Professor Les Christidis is Dean, Graduate Studies, Associate DVC (Research) and Head of the Coffs Harbour Campus of Southern Cross University. Previously he was Director of the University’s National Marine Science Centre. Les is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and completed a PhD on bird evolutionary genetics at the Australian National University. His research demonstrated that the world’s songbirds (half of all bird species) originated in Australia and then spread throughout the world. The first bird song was heard in Australia. He has published over 140 research papers and books on the evolution of Australasian birds and mammals. He was curator of birds at Museum Victoria and later became Head of Sciences where he led the development of a Planetarium, Children’s Museum and five major exhibitions. He then went to the Australian Museum as its Deputy Director. Here he led the development of a 35 million dollar research and collections building and initiated the Intangible Cultural Heritage program at the Museum.