Post Graduate night
Presentation by three speakers
The Royal Society Room TMAG 19 Davey St Hobart
Tuesday, 1st October 2013 Commencing 8.00 pm until 9.30 pm
(Ms) Jo McEvoy (Zoology) : A lizards got personality??
Behaviour mediates all aspects of an individual’s life and can act as the link between ecology and evolution. Increasingly, consistent intra-individual differences in behaviour (animal personality) have become a focus of attention in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology. However, few studies have considered both the causes, and consequences, of personality within a single, free-living, population. My PhD examined personality in Egernia whitii, a social Tasmanian lizard species, and considered both the potential proximate underpinnings (causes) and ecological outcomes (consequences) of personality in this species. I focus on the personality trait of aggression, and will present to the Society an overview of my PhD, and attempt to ask the question, why are Egernia so angry?
I have recently completed my PhD in the School of Zoology at UTas, supervised by Erik Wapstra, Geoff While and Sue Jones. During the course of my studies I have been lucky enough to have worked on a variety of species, including squirrels in Canada and small rodents in Indonesia, as well as Tasmanian species including the velvet furred rat, dusky antechinus, Tassie devils, snow skinks, and my PhD species, White’s skink. My particular interest is personality in non-human animals, and how personality differences within a population influence ecological dynamics, but I am broadly interested in animal behaviour and behavioural ecology.
Ryan Nai (Chemistry): new methods for determining the diversity of microbial communities
An important challenge in microbial ecology is the quantification of species richness and evenness in diversity studies, as well as the degree of metabolic involvement of taxa in functional studies. Existing molecular biological based methodologies can only be partially addressed the first aspect. This poses a dilemma whereby to date there is no one single characterisation method that can provide species diversity, abundance and degree of metabolic activity simultaneously. Combined methodological approaches to derive information on species diversity, abundance and function may be expensive, complex, time consuming and not widely accessible. Hence, acquiring a simple, cost effective and ‘single method’ approach to achieve this is an ongoing challenge in microbial ecology. This presentation will provide an overview and highlights of the strategies carried out in my PhD research aimed to address the methodological challenges facing microbial ecology, which involves the development of two new microbial community characterisation methods.
After finishing my high school in Malaysia, I attended UTAS for my tertiary education in 2003. I graduated with B.Biotech Hons in Chemistry in 2006, then I spent 1 year at the University of New South Wales (Centre for Marine Bioinnovation), and another 1.5 years back in UTAS as a research assistant before commencing my PhD candidature in 2009. I submitted my thesis recently and I am expecting to receive my doctorate degree later this year. Currently I am a postdoctoral research fellow in Pfizer Analytical Research Centre, School of Chemistry, UTAS.
Dr Jacqueline Fox (History & Classics) :
From criminalisation to negotiation: colonial interactions with Aboriginal people during the Black War
During the Black War (c. 1823-1830), settler-colonists in Van Diemen’s Land responded to frontier collision with Indigenous people in a variety of ways. Official responses drew on a repertoire of strategies deployed throughout the British colonial world, and ranged from the criminalisation of Aboriginal resistance, to attempts at spatial separation and, ultimately, negotiation. This paper traces these shifting responses through key phases of the Black War.
Jacqueline Fox is an historian whose research interests focus on the social, cultural and legal dimensions of British settler colonialism in the early nineteenth century. Her PhD thesis (UTAS, 2012) proposed a revisionist judicial biography of Chief Justice Pedder of Van Diemen’s Land. Dr Fox is currently attached to UTAS’s School of Humanities as a University Associate and Research Assistant.