Unfolding understanding about Australia’s past, present and future
The World Heritage Riversleigh Project: Unfolding understanding about Australia’s past, present and future
|Date:||Friday 7 February 2014|
|Time:||4:00 - 5:00pm|
|Venue:||Forgan Smith Building (#1), room E-302|
While Riversleigh fossils in northwestern Queensland came to world attention in 1994 following listing of Riversleigh as a World Heritage property, fossils from limestones in this region have attracted researchers’ attention for more than 150 years. Our ARC-supported research, begun in the late ‘70s, has involved more than 100 researchers in 26 institutions in 11 countries. It has more than trebled previous knowledge about the palaeodiversity and phylogenetics of Australian terrestrial vertebrates.
Some of the deposits are rich also with invertebrates and plants. Many of the discoveries represent the first fossil records for entire families of modern vertebrates. Considering just mammals spanning the last 26 million years, hundreds of new species, genera, families and even a new order of very weird mammals have been described. Oligocene to Miocene mammal faunas are more diverse than any elsewhere in Australia today or at any time in its past. Forest birds being discovered compliment understanding about water birds known from 26-24 myo deposits in central Australia.
Currently as much research focuses on structure and function of vertebrates represented by articulated skeletons, as on palaeobiodiversity. Riversleigh palaeohabitats and their faunas have changed over the last 26 years from cool temperate forest in the late Oligocene, to perpetually wet rainforests in the early to middle Miocene, to cool, dry increasingly more open vegetation in the late Miocene, to a brief interval of wetter conditions in the early Pliocene and then back to increasingly drier, more modern habitats through the Pleistocene. The record spans 2.5 climate change cycles. More than 200 distinct fossil deposits have been identified including Oligocene-Pliocene lacustrine and karst deposits and Quaternary karst and fluviatile deposits. Five Faunal Zones and five Depositional Phases are recognised. U/Pb radiometric dates now being obtained from palaeospeleothems in conjunction with the University of Melbourne are testing and in general corroborating previous age determinations based on biocorrelation.
This research has resulted in over 300 publications and about 32 Honours and 45 PhD theses with most of these students obtaining professional jobs. Transcendent programs building on this understanding include assessment of long-term conservation status of contemporary lineages and use of increased understanding about palaeoecological resilience to develop translocation strategies to thwart extinction of climate-change threatened species. Recent research based on remote sensing by satellites has unexpectedly revealed that there may be more unexplored fossiliferous deposits west of the World Heritage area than occur within that area. A grant from the National Geographic Society funded a helicopter to enable us to explore a small part of this new region in 2013. As important as the scientific discoveries that have been, our whole team and the public volunteers who work with us have always had a tremendous amount of fun making and interpreting these discoveries at Riversleigh which, so far, show no signs of slowing down.
About the speaker
Professor Michael Archer is a mammalogist/palaeontologist and phenomenal scientist. He was one of the lead researchers who brought the famous World Heritage-listed Riversleigh fossil site to the world’s attention, and is currently part of the team working on bringing the recently extinct back to life.
You can watch him in action here: Michael Archer: How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the Tasmanian tiger
He has published over 270 papers, many books, and supervised numerous students over the years including Professor Tim Flannery, Dr Paul Willis (formerly a presenter on ABC’s Catalyst TV program), as well as current UQ researchers Drs Vera Weisbecker and Steve Salisbury (UQ School of Biological Sciences), and Kenny Travouillon (UQ School of Earth Sciences).
Dr Kenny Travouillon
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty discusses his latest book Sentinel Chickens about emerging diseases.
Since the early 20th century mankind has been using birds to identify the presence of environmental hazards. In the 21st century we are using them to also warn of infections which now cross animal/human barriers.
Join Nobel Prize Winner and UQ alumnus, Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC, as he shares insights about the threats we face from emerging diseases, how the One Health concept might provide a solution and why counting chickens could save your life.
|Date:||Thursday 6th September 2012|
|Time:||6:15pm - 8:00pm|
|6:15pm - 6:45pm: Light refreshments served
6:45pm - 7:45pm: Presentation followed by Q&A session
|Location:||Auditorium, Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Building 80, St Lucia campus|
|RSVP:||This event has reached capacity so registrations are now closed.|
About the presenter:
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty's pioneering research into human immune systems earned him the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1996. He was Australian of the Year and awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1997 and currently divides his professional time between the University of Melbourne and St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, where he is helping unravel the mystery of childhood cancer.
He is the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize: A Life in Science, A Light History of Hot Air and Sentinel Chickens.
Laureate Professor Peter Doherty is presenting at the 2012 Brisbane Writers Festival courtesy of the Faculty of Science, UQ. He is presenting this event on campus as part of the Festival's Visiting Authors Program.
