - marine invertebrates of the southern South American seashore”. Biologist Damon looks out for some of the smaller critters along the coast.

“Are you shore it’s a shag? Birds of the southern South American seashore”. Biologist Damon looks out for some of the cormorants, gulls and penguins along this spectacular coast.

“Fat bastards of the seashore: the seals and other mammals of the Chilean coast”. Join biologist Damon as he sniffs out the seals along the South American seashore.

PALEARCTIC (Eurasia: Europe & northern Asia)

PALEARCTIC Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

"The geology of Japan" - including their beautiful volcanoes, original tsunamis, and devastating earthquakes.

“Farms to feed the body, and gardens to feed the soul; the cultivated plants of Japan & China". Hear about some of the important food plants grown in temperate Asia, and learn how many are actually from this region. And explore the famous gardens of Japan, where art and science come together. Join biologist Damon Ramsey the man with no green thumb, as he surveys the leafy cast, from Japanese Maples to Bonsai.

“The making of modern Japan: from disaster to cuteness”. Join Damon Ramsey for a fun introduction to Japan’s modern culture and history, from atomic bombs to robots and vending machines.

"James Bond in Japan and other popular culture in Japan". Present day culture goes back and forth between nations. Learn about the influences of Japanese cinema on Star Wars. Re-visit the first time the most popular western hero visited Japan in 1967, and why James Bond was bald and photographed on the toilet.


PANTROPICAL Farms and Gardens

“People and Flowers of the tropical gardens” "Sex in the tropical gardens". When people think of the tropics they think of flowers. This misconception is due to thousands of years of picking and developing flowers from throughout the tropics of the world, and into our gardens. So join biologist Damon Ramsey as he explores the sights and smells of the sex organs of tropical plants in our tropical gardens.

“People and Fruits of the tropical gardens” by biologist Damon Ramsey. Let’s explore and taste our way through the world of tropical fruits, from the fruits you know, such as mango, to the fruits you think you know, such as coconuts and bananas, to the fruits you may not have even heard of...

“People and plant parts of the tropical gardens” by biologist Damon Ramsey. We all know about people using flowers and fruits of tropical plants, but there are many other parts of plans that are used. There is the trunk, the bark, the leaves, the roots and the tubers. We can use these bits for shelter, to eat, for flavour, and to get high man!

(in construction) “From cock fights to pussy cat tails” by biologist Damon Ramsey. In many tropical countries around the world, humans still interact and rely on animals very closely. They use them for food, religious sacrifice, pest control, money making, and of course companionship. And find out what is the better animal; the dopey dog or the cute cat.

WALLACEAN (Central Indonesia, including Lesser Sundas, Sulawesi and Moluccas)

WALLACEAN Geography, history & culture ("destination" talks)

“Alfred Russel Wallace; his life, his line and his world” by Damon Ramsey.  As we travel from the Australian region into the tropical Asian region, we go from one biogeographical region into another, and spend some time in the transition zone of Wallacea. Learn about the life and lessons of the man that gave his name to the region.

‘East Timor: A little introduction to a little country’. Before our visit, learn about the little known island of Timor, with a focus on East Timor, one of the newest countries in the world. Damon Ramsey will explore the sequence and context of the string of shocking and violent events that led to the formation of the first country of the millennium.

WALLACEAN Rainforest and Woodlands 

“Plants of Wallacea". Biologist Damon Ramsey hunts for rare plants where east meets west, in the centre of Indonesia, an area known as Wallacea.

“Jewels of the Wallacean jungle”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he lurks through the rainforest and woodlands of Wallacea for stunning snails, dazzling dragonflies and beautiful butterflies.

“Crawling and sliding through the Wallacea”. Join biologist Damon Ramsey as he slithers through the rainforest and woodlands of Wallacea for endemic reptiles.

“Feathered endemics”. One out of every three birds we might see in Sulawesi and Wallacea are endemic to the region. Find out more from biologist Damon Ramsey.

“The strange and endemic Mammals of Wallacea". Biologist Damon Ramsey talk about the mix of marsupial and placental mammals in Sulawesi and central Indonesia.

General: Tourism, birdwatching, photography & astronomy

“Australian wildlife tourism”. The lecture series from when I spoke at Ecotourism course at JCU, including: Avitourism, Wildlife and tourists, and Captive Wildlife (pretty old and out of date, time to put this talk out to pasture).

“Looking for Boobies, staring at Tits and trying to find a Shag; The bizarre world of birdwatchers". Learn from Damon Ramsey why birdwatchers hide in the bushes kissing themselves. Find out what a SOB is. And test whether you are a twitcher. A fun talk about the different types of birds and how to watch them.

“Photograph wildlife or die trying". Damon Ramsey gives a lesson in some nature photography basics, including composition, photo-shopping, and other tricks.

"An introduction to the starry night of the southern hemisphere". Join Damon Ramsey for a journey though the current night sky. He will explore the constellations that are visible now, and reveal how different cultures interpret different constellations. Depending on the night, you might even find out where Superman came from or where Captain Picard fought with the Borg against the federation! (this can be given instead of, or in conjunction with, talks outside and under the stars. The astronomy subjects change depending on where on the planet one is, and what time of the year it is)

Damon Ramseyyes, my head really does look like that

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