Meetings and Events

MEETINGS PROGRAMME

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.

EVENTS

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia May 2024 Meeting

Molecular biology and citizen science solves mysteries of monotreme biology and inspires conservation and biomedical research.

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia meeting and scientific presentation for May 2024. Join us Thursday May 9th to hear our speaker Professor Frank Grützner (affiliations) presenting on solving the mysteries of monotreme biology using molecular biology and citizen science.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm but nibbles, refreshments and networking are between 6:00 – 6:30 pm. Pre-talk nibbles and refreshments available by small donation.

We will hold this as an in-person event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE. The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

If in-person tickets are sold out, please be aware that we are unable to admit more people than our room capacity. If online tickets are sold out, please contact admin@rssa.org.au and we can supply the zoom link to you.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Talk title: Molecular biology and citizen science solves mysteries of monotreme biology and inspires conservation and biomedical research.

Abstract: Monotremes or egg-laying mammals diverged more than 180 million years ago and represent the oldest surviving mammalian lineage. The evolutionary position and extraordinary biology of monotreme mammals has captivated researchers and the general public for centuries but research has been hampered by limited availability of material and data. Opportunistic sampling, community participation and international collaborations provided exciting opportunities to investigate fundamental aspects of monotreme biology. I will discuss new research into monotreme reproduction, diet and digestive biology. In addition to understanding fundamental biology of these iconic Australian mammals, this work has changed our understanding of mammalian evolution and provided unexpected avenues for translation into conservation and biomedical research.

Bio: In 2001, Professor Frank Grützner received his PhD from the Max Plank Insititute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. Following this, he moved to the Australian National University and then the University of Adelaide to take on the role of Head of research and group leader at the School of Biological Sciences. Frank has specialised in the field of comparative genome biology with publications in leading international journals, ARC research fellowships, and several awards for his work. He has been instrumental in establishing monotremes as a key species for comparative genomics an mammalian evolution research, and developing an award-winning community-based research project on echidna conservation and research (EchidnaCSI).

Professor Frank Grützner’s current research areas include:

  • Sex chromosome evolution and function in mammals
  • Sex determination in monotremes
  • Evolution and function of genes involved in metabolic control
  • Evolution of non coding RNAs in reproduction
  • Application and development of molecular tools, citizen science to aid monotreme field biology, conservation and captive breeding
  • Investigating participation and diversity in citizen science
Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia March 2024 Meeting

Australia’s key role in our understanding of songbird evolution

You are invited to the first Royal Society of South Australia meeting and scientific presentation for 2024. Come perch on a chair with us on Thursday March 14th with our speaker Dr Jacqueline Nguyen (Flinders University & Australian Museum) presenting on Australia’s key role in our understanding of songbird evolution.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but you can wet your beak over nibbles, refreshments and networking between 6:00 – 6:30 pm. Pre-talk nibbles and refreshments available by small donation.

We will hold this as an in-person event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE. The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

If in-person tickets are sold out, please be aware that we are unable to admit more people than our room capacity. If online tickets are sold out, please contact admin@rssa.org.au and we can supply the zoom link to you.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Talk title: Australia’s key role in our understanding of songbird evolution

Abstract: Songbirds make up nearly 50% all living birds (over 5,000 species) and are found in almost every habitat and continent. In the last two decades, DNA studies have transformed our understanding of the bird tree of life, including the unexpected finding that almost half of the world’s birds can trace their origins back to an ancestor in what is now Australia. Despite the enormous diversity and ubiquity of songbirds today, there is still much to learn about their early fossil record and how they became so successful. In this seminar, I will give some examples of how the Australian fossil record can be used to understand the early history of songbirds and the evolutionary relationships among modern birds, including recent findings from studies of genomes.

Bio: Jackie is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at Flinders University and a Scientific Officer in Ornithology at the Australian Museum. She is also an Honorary Research Associate at the South Australian Museum. Jackie’s research interests include the systematics, morphology, and evolution of fossil and modern birds, especially Australian songbirds. She is interested in using a combination of fossils, morphology, and DNA to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary history of birds, both living and extinct.

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia 2023 AGM and Scientific Presentations

Alternative respiration: the thermogenesis pathway that helps plants survive environmental hardship.

We are calling for our Annual General Meeting of the RSSA to be held on Thursday, 9th November 2023 6:00pm in person at the Royal Society rooms and by videoconference. Refreshments will be available from 5:30 pm.

The Agenda for the Annual General Meeting will include:

  • Minutes of the 2022 Annual General Meeting
  • Annual Report from the President
  • Audited Financial Reports for FY 2022/23
  • Appointment of Councillors

All members of the RSSA are welcome to attend the AGM in person or on line. Voting on resolutions is restricted to financial members only.

Members who are unable to attend are invited to complete a proxy form for voting on resolutions.

