Interactions between Canberrans and the city's local snake population typically make headlines for all the wrong reasons - but not when you involve ANU snake whisperer Associate Professor Gavin Smith.
He gave the University community an opportunity to have a positive encounter on the Kambri lawns with this feared reptile.
Anabelle, Gavin's much loved pet diamond python, visited campus with her owner to help staff and students gain a better understanding of the dynamic relationship between snakes, humans and the environment.
The conversation focused on the impact of urban development on local populations of snakes and the efforts undertaken to protect and preserve this essential agent in our ecosystem.
Gavin spoke about his collaborative research on urban-adapted Eastern brown snakes and his mission to transform the largely negative public image of this species.
"Snakes commonly encountered in the Canberra region are usually highly venomous and are often perceived to be a problem for this and other reasons," Gavin says.
"I wanted to create a safe environment for people to come along, meet a native Australian snake, and ask questions about our local Canberra snakes, so that these animals can be more respectfully, calmly and safely engaged with."
Long-standing First Nations traditions of knowing and caring for Country, and approaching nature and culture as intrinsically interrelated, inform Gavin's research.
"We all have a role to play in nurturing Australian wildlife ecologies that have degraded significantly as a result of colonisation, subsequent development and now climate change," Gavin says.
Gavin's collaborative project tracks the everyday movements and habitat use of 12 Eastern brown snakes to see how they respond to be being released in locations that are different distances away from where they were caught, as per current snake catching protocol.
You can follow Gavin's work for the Canberra Snake Tracking Project on Facebook.