Watch the lecture recording online here.
|From left to right, Executive Dean of the UQ Faculty of Science, Professor Stephen Walker; Bindi and Terri Irwin; Professor Craig Franklin, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences; Robert Irwin; and lecturer Dr Tim Jessop.|
Climate change threatens giant dragons
Indonesia’s endangered Komodo dragons are at risk from the effects of climate change but unlikely to move to more suitable environments, integrative ecologist Dr Tim Jessop told The University of Queensland’s 5th annual Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
Dr Jessop’s decade-long research program has identified there are fewer than 4,000 dragons remaining on the five Indonesian islands where they live.
“They could move, but they don’t. There’s a strong selection against dispersal for many island animals, including Komodo dragons,” he said.
“I’m not optimistic about the future for many endemic Indonesian species, but we’ll continue to do what we can to preserve the dragons.”
Dr Jessop said dragons’ fear of the unknown was likely to be a factor preventing them from swimming to other islands or, on larger islands, moving to alternative areas where they could potentially be attacked by other large, aggressive male dragon populations.
Male Komodo dragons live longer than the females and grow much larger. The females devote their energy and resources to building “colossal” nests, which they guard for up to six months while their eggs hatch, reducing their feeding during that time.
“They emerge emaciated after leaving the nest and that reduces their life expectancy,” Dr Jessop said.
The biased sex ratio means males fight hard to be stronger and bigger than their rivals. They can weigh up to 90kg and measure up to three metres long. The males can live up to 70 years, while females are more likely to die before reaching 35 years.
Dr Jessop said the dragons needed security and protection, with boundaries marked around their reserves to ensure human populations did not encroach further.
He and his fellow researchers were developing education programs so Indonesian islands’ inhabitants were more aware of the need to preserve the dragons and their habitat.
Dr Jessop’s work began as an exercise to count the numbers of Komodo dragons but became a quest for the UQ doctoral graduate to understand how disturbances in environmental influences might affect the fitness of individuals to shape population and community dynamics.
“This study is giving scientists a much better understanding of the dragons’ ecology, evolution and life history,” he said.
Almost 300 people, including Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri, and their children, Bindi and Robert, attended the lecture at the Abel Smith Lecture Theatre, at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane. The lecture was run in conjunction with Australia Zoo.
Video: 5th annual Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture 'The secret life of dragons' presented by Dr. Tim Jessop.
Media contact: UQ Faculty of Science Communications Consultant Kate Tilley on (07) 3831 7500 or 0418 741606 or email email@example.com
Visit the Faculty of Science booth and find out how to start your research career.
Thinking about postgraduate research in science?
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Visit the Faculty of Science booth at this year's Careers Fair
and find out:
- How to identify your research interest
- How to find a supervisor
- How to apply for a PhD/MPhil
- How to apply for scholarships
- Where a career in research could take you
The following staff are available to speak with you at 2014 UQ Science booth:
|Agriculture and Food Sciences||Biology||Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences||Earth Sciences||Geography, Planning and Environment||Maths and Physics||Veterinary Sciences|
|11am-12pm||A/Prof Stuart Kellie||Dr Joshua Larsen||Prof Matthew Davis||A/Prof Chiara Palmieri|
|12pm-1pm||Dr Laura Wendling||Dr Lyn Cook||Prof Gregg Webb|
|1pm-2pm||A/Prof Stuart Kellie||Dr Talitha Santini
Dr Derlie Mateo-Babiano
|A/Prof Diane Donovan||Dr Emily Piper|
|2pm-3pm||Prof Shu Fukai||Dr Berndt van Rensburg||Prof. Joan Esterle|
Available research projects:
- Agriculture and Food Sciences
- Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
- Earth Sciences
- Geography, Planning and Environmental Management
- Maths and Physics
- Veterinary Science
- Integrated Natural Resource Management PhD Program & Scholarship
- International PhD scholarships in Biology
- The scale of research activity in science is substantial at UQ. To find out more about some of the areas of focus visit: www.science.uq.edu.au/research-profiles
- Download a research degree fact sheet.
- Visit the UQ Graduate School website for further information on how to apply.
- Visit the UQ Careers Fair website: www.uq.edu.au/careersfair
Register your school for Experience Science 2014! St Lucia...
Register your school for Experience Science 2014!
Thursday 24 July
Experience Science is free to attend.
Register your school:
- Preferred campus: St Lucia or Gatton
- Preferred dates: please nominate two preferred dates for the St Lucia campus
- Estimated number of students
- Contact Teacher name, email and phone number
Register as an individual:
Individual students can register to attend Gatton on Thursday 24 July or St Lucia on Tuesday 22 July.
Fill in the same online form using your own name and contact details instead of 'Contact teacher' and with the 'Estimated number of students' as 1.
What is Experience Science?
Experience Science is a free event which provides students in years 10 - 12 the opportunity to discover what studying science is like at UQ and how science is applied in industry and everyday life. The event is facilitated by experts from UQ and industry through a series of hands-on, interactive science workshops.
Thousands of students from Queensland and northern New South Wales have attended Experience Science over the past ten years.
Morning tea and workshop allocation
Assemble for departure
Optional campus tour (must pre-book)
What happened at Experience Science in 2013?
Students attended a science lecture delivered by a UQ academic and participated in a range of hands-on workshops in this full-day program.