The AGM will be followed by presentations by RSSA Research Grant recipients and the presentation of the All Rounder award. Members and non members are invited to attend these research presentations and a program of talks will be distributed at a later date.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia September 2023 Meeting

Alternative respiration: the thermogenesis pathway that helps plants survive environmental hardship.

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia September 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are very pleased to announce that our speaker for September is Dr Crystal Sweetman (Flinders University) who will be speaking on Alternative respiration: the thermogenesis pathway that helps plant survive environmental hardship.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The pre-talk nibbles are provided by small donation.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

 

Talk title: Alternative respiration: the thermogenesis pathway that helps plants survive environmental hardship.

Abstract: Food security continues to be one of the greatest challenges of the modern world, due to the combined effects of population growth, plateaus in crop productivity and increasing incidences of environmental anomalies associated with climate change. Dr Sweetman hopes to help, by identifying new mechanisms for improving plant health and productivity in response to these challenges. A promising target lies within a floral thermogenesis pathway – an “alternative respiration” pathway that seems to have been hi-jacked to help plants cope with oxidative stress during unfavourable growing conditions. This presentation will provide a journey from the discovery of alternative respiration in the 1950s, through the evolution of the pathway in plants and simple animals, and finally to the biotechnological significance of alternative respiration for future food security and sustainability.

Bio: Dr Sweetman is a plant stress expert, with an academic background in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology. She obtained her PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Flinders University in 2012. Prior to her current role as a plant biotechnology lecturer and researcher at Flinders, Dr Sweetman held a post-doctoral position at The University of Adelaide. There, she was Chief Investigator on a Grape and Wine Research & Development Corporation (now Wine Australia) project investigating the loss of grape berry organic acids in a warming climate. Since her return to Flinders in 2014, Dr Sweetman has been working on oxidative stress response mechanisms in plants, as part of the Plant Molecular Physiology research group. For this work, she was honoured with the Jan Anderson Award for Early Career Researcher excellence from the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia August 2023 Meeting

Sea turtles and how they’ve evolved: a combined evidence approach

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia August 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are thrilled to have Dr Ray Chatterji, postdoctoral researcher with the IDER lab (Illuminating the Diversification of Evolutionary Radiations).

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The pre-talk nibbles are provided by small donation.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

 

Talk title: Sea turtles and how they’ve evolved: a combined evidence approach

Sea turtle are an iconic group of reptiles, that are spread around the world and act as ambassadors of ocean conservation and diversity. They have a long fossil record, with many complete specimens representing over 100 million years of evolution. Despites this, how our modern assemblage of 7 species evolved and diversified is poorly known and much of the early evolution of sea turtles is shrouded in uncertainty. Over the last two decades new fossils, advances in analytic techniques, and a more detailed examination of their morphology has allowed us to better understand their evolution, and a more complete and unified image is emerging. By including more morphological data, a greater understanding of which features are convergent, and incorporating chronological data we have been able to tease apart key relationships within the sea turtle tree as well as potential timings of diversification. By using CT data and morphometric techniques we have also been able to attempt to answer how sea turtles have diversified by examining the possible mechanisms behind their evolution and the selection pressures shaping their diversity and success.

Bio:

Ray is an evolutionary biologist and morphologist. He earned his Bachelors, Honours and Doctorate degrees at the University of Adelaide, Australia. His PhD was focused on the evolution of sea turtles, in particular using skull morphology to investigate macroevolutionary patterns. He used a combination of Bayseian phylogenetics, geometric morphometrics, and comparative anatomy to uncover how sea turtle evolution was shaped by biogeographic patterns, dietary ecology, and ontogeny. Ray has joined the IDER lab to investigate the adaptive morphology of Anseriformes (ducks, geese, swans and screamers) and how their varying ecologies have affected the evolution of the group.

Past Event

Lines in the Sand: 200 years of Alfred Russel Wallace OM FRS

An event marking 200 years since the birth of Alfred Russel Wallace OM FRS, co-proposer of the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Join the Royal Society of South Australia and the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia for a scientific forum on the biogeography of Australia and Asia being held as part of National Science Week 2023. This jointly hosted forum will explore the theme and legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace who proposed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin and after whom the Wallace Line is named.

This year marks 200 years since the birth of Wallace.

Wallace proposed a theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin, but his contribution to the science of evolution remains less celebrated. The Wallace line is a boundary proposed in 1859 by Wallace to separate the biogeographical realms of SE Asia and Australia. To the west of the Line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origins exist.

The event will be introduced by Leigh Radford OAM, RGSSA President. Speakers include Dr Kate Sanders and Dr James Nankivell from the University of Adelaide, Dr Kai Tea from the University of Sydney and Australian Museum Research Institute, and Dr Kevin Rowe from Museums Victoria. Each speaker will give a brief presentation followed by a panel discussion to which the audience will be invited to contribute.

