The Royal Society of Tasmania presents Professor James Vickers – Reducing Risk of Dementia – Sunday, 24th November 2019 at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk, Launceston @ 1.30pm
The Royal Society of Tasmania
Post Graduate Night
at the Royal Society Rooms
Customs House, Dunn Place, Hobart
on Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Our speakers for the evening are: Luisa Fitzpatrick, Habacuc Pérez-Tribouillier and Patrick Yates.
Their subjects range from lizards’ tails and black holes, to uses of radioactivity in studying the oceans.
Tail Loss and Telomeres in Lizards
Luisa studied an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and Zoology at the University of Western Australia, where she then undertook her honours degree looking at sperm competition inbreeding in guppies with Professor Jon Evans and Dr Clelia Gasparini. She worked for an environmental consulting company for a few years and at the Western Australian Museum, then moved to Tasmania to begin a PhD in the evolutionary ecology of lizards with Associate Professor Erik Wapstra and Dr Geoff While. Her thesis work focusses on senescence in ectotherms and the links between telomeres, temperature, reproduction and life history using the Tasmanian lizard Niveoscincus ocellatus as a model system. During her PhD, Luisa spent 6 months working with Professor Mats Olsson and Dr Angela Pauliny at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, attended several international conferences, was involved in organising and hosting several national conferences in Tasmania and helped with field work on wall lizards in Italy.
Abstract: One aspect of lizard ageing Luisa is particularly interested in is their ability to regenerate large portions of their body. Telomeres are protective caps on DNA that shorten with cell division and oxidative stress. Tissue regeneration such as regrowth of a body part may influence an organism’s telomere length as growth can increase both cell division and oxidative stress. Examining the effect of tail regrowth on telomeres in a lizard, Luisa and colleagues found that telomeres lengthened in lizards with intact tails while oxidative stress decreased in those re-growing tails. This suggests that tail regeneration involves a response to oxidative stress which comes at a cost to telomere repair. This change in telomere maintenance demonstrates a potential long-term cost of tail regeneration.
It’s not only bad news: how radioactivity is used to study the ocean
Habacuc has been interested in the ocean since an early age, spending long days in the tropical beaches of southern Mexico and then studying a bachelor degree in oceanography and a M.Sc. in marine geochemistry. During his masters, Habacuc worked alternatively as a guide taking tourist to snorkel with the whale shark in La Paz, Mexico. In 2015 he moved to Hobart to start a PhD in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies with Dr Zanna Chase, Taryn Noble, Ashley Townsend and Andrew Bowie. As part of his PhD, he got involved in the analytical side of oceanography, developing a technique to measure radioactive elements in seawater at extremely low concentrations. Recently he submitted his thesis and now he is working as a research assistant for Dr Taryn Noble at IMAS. When he is not in the lab, or in front of the computer, you might very likely find him SCUBA diving or spearfishing somewhere on the Tasmanian coast.
Abstract: Since radioactivity was discovered towards the end of the 19th Century, it had a big impact on society. Many of us think of radioactivity as something negative (fair enough). However, it represents an incredibly useful tool to study how our Planet works! In this talk, I would like to introduce you to the basic concepts of radioactivity and how they are applied to study the ocean. Then I will tell you how I applied it to study the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the largest high nutrient, low chlorophyll region in the global ocean. In these regions, phytoplankton growth is minimum despite the abundance of nutrients (let’s remember that phytoplankton is like the plants of the ocean). The cause of this is because most of the Southern Ocean is iron deficient. When iron reaches these “anaemic” regions, big “blooms” of phytoplankton extending for thousands of square kilometres appear. These blooms have the potential of absorbing atmospheric CO2and if the conditions are right, to transport in into the deep ocean, thus having a potential impact on climate regulation. In my thesis, I used thorium and neodymium isotopes to investigate how iron reaches and fertilizes the remote region of the Kerguelen Plateau. This region hosts the largest bloom in the Southern Ocean and also Australia’s only active volcano.
Black holes & galaxy evolution in under 20 minutes
Patrick completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), majoring in Physics and Applied Maths, before continuing his studies with an honours degree supervised by Dr. Stanislav Shabala and Dr. habil. Martin Krause. His honours topic was studying how black holes in the centre of massive galaxies modulate their impact on their host environment. Patrick was unable to escape the pull of black holes, and returned to UTAS to study a PhD, again supervised by Dr. Stanislav Shabala and Dr. habil. Martin Krause. His main area of research is modelling the effect black holes have on their host galaxy as a function of different environments. As part of his PhD studies, Patrick spent 3 months working with Prof. Martin Hardcastle and Dr. habil. Martin Krause at the University of Hertfordshire in England, attended the XXXth International Astronomy Union General Assembly in Vienna, and attended several national and international conferences and workshops.
