Five near extinguishments of life on Earth have been related to changes in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Extra-terrestrial meteorites are often blamed, but Earth’s own forces may be suspect. Heat within the Earth builds volcanoes. Even small volcanic eruptions have local, regional and global climate effects. Giant lava fields coincide with the three most recent mass extinction events. Scaling up impacts from small eruptions to such voluminous eruptions indicates that volcanism is a major contributor to climatic disruption, with dire consequences for life.
Dr Karin Orth lectures in Earth Sciences at the University of Tasmania. After a primary degree at Monash University and working for the Victorian Geological Survey, she gained her PhD in Tasmania. She has worked on ancient volcanic rocks in various regions across Australia, most recently on a very large field of ancient volcanic rocks that stretch across the Kimberley of northern Western Australia.
The primary function of Launceston’s Government Cottage was accommodation for the Lieutenant-Governor and other high-ranking officials either visiting or living in the town. However during the years the Franklins were resident in Van Diemen’s Land their penchant for the sciences added another facet to the complexity of its story. Lynette will reveal how the building was utilised to promote the study of the natural world that gave impetus to scientific endeavours in the north including the establishment of the Launceston Horticultural Society and the consolidation of the Royal Society.
Lynette Ross has worked in the fields of history and archaeology since the late 1980s. Her career includes positions at UTAS, at Port Arthur as Heritage Officer and working as a private contractor. In the late 1990s she was engaged by the Launceston City Council to compile a history of the Government Cottage that used to lie in the north eastern part of what is now City Park. The book on the subject is being readied for publication and this lecture is based on one of its chapters.
GENEROUSLY SUPPORTS THE PRESENTATION OF THIS LECTURE
We can tell a lot from the way that people grow. The extent to which we are able to attain our genetically programmed height depends upon the conditions we encounter in utero, early childhood and adolescence. Poor sanitation, insufficient diets and other environmental insults can all impact on the timing of growth and the stature we attain in adulthood. In recent years, historians have started using records that provide details of height to explore variations in the conditions encountered by children born in different places. This presentation uses information about soldiers and prisoners recruited or discharged from gaol in the period 1865-1920 to explore variations in growth patterns in Victoria and Tasmania for men born in the period 1850-1899.
Hamish Maxwell-Stewart is a professor of social history at the University of Tasmania. He was born in Nigeria but brought up in the UK. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (MA in History, PhD in Economic and Social History). He worked for the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Glasgow before migrating to Tasmania in 1997. Since then he has worked on both the Launceston and Hobart campuses of the University of Tasmania as well as spending extended periods of time at the University of Texas, Austin, and University College, Dublin (where he held the Keith Cameron Chair in Australian History). In recent years he has worked closely with the Tasmanian Archive to build cradle to grave population datasets in order to explore the long-term impacts of convict transportation and the pathways responsible for the intergenerational transmission of inequality.
GENEROUSLY SUPPORTS THE PRESENTATION OF THIS LECTURE
Astronomers had long assumed that there were planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, but it is only since the 1990s that we obtained evidence that this was true. Now we know of thousands of these planets, making it clear to us that planetary systems are common. However, except in a few special cases, we have never seen any of them. The speaker will explain the various methods that are used to detect them and to discover a good deal of information about their orbits and characteristics.
Martin George is Manager of the Launceston Planetarium at QVMAG. He is a well-known communicator of astronomy to the public, with several regular radio interviews and a weekly space article in The Mercury newspaper. He is also a contributing editor of the US magazine Astronomy.
Martin is a fellow and former president of the International Planetarium Society and is its Chair of International Relations. He has been awarded the David Allen Prize for astronomy communication by the Astronomical Society of Australia, and the Winifred Curtis Medal for Science Communication in Tasmania.
On October 14 2018, The Royal Society of Tasmania will be celebrating 175 years. It is the third oldest Royal Society, with only the Royal Society and the Edinburgh Royal Society predating it. The lecture will examine the Society and its influence on the history and culture of Tasmania. There will also be a discussion of events planned to celebrate the anniversary.
Dr Anita Hansen has been an artist all her life, working in Tasmania, interstate and overseas. She holds a doctorate from the University of Tasmania, a Master of Fine Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Plant and Wildlife Illustration and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree. Anita co-edited The Royal Society of Tasmania’s book The Library at the End of the World: Natural Science and Its Illustrators and has published a number of journal articles, as well as curating exhibitions in Tasmania and interstate.
Twenty-seven species are listed as having gone extinct from Tasmania in recent times. Threatened Species Day (7 September) marks the date since the last known thylacine died, in 1936. It’s a time to reflect on why extinction matters to us, and how we might reduce our negative impacts on species survival. My own response, as a threatened species zoologist, has been to take up a Churchill Fellowship on citizen science, to engage the wider community in better understanding the needs of the plants and animals in their own backyards. In this talk, I share my findings on how this might work most effectively. Dr Clare Hawkins carried out her Ph.D. on the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), a semi-arboreal mammalian carnivore endemic to the forests of Madagascar. Its ecological similarities to the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) brought her to Tasmania in 2001 to study the latter species’ habitat requirements. She subsequently joined the State Government, initially with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, and spent four years monitoring the impact and distribution of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. She is currently the IUCN Australasian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group Red List coordinator and author of the Naturetrackers blog. For the Bookend Trust, she co-organised two ‘Extinction Matters’ BioBlitzes in 2016, held on either side of Threatened Species Day, to be reprised this year in November. Her current focus is on novel approaches to better monitor and manage Tasmania’s diverse threatened fauna (from quolls and eagles to skinks, butterflies and burrowing crayfish). In 2015, she was awarded a Gallaugher Bequest Churchill Fellowship to develop citizen science study designs for long term monitoring.
chain, are we considering carbon emissions adequately? And what about water? In this presentation Mark will discuss aspects of envelope design, thermal mass and airtightness that must be considered on the pathway to zero. How should we be making our homes such that they require minimal energy for heating or cooling, provide adequate indoor air quality and passively minimise the occurrence of condensation and mould?
Mark is passionate about sustainability and has been involved in the sustainable design of commercial and residential buildings for more than 20 years. His research collaborations have included industry, state government, federal government and CSIRO. His research focuses on methods of building to improve the thermal performance of Australian buildings and has incorporated empirical validation, testing and calibration building simulation programs. Most recently, his research has included the use of timber as thermal mass and condensation risks in contemporary building systems.
Before Dr Dewsbury’s lecture Zac Corbett will report on his attendance at The 2017 London International Youth Science Forum.
Zac is a year 12 student at St. Brendan-Shaw College, Devonport where he is studying Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics Methods. He hopes to study at a tertiary level in the STEM field specializing in Chemistry, and one day to work researching and developing more sustainable, environmentally friendly fuels which will help us to eliminate emissions from our vehicles.