The event starts at 6pm but will be preceded by light refreshments from 5:00 pm.

Past Event

Fossils and rocks, culture and communication

The Field Geology Club of South Australia, The Geological Society of Australia (SA Division) and the Royal Society of South Australia jointly present the 8th Ralph Tate Memorial Lecture.

Thursday 7th of September 2023 at 6.30 pm

Mawson Lecture Theatre
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Adelaide

Dr. Marissa Betts
University of New England

Abstract: Palaeontology is a lot more than dinosaurs, and fossils are a lot more than the remains of past life. Together, rocks and fossils tell remarkable stories about our Earth, how it has changed, and how lifeforms and ecosystems on its surface have evolved over billions of years. Palaeoscience and geoscience are fundamental topics—central to a sustainable future—but how do we make these topics better understood and accessible for everyone? How can we communicate the thrilling depths of geological time, disentangle geology from climate change, and provide better awareness of the inextricable relationship between geology, landscape and First Nation’s culture? This talk will touch on the speaker’s experience with these topics, particularly in the context of Hollywood films and documentary film-making as a medium for powerful and engaging science communication.

Bio: Marissa Betts is a geologist and palaeontologist at the University of New England in Armidale, working on the Cambrian Period (~538–485 million years ago). Her research in Australia, Antarctica, China and Mongolia unearths new fossil species, aims to track how the positions of continents have changed and continues to refine the geological timescale by dating and correlating key packages of rocks around the world. After completing her PhD at Macquarie University in 2016, Marissa started at UNE in 2017 on a Postdoctoral Fellowship and has since transitioned to Senior Lecturer in Earth Science, and is now a DECRA-funded Research Fellow. In 2023, she was appointed as Secretary of the International Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy. She has been awarded the Geological Society of Australia’s A.H. Voisey Medal (NSW Division) and Walter Howchin Medal (SA Division), selected as a NSW Young Tall Poppy and an STA Superstar of STEM, and is a proud STEM Coach for the Curious Minds program. She is the host of the popular Sci-Flicks science film nights at the Belgrave Cinema in Armidale, and the companion Sci-Flicks podcast. In 2022, she directed and produced the award-winning film ROLA[STONE].

Members and visitors are warmly invited to attend.

The lecture will be preceded by a wine tasting, drinks and nibbles in the Alderman Room, Mawson building, commencing at 5.30 pm.

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia
July 2023 Meeting

The Flinders Ranges World Heritage nomination and Ediacaran & Cambrian research.

ou are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia July 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are extremely pleased to announce that our July scientific presenter will be Associate Professor Diego Garcia-Bellido (UoA, SAM) speaking on Cambrian research and the World Heritage nomination for the Flinders Ranges.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The pre-talk nibbles are provided by small donation.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

 

Talk title: The Flinders Ranges World Heritage nomination and Ediacaran & Cambrian research

Abstract: The Flinders Ranges represents the only place left on the planet where a person can basically “walk” from 800 to 500 million years ago. It includes evidence of the two largest glaciations the world has seen, known as “Snowball Earth”, the base of the Ediacaran Geological period, the “Golden Spike”, the appearance of complex multicellular life: the Ediacara Biota, and the transition to the world we live today, with the “Cambrian explosion” and the unequivocal record of most animals groups we see in our modern oceans today. We will review Diego’s ongoing ARC and NASA-funded projects.

Bio: Diego was born, raised and studied in Spain, where he got his BSc in Zoology (1997) and PhD in Palaeontology (2002) from the Complutense University in Madrid. Diego settled in Australia in late 2012 but has previously carried out long research stays in Canada, US, UK and Germany. He studies the early evolution of animals after the Cambrian ‘explosion’: the rise of complex life on Earth, half a billion years ago. He excavated at the famous Burgess Shale Cambrian fossil locality in Canada between 1995 and 2000, and worked at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for several years. In 2007 he joined the research team excavating the slightly older fossil site of Emu Bay Shale in Kangaroo Island. In the last 8 years he has also been working on the Ediacara Biota from the Flinders Ranges, with the goal of finding the links of these strange organisms with the Cambrian faunas. Diego has done palaeontological fieldwork from Morocco to Argentina, from Portugal to China, and even been privileged to visit Antarctica. He has taught for 12 years at the Complutense University and 10 years at the University of Adelaide. Diego has written more than 100 research papers (including 3 in the journal Nature), book chapters and popular articles, presented over 80 international conference communications, and has led research projects with around 4 million Australian dollars in funding from institutions like the Australian Research Council, NASA, the Spanish Ministry of Science and National Geographic Society.

