Welcome to our Forthcoming Lectures and Workshops

Lectures are held in the Mawson Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Adelaide   Click here for map

Upcoming Lecture

The Field Geology Club of South Australia presents:
Extinct megafauna at Lake Callabonna

Thursday 5th of October 2023 at 7.45pm 
Mawson Lecture Theatre
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Adelaide 

Dr Aaron Camens & 
Associate Professor Trevor Worthy

Flinders University

Abstract: Lake Callabonna, where thousands of megafaunal animals became stuck in the mud, has a central place in the discovery of the Australian megafauna. Expeditions by the SA Museum in 1893 unearthed abundant fossils of Diprotodon and the first remains of the giant bird Genyornis newtoni and giant wombat Phascolonus gigas. Subsequent excavations have been few: first in the 1970s - SAM-AMNH expedition resulting in description of new sthenurine kangaroos; second in the 1980s – Museum Victoria. Despite the promise of excellent fossil material, the skull of Genyornis remained unknown as did much about this bird. This was the instigation for us at Flinders to commence a field programme with the aims to 1, recover more material of Genyornis and other little known megafaunal animals, e.g., kangaroos, and 2, date the assemblages. Following a reconnoitre in 2013, we ran full expeditions in 2014, 2018 and 2019. We rediscovered the 1893 campsite, relocated the 1970s fossil sites, and documented fossil deposits across a 12 by 5 km area of the lake. We documented 468 skeletons of Diprotodon, found the first Genyornis skull, found two new species of megafaunal kangaroo and found that all sites are of the same late Pleistocene age. 

Aaron works on a range of palaeontological disciplines relating to the evolution of the recent Australian fauna and a better understanding of the sites they come from. His primary focus is on the functional morphology of fossil marsupials, but his research also focuses on fossil footprints, taphonomy (the process between when an animal dies and when we find it as a fossil), megafaunal palaeobiology and extinction.
Now semi-retired with academic status at Flinders University, Trevor has been a research palaeontologist since the 1980s with a specialty in taxonomy and palaeoecology of Neogene–Quaternary fossil birds, having carried out extensive projects in New Zealand, Oceