- February in Launceston – Ngaire Hobbins
Ngaire Hobbins, Chair of the Tasmanian division of Australian Association or Gerontology, presents a lecture on the science of nutrition, ageing and brain health in ordinary language. She offers sensible, practical advice to help people make the most of later life. 23 February, 1.30pm.Continue reading →
- 2020 Northern Lecture Calendar
The Northern Chapter of the Royal Society of Tasmania is pleased to present the 2020 Calendar for the Launceston Lecture series, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Inveresk.
The program commences on 23 February 2020.
A few dates are still to be finalised so please check back for updates.Continue reading →
- Notice of Annual General Meeting – 1 March 2020
Royal Society of Tasmania
Annual General Meeting and Lecture – Sunday 1st March
The Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society of Tasmania will be held on Sunday 1 March 2020 at 3 pm at the new location, The Old Woolstore Hotel lecture theatre, 1 Macquarie Street.
Following the AGM, Prof. Jean-Philippe Beaulieu will present a lecture entitled
The Secret Garden at Recherche Bay,1792.
All members and friends are invited to attend.
Dr Jean-Philippe Beaulieu holds the inaugural David Warren Endowed Chair of Astrophysics at the University of Tasmania. Previously he was the Directeur de recherche CNRS, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris in France.
Dr Beaulieu’s illustrious research career includes the 1996 Louis Armand Prize from the French Academy of Science. He is part of numerous major international collaborations and is co-lead investigator on the European Space Agency ARIEL mission, a space telescope planned for launch in 2028.
Dr Beaulieu has long collaborated with researchers in Tasmania and is a co-author of the 2016 publication, Secret Garden at Recherche Bay – 1792. The book tells the story of Felix Lahaye, a gardener with Admiral Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s French expedition, and the garden he created at Recherche Bay.
- 2020 Lecture Calendar – Hobart
The Royal Society of Tasmania
Hobart lecture program for 2020:
We are pleased to present the Hobart lecture program for 2020. As usual, there is something for everyone and everything of value and interest to inquiring minds of all persuasions.
We would also like to announce a change to the session time for the Hobart lectures. It has been decided to follow the example of our Launcestonian confreres and hold the lectures on Sunday afternoons at 3 pm (except where otherwise indicated). We hope that you will all find this convenient and an enlightening way to spend a Sunday afternoon, in the centre of Hobart’s cultural precinct.
(Lectures will be held in the usual Society lecture rooms at TMAG, except where otherwise indicated).
Here is the calendar of speakers for the first Sunday of every month commencing in March. We look forward to seeing you there. Your feedback is always welcome.
Sunday 1st March – Old Woolstore, Macquarie Street: Prof. Jean-Philippe Beaulieu: The Secret Garden at Recherche Bay – 1792
Sunday 5th April: Susannah Fullerton: Dr Johnson and his dictionary. The idea of a decent dictionary was first mooted by the Royal Society.
Sunday 3rd May: Laura Black: A botanical artist’s journey
Additional joint lecture with Geological Society of Australia (6pm last Thursday of the month – Stanley Burbury Theatre UTAS)
Sunday 7th June: Dr Geoff While: The social lives of lizard
Sunday 5th July: TMAG Curator *TBC
Sunday 2nd August: MR Banks medallist *TBC
Sunday 6th Sep: Clive Lord medallist *TBC
Sunday 4th October: Doctoral award winners *TBC
Sunday 1st Nov: Post graduate evening
Tuesday 1st Dec, Dinner Lecture – CSIRO Lecture Theatre: TBA*
* Please check back for updates *
- Prof James Vickers – November at QVMAG
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 @ 1.30pmContinue reading →
- Unveiling of the Commemorative Plaque
The final event for the year long celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Society took place on Monday 14th October 2019 at the Water Door, the Davey Street entrance of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
A commemorative plaque was commissioned and installed. It was unveiled on Monday by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania. Also conducting the ceremony were the President of the Royal Society of Tasmania, Professor Ross Large AO and Director of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Janet Carding.
- Post Grad night – November at TMAG
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.
- Innaugural Peter Smith medal
The 2019 Peter Smith medal lecture was delivered by
Dr. Lucia McCallum
on Tuesday, 1 October 2019
at the Royal Society of Tasmania lecture room, Dunn Place, Hobart.
The Dish redux – from the Apollo Mission to Earth surveying.
Dr Lucia McCallum is the inaugural recipient of the Peter Smith Medal.
Established in 2017, this medal is awarded biennially by The Royal Society of Tasmania to an outstanding early career researcher in any field.
Dr McCallum is a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the UTAS School of Maths & Physics, radio astronomy group. She is a geodesist – or Earth surveyor. Her field of research is the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) technique, using signals from far distant radio galaxies to measure the Earth.
Lucia is involved with the AuScope VLBI project, which utilises the UTAS Mt Pleasant radio telescope (which can be seen to best advantage from a table at Frogmore Creek Winery, Cambridge) as well as two other UTAS operated radio telescopes in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. This facility array ties in Australian geodesy with the International Geospatial Reference Frame and is coordinated within the International VLBI Service and the Asian Oceania VLBI Group.
VLBI measurements provide imperative scientific information on the rotation of the Earth, the movement of continental plates and the effects of earthquakes. VLBI also provides the reference frame for all other types of geographic positioning technologies such as GPS, which we have come to rely on in our smartphones and which is allowing the development and operation of autonomous vehicles.
Lucia received her Diplom-Ingenieur from the University of Technology of Vienna, Austria, with a thesis entitled “Calculation of the Earth Rotation Vector with VLBI and Ringlaser measurements”. She continued to pursue her research in VLBI satellite tracking, and was awarded her PhD in Vienna in 2013.
Her first post-doctoral appointment led her to Hobart in 2014. In 2015, she was awarded the Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship by the Austrian Science Fund – ‘Sibling Radio Telescopes for Geodesy – Optimising the use of co-located VLBI telescopes in the southern hemisphere’.
In 2017 she received a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council, with the project ‘Achieving millimetre geodesy with space tie satellites’. Her research interests include global reference frames, earth rotation, and the emerging field of space ties.
The Society congratulates Dr McCallum on her achievements.
More about the Peter Smith Medal
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 – click here to go to our Award & Medal guidelinesContinue reading →
- October at QVMAG – Rufus Black
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
- Christmas Lecture – Dr Alison Alexander – Maria Lord: from convict to Governor’s lady
In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is just around the corner.
will present the Christmas Lecture on
Tuesday 3 December 2019
at CSRIO Lecture Theatre
Castray Esplanade, Battery Point
We are delighted to announce that our 2019 Christmas speaker is the renowned Tasmanian historian and author
Dr Alison Alexander
The topic draws from the one of her earlier and most popular works:
The lecture will be followed by a two-course buffet meal.
Click here for your invitation to the dinner: 2019 Christmas Dinner Invitation
Bookings close 20 November 2019
Click here to view the Christmas Function Dinner Menu.