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia
June 2023 Meeting

South Australian Museum collection: an essential resource for the study and conservation of Australia’s marine mammals

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia June 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are very pleased to share that our speaker for June will be Dr Catherine Kemper, former mammal researcher at the South Australian Museum. The topic for the evening will be South Australian Museum collection: an essential resource for the study and conservation of Australia’s marine mammalsSee below for more information.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The pre-talk nibbles are provided by small donation.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

 

Talk title: South Australian Museum collection: an essential resource for the study and conservation of Australia’s marine mammals

The SA Museum’s world-renown marine mammal collection numbers about 2500 specimens and 55 species. It is the largest and most comprehensive in Australia, including skeletons, organs, stomach contents, parasites, tissues for toxic contaminant and genetics studies, and images, collected primarily from stranded South Australian specimens. A sightings database of live animals numbering over 5000 records is also curated. Specimens date back to the late 1800s, with the majority collected since 1990. The unique preparation facility at Bolivar has been vital to the collection’s development. The specimens and data, which are researched by SA Museum, national and international scientists, enable studies of a broad range of fields that directly or indirectly contribute to conservation. Traditional research on taxonomy and systematics are undertaken but these are augmented with studies documenting the life history, distribution, biodiversity, causes of mortality (including unintentional and illegal killing) and disease outbreaks. This ‘whole animal biology’ is gathering popularity in scientific circles because it does not look at factors in isolation. To use this approach for large animals such as cetaceans and pinnipeds has been an enormous achievement involving many people over the last 35 years. In the presentation, examples will be presented on some of the research programmes conducted by SA Museum and associates and how these have contributed to conservation, knowledge and public awareness of marine mammals in SA. There is an urgent need to maintain the high standard of the marine mammal programme at the Museum.

Bio:

Catherine came to Australia in 1971, after completing her first degree at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She did a PhD at Macquarie University on a native rodent and has studied small mammals in Western Australia, New South Wales and Malaysia. She moved to Adelaide in 1983, when she became Curator of Mammals following the death of Peter Aitken.

The focus of Catherine’s research changed to marine mammals (especially whales and dolphins) shortly after her arrival at the South Australian Museum but she maintains an active interest in, and publishes on, terrestrial mammals. Her cetacean research is primarily focused on studying the carcasses that strand or wash up on the South Australian coast, although studies of live animals are also included in her repertoire. The marine mammal collection at the South Australian Museum is the largest and most comprehensive in Australia and one of the leading collections in the Southern Hemisphere. In collaboration with other researchers, Catherine has used museum specimens for many research projects, including bottlenose dolphin taxonomy, toxic contaminant levels and their effects on animal health, mortalities caused by human activities and life history of several species. She has had a long-standing interest in the pygmy right whale, a little-known Southern Hemisphere species that has been frequently recorded in South Australia. She has been very active in promoting the conservation of marine mammals in the State by investigating mortalities related to human interactions. A national marine mammal aging facility at the South Australian Museum was established by her and results from this contribute to the above programmes. Marine mammal research attracts much media and public interest and has been of great benefit to the Museum for over 40 years.

Catherine has held positions on several interstate committees, including the Australian Mammal Society. In 2015 she was awarded the Unsung Hero of South Australian Science for her contribution to mammalogy and conservation.

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia
May 2023 Meeting

Microbiome-Inspired Green Infrastructure (MIGI): A roadmap for urban ecosystem health

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia May 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are very pleased to share that our speaker for May will be Dr Jake Robinson from Flinders University. Jake will be speaking on Microbiome-Inspired Green Infrastructure (MIGI): A roadmap for urban ecosystem health. See below for more information.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Past Event

Royal Society of South Australia
April 2023 Meeting

Sexual Selection, Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation of Terrestrial Arthropods

You are invited to the Royal Society of South Australia April 2023 meeting and scientific presentation. We are very pleased to share that our speaker for March will be Dr Bruno Alves Buzatto from Flinders University. Bruno will be speaking on Sexual Selection, Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation of Terrestrial Arthropods. See below for more information.

Please note that the talk will start at 6:30 pm, but nibbles and networking will be 6:00 – 6:30 pm.

We will hold this as an “in-person” event in our Society rooms, but we will simultaneously live-stream the meeting via Zoom for those not in attendance or for interested non-members.

To attend either in person, or online, you MUST REGISTER VIA EVENTBRITE:

The zoom link will be sent to you on registration. Please feel free to share this event with your institution or networks.

For more information on the location of the RSSA rooms, please visit https://www.rssa.org.au/contact/

Past Event

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.

Past Event

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.

Past Event

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.

Abstract:

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.

Bio:

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.

Past Event

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.

Abstract

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.

Bio

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.

Past Event

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.

Past Event

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

COVID 19 restrictions

While in force, a maximum of 30 people are allowed in the room. If wishing to attend a meeting you will be able to attend online using the Zoom platform or by contacting via our email roysocsa@gmail.com so we can limit numbers if necessary.