Abstract: At the center of nearly every massive galaxy cluster lies a supermassive black hole, so dense that not even light can escape it’s gravitational pull. Surrounding this supermassive black hole is an accretion disk, formed as matter spirals inwards onto the black hole. The supermassive black hole, accretion disk, and region immediately surrounding the two are called the Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) of a galaxy, and are thought to play a key role in how galaxies evolved into what we can observe today.
In this talk I will focus on radio jets, which are superheated and relativistic jets of plasma launched from the accretion disk that punch through the environment and can produce structures 10 times larger than the diameter of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. In particular I will look at how these radio jets are formed, how they grow to such large sizes, and how their violent passage through the environment is responsible for maintaining the delicate balancing act that prevents the catastrophic collapse of galaxy clusters. In my research I have developed state-of-the-art numerical simulations of these jets launched into realistic galaxy cluster environments, offering the perfect laboratory setting in which to quantify and model their effects on the host environment, and apply these findings to observations. One of the key findings from my research is the need to understand and accurately model the galaxy cluster environment in order to interpret the increasing number of radio jet observations.
Prof. Rufus Black, Vice Chancellor and President of the UTAS, delivered his lecture on the “Ethics of Place” on Sunday 27th October 2019, at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO
The Royal Society of Tasmania
the Innaugral Peter Smith medal lecture by
Dr. Lucia McCallum
on Tuesday, 1 October 2019
at the Royal Society of Tasmania lecture room,
Customs House, Dunn Place, Hobart
The Dish redux – from the Apollo Mission to Earth surveying
Whether we are talking about climate change, sea level rise or the exploration of natural resources, “Earth measurement” and “precise positioning” have long found their way into our daily vocabulary. Fundamental to all those applications is an accurate, stable, and accessible coordinate system. Today’s best coordinate reference is generated from a multitude of modern Earth surveying techniques, one of them making use of black holes as the most stable pillars of the Universe.
The Hobart radio telescope, once designed as part of the Apollo Missions, nowadays plays a crucial role to measure our dynamic Earth. This is a diverse task of managing old and new technology, establishing truly global collaboration, and performing innovative research delivering encouraging results.
Dr Lucia McCallum is a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Physics Department of the University of Tasmania. She is a geodesist – or Earth surveyor – with a proven record in the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) technique. Her main research interests are global reference frames, Earth rotation, and the emerging field of space ties.
Following a surveying degree, she performed her doctoral studies in Geodesy at TU Wien, Austria. Her first post-doc appointment led her to Hobart in 2014, where she now has settled with her young family. In 2015, she was awarded the Erwin-Schrödinger Fellowship by the Austrian Science Fund, and in 2017 she received a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council. She is now the winner of the inaugural Peter Smith Medal.
ψ The Peter Smith Medal was established in 2017 and is awarded biennially to an outstanding early career researcher in any field. The winner receives a medal and delivers “The Peter Smith Lecture” to the Society. To be eligible for nomination, the research and/or works must be largely carried out in Tasmania or under the aegis of a Tasmanian-based organisation and within the Society’s purview. The Award is not restricted to Australian nationals. The medal will be open for nominations again in 2020.
The Royal Society of Tasmania
Dr. Anita Hansen
Creating History: how does a settler society create its own independent history and identity?
Tuesday, 3 September 2019
8.00pm in the Royal Society Rooms,
Customs House Building, Dunn Place, Hobart
This is a companion to last month’s lecture by Marley Large, Snapshots of 175 Years of The Royal Society of Tasmania’s Minutes which looked at The Royal Society of Tasmanian’s history through its Minute Books.
The Royal Society of Tasmania developed the government gardens into a true botanical gardens and created a museum that was to become the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, as well as starting a wonderfully eclectic library: WHY?
This 175th anniversary of The Royal Society of Tasmania is a time to look, not only at the physical and scientific achievements of the Society, also at the cultural and historical legacy of the Society to Tasmania and Tasmanians as we moved from an English penal colony to the vibrant cultural centre that is Tasmania today.
