The Society's meetings are open to Fellows, guests and members of the public.
Entry is free, but fellows and guests are reminded that if they wish to partake of refreshments before the meeting, there is a $4.00 charge to cover this.
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month, March to November inclusive. Meeting commence at 6.30 pm and are preceded by wine and nibbles at 6.00 pm.
An invited lecture is normally arranged for each meeting. For ordinary meetings, the reading of papers and the presentation of exhibits of scientific interest.
These meetings are usually held in the Society's Rooms. Meetings are occasionally organised jointly with other kindred societies and may be held elsewhere. Occasional Symposia on topical issues are also organised by the Society.
COVID 19 restrictions
While social restrictions are in force, the Society is holding its meetings on line. To gain access to a meeting, please contact the Society through our email email@example.com or, alternately, our Programme Secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org for the link to that particular meeting.
Until the restriction on gatherings is lifted, meetings will be held on the Zoom platform. For the Zoom access and password for a meeting, see the details in the previous column.
Oct 8th - Gunnar Keppel: Gunnar is an Associate Professor in Environmental Biology in UniSA STEM at the University of South Australia. He has worked extensively in the fields of vegetation ecology, island biogeography and conservation biology. His recent research focuses on the spatial and temporal drivers of diversity patterns at local, regional and global scales. He is also passionate about developing budding and early career researcher and leads the Biodiversity Group.
Talk Title: Fine-scale Environmental Heterogeneity and the Persistence of Biodiversity
Environmental Heterogeneity is the complexity, diversity and structure of the environment and is a key driver of ecological processes. Traditionally, studies of biodiversity have focused on large-scale (kilometers) patterns, but here we will focus on the importance of environmental heterogeneity at smaller (meters) scales. The availability of small, reasonably priced sensors that measure temperature and humidity has greatly improved our understanding of how weather conditions (microclimate), as experienced by organisms, vary over distances of meters.
Over the last couple of years, the Biodiversity Group at the University of South Australia has investigated how environmental heterogeneity affects microclimate in various habitats. I will discuss how different types of woodlands, tree hollows and grass trees (Xanthorrhoea semiplana) can moderate the prevalent weather conditions in South Australia, for example by creating cooler microclimates during heat waves. I will then illustrate how organisms respond to the fine-scale heterogeneity in microclimate, using plants and ants in Hungarian karst dolines, shorebirds on beach-cast wrack near Mount Gambier and sea kraits on a small island in Fiji as examples.
Overall, the studies illustrate that microclimate is highly variable over small scales and can differ considerably from the weather recorded by climate stations. Furthermore, organisms clearly respond to this heterogeneity in microclimate. Therefore, retaining environmental heterogeneity in landscapes is essential for the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, the effects of environmental heterogeneity need to be taken into account, if the effects of climate change on biodiversity are to be predicted reliably.
Nov 12 - Small Research Grants speakers