Meetings and Events
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 may also occur.
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.
Royal Society Annual General Meeting and Scientific Presentations
Small Research Grant Recipients from 2021 will be presenting their research findings on Thu., 10 Nov., 6:30 pm.
Prior to the talks, the RSSA will hold the AGM at 6 pm.
Special members only event Sunday October 16th
Behind the scenes tour of the Bolivar Facility of the South Australian Museum with Dr Cath Kemper (SA Museum) and David Stemmer (SA Museum), and Sound in the Ocean, its use and importance for marine fauna with Professor Robert McCauley (Curtin University).
RSSA members have the opportunity to come on a behind the scenes tour of the large skeleton preparation facility of the South Australian Museum at Bolivar. The Bolivar Facility has been purpose-built for large skeleton preparation. It is one of the best equipped facilities for this work in the world. It is equipped with a large 5 tonne gantry crane, six heated macerating vats, cold room, large workshop and custom-built dissection tables. The Bolivar facility has helped the Museum to develop the largest and most comprehensive whale and dolphin collection in Australia which is stored right next to the preparation building.
This will be followed by Sound in the ocean. This talk by Australia’s leading expert on marine bioacoustics will take you on an acoustic journey under water. Professor Robert McCauley from the Centre for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University, WA, has been studying large scale and long term trends in marine fauna from acoustics and how intense sound impacts marine fauna.
Members, please check your email for further details and information on how to register.
Insect Investigators: preliminary results from a biodiversity citizen science project
Our speaker for October will be Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries (University of Adelaide) on an insect biodiversity citizen science project.
What happens when 50 regional schools around Australia run an insect trap for four weeks? Insect Investigators is a citizen science project working with 50 schools in regional SA, QLD and WA in 2022 to survey their local insect biodiversity, build the DNA barcode library of Australian insects and partner with taxonomists to describe new species. The project is currently part way through, with initial results hot off the DNA-sequencers that will help add verified records to the distribution of known species, provide material for ongoing research, and feed into taxonomic projects around the country. This talk will give an overview of the project, share some preliminary results, and explain what will happen in the coming months.
Entomologist and science communicator Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries specialises in the taxonomy of parasitoid wasps, which lay their eggs on or in the bodies of other insects. Erinn is passionate about engaging people in the science of taxonomy, and has guided school groups to find, name and describe species in their local environment. She is currently an Australian Biological Research Studies Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Adelaide, and an Honorary Researcher at the South Australian Museum.
using biochemical tools to determine the diet of tiger sharks and rays
Our speaker for September will be Dr Lauren Meyer (Flinders University of South Australia) on using biochemical tools to determine the diet of tiger sharks and rays.
Tiger sharks love to eat birds and turtles, two species notorious for consuming ocean plastic. This may be trouble for these sharks because they have the potential to accumulate a lot of microplastics over their long-life span. To understand what tiger sharks eat and how much plastic they accumulate from prey even in pristine waters, we travelled 1400 km off the coast of Brisbane to Norfolk Island. But when we arrived, unexpected cows got in the way! Come hear about how cows derailed our research aims and learn about how we use biochemical markers to determine what tiger sharks eat, and if cows are an important part of their diet.
Lauren is a research scientist at Flinders University and the Georgia Aquarium where she uses biochemical tools to understand what sharks and rays eat. She uses this information to assess if and how sharks are impacted by human activities including wildlife tourism, urbanisation, and waste management.
Ancient environmental DNA: providing a new window to the past
DNA molecules preserved in ancient ‘environmental substrates’, including sediments, ice,
permafrost soils and animal faeces, can reveal unique insights into past ecosystems that are
often unattainable by conventional palaeoecological techniques. Although animal and plant
DNA sequences from ancient sediments were first reported more than 20 years ago,
develeopments in DNA-capture methods and high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms
have led to a rapid advancement of the field within the past decade. Ancient environmental
DNA is fast becoming a widely-used tool in palaeoecological and archaeological studies. In
this talk I will present examples to demonstrate some of the insights that can be provided by
studying ancient environmental DNA, including the ecology of extinct species, changes in
species distributions through time, effects of climate change on parasites and pathogens,
and the impacts of prehistoric faunal introductions on island ecosystems.
Dr Jamie Wood moved from New Zealand in May to take up a role as senior lecturer in
environmental genomics at the University of Adelaide, and is also affiliated with the
Environment Institute and the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. He has a broad
background in the natural sciences, having studied zoology and geology at undergraduate
level, before moving into the fields of palaeoecology and molecular ecology. His previous
position was as a scientist at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, one of New Zealand’s
Crown Research Institutes, where he was a palaeoecologist and managed the country’s only
dedicated ancient environmental DNA facility.
Ralph Tate Memorial Lecture 2022
Hosted jointly by the GSA South Australia Division, Field Geology Club of South Australia, & the Royal Society of South Australia