Born in Denmark, Dr Anita Hansen moved to Australia with her family as a child. Her artist mother was fascinated by the exotic plants and animals of their new home and taught Anita to draw them. Anita has worked as an artist all her life – in Tasmania, interstate and overseas. She holds a doctorate from the University of Tasmania (Nineteenth century natural history art and belonging in Tasmania), a Master of Fine Arts (Orchid Illustrations of William Archer 1847–1874), a Graduate Diploma in Plant and Wildlife Illustration (University of Newcastle) and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree (University of Tasmania). Anita received a Fellowship with the Cultural Studies Department at the University of Toronto.
Anita co-edited The Royal Society of Tasmania’s books The Library at the End of the World: Natural Science and Its Illustrators and Poles Apart: Fascination, Fame and Folly, also writing about the artists whose illustrations were featured in the books. She has published a number of journal articles. Anita has curated a number of exhibitions in Tasmania and interstate, recently curating exhibitions for The Royal Society of Tasmania’s 175th anniversary (Louisa Anne Meredith: a remarkable woman, Poles Apart: Fascination, Fame and Folly) and was on the Steering Committee for the DINOSAUR rEVOLUTION exhibition, as co-ordinator of The Royal Society of Tasmania’s 175 anniversary committee.
Friday 16 August – Main Stage Seating open from 8:25pm
Dr Barbara Holland and Meow-Ludo Meow Meow
With MC Mark Horstman
In TMAG’s Central Gallery
Presented by The Royal Society of Tasmania
Dr Barbara Holland, UTAS – 8:45pm
Why be Happy When You Can be NORMAL?
What is normal anyway? Any good statistician will be able to tell you the answer. Normal is a distribution. The normal distribution holds a famous spot in statistics due to the Central Limit Theorem which, in layman’s terms, explains why bell-shaped curves are so ubiquitous in describing a wide range of phenomena. Back in the good old days of the 19th Century, the normal distribution went by the name “Law of the Frequency of Error.” Indeed, one of the things the normal distribution should be able to explain is the behaviour of polls and how accurate their predictions should be. In this talk, Barbara will discuss what our faithful friend the normal distribution can tell us about why polls should work and try to give some insight into why they failed so spectacularly at the last election!
About the Speaker:
Dr Barbara Holland is an Associate Professor in the discipline of Mathematics within the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Tasmania. She works within the Theoretical Phylogenetics research group and lectures in Statistics. Since beginning her PhD she has enjoyed the challenge of working with biologists in trying to translate the problems they face into the language of mathematics.
Click on the Beaker Street link here for more information and booking details
Friday 16 August & Saturday 17 August
6:00pm – Midnight.
Hobart Town Hall and TMAG.
The Australian Academy of Science is a proud partner of BeakerStreet@TMAG.
You are invited to join the Academy for four fascinating talks at Hobart Town Hall, featuring Academy Fellows, Professor Martina Stenzel, Dr Steve Rintoul, Professor Jenny Graves, Professor Mike Archer and Robyn Williams. Following each talk, all guests are invited (and musically escorted!) across the road to Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery for more science, including talks, workshops, art, music, food, bars and more. Tickets to each talk are sold separately. Check www.beakerstreet.com.au for details and tickets.
Friday 16 August
5.30pm: Professor Martina Stenzel – The chemistry of life
6.30pm: Dr Steve Rintoul in conversation with Professor Robyn Williams – Ice, wind and waves: In search of climate clues in the Southern Ocean
7.30pm: Professor Jenny Graves in conversation with Professor Robyn Williams – The future of men?
8.30pm: Professor Mike Archer – Bringing back the dead: why extinction should not have to be forever.
About Beaker St:
During National Science Week in Hobart, BeakerStreet@TMAG is a pop-up science bar, a parlour of curiosities, an inn for inquiring minds. Come along to quench your thirst…for knowledge. You will encounter live music, zoological oddities, photographic inspiration, amiable wandering scientists, seriously good food and drink, and such a bounty of distractions that you may forget to go home. Entry at TMAG is free, but tickets must be purchased for some events.
Friday 16 August & Saturday 17 August
6:00pm – Midnight
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
The Royal Society of Tasmania
Snapshots of 175 Years of The Royal Society of Tasmania’s Minutes
A Public Lecture – 6 August 2019
8.00pm in the Royal Society Room,
Customs House Building, TMAG, entrance from Dunn Place.
Over the last year, Marley has researched several topics in the Royal Society of Tasmania’s archives. Along the way, she discovered various unexpected and often exciting twists and turns and went down many irrelevant but highly enjoyable rabbit holes. The result is a wealth of information, sometimes scientific and sometimes quirky, about individuals, developmental events, social issues, infrastructure and innovation that made a significant difference in Tasmania.