FEAST 30 June - 4 July 2013
28 June - 2 July 2015
Registrations for 2015 will open 1 March.
Submit your Expression of Interest for 2015.
Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology (FEAST) is a five day residential program designed to inspire and inform high school students of the range of exciting and rewarding science careers in the agriculture, animal, plant and food sectors.
Advantages of attending FEAST
• meet other students with similar interests
• explore science disciplines through hands on activities and workshops
• attend industry run sessions reinforcing the many exciting career outcomes on offer to graduates
• experience living in the Halls of Residence and take part in fun social and sporting activities
• chat with current university students and staff and have all your questions answered
• expand your knowledge of UQ study options and programs, careers and campus life
Cost: $350.00. Price includes 4 nights accommodation, all meals, program activities and bus tours.
Where: The University of Queensland Gatton Campus
When: Check in Sunday 28 June and depart Thursday 2 July 2015
Enquiries: Email Karli Kollegger firstname.lastname@example.org
FEAST is open to students in years 10, 11 and 12 however preference will be given to year 11 and 12 students if numbers are limited.
For more information on our science programs visit: www.science.uq.edu.au/future-undergrad
Check out some recent testimonials from our 2013 FEAST cohort
“The program gave me a clearer idea of what is involved in the program, courses and uni in general" Hannah G, Gympie SHS
“The information sessions on scholarships and campus life was very valuable” Megan B, Ormiston College
“Having past and present UQ students share their knowlege and experiences was valuable” Savannah H, Coolum SHS
“The technology and equipment available was amazing! I loved being able to examine things at their molecular level” Claire H, Clayfield College
“The workshops were really informative and the program exposed us to all aspects of university life” Xander H, Bundaberg Christian College
“It was great, I had the best time and made some great friends and it was good having uni student ambassadors there to chat with and share why they love uni so much" Lochie L, St george SHS
14 November 2013, 11:45am at the AIBN Seminar Room (Bld #75)
WHEN Thursday, 14 November 2013, 11:45 for a light lunch, followed by a presentation from 12pm to 1pm.
WHERE AIBN Seminar Room, level 1, AIBN Building (#75), St Lucia Campus
WHO Students enrolled in Science Honours, Masters and RHD programs in areas such as Biology, Conservation, Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Wildlife Science or Zoology
RSVP Early RSVP is essential as seating is limited. Please register via the below form.
From UQ science graduate to renowned integrative ecologist…
A graduate of UQ’s PhD (2000) program, Tim first focussed his research on fish and sea turtles before moving onto land to study the then enigmatic Komodo dragons. His studies have taken him to the rugged island landscapes of the Komodo National Park and have shed a light on the amazing biology of the dragons, their ecology, evolution and ability to adapt to environmental change.
At this exclusive luncheon for Faculty of Science students Tim will share his career highlights commencing as a UQ science student through to becoming a renowned integrative ecologist credited with having led the first decade-long, intensive field study into Komodo dragons.
His research identified that there are likely to be about 3,500 Komodo dragons scattered across 10 sites on four islands, mainly within Indonesia’s Komodo National Park. The high-quality data his team has accumulated is extremely valuable in assessing the reptile’s future.
In 2006, Tim moved to the Conservation Department of Melbourne Zoo and then a joint position with the zoo and Melbourne University. He still travels twice annually to Indonesia, spending three to four weeks a year conducting additional field research on the Komodo dragon project.
Tim’s research is now progressing to using ecological and evolutionary theory to implement environmental management. The questions he poses include assessing the impact of any loss of the apex predators.
Download the event flyer here.
Faculty of Science 3MT final round
The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD and Masters students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages their skill in communicating the importance of research to the broader community.
The winning student will go on to represent the Faculty of Science in the UQ 3MT Final and may proceed to the 2014 Trans-Tasman 3MT Competition.
2013 Final Round Event details
This round has been completed. Click here to see results.
Discover year 11 and 12 subjects for your greatest options for university entry.
If you are interested in a career in Engineering, ICT, Health, Medicine or Science, discover which year 11 and 12 subjects will provide you the greatest options for university entry.
Year 10 Subject Selection Evenings
All Year 10 Students, their parents and careers counsellors are invited to attend the Year 10 Subject Selection Evenings at a range of locations around Brisbane in July.
Find out which subjects in years 11 and 12 provide the best entry pathways into and preparation for degrees in Engineering, ICT, Science, Medicine and Health.
UQ staff will be on hand to speak to students, parents and teachers about specific programs and general university admission.
Information sessions for specific programs will also be presented.
Dates and Locations:
- UQ St Lucia - Qld Biosciences Precinct Auditorium (Building 80) July 15th 6.00-8.00pm
- Kedron Wavell Services Club, Kedron July 22nd 6.00-8.00pm
- Pacific Golf Club, 430 Pine Mountain Road Carindale July 29th 6.00-8.00pm
EnquiriesFor enquiries please contact Jackie Mergard, Phone: 07 3365 3634 or Email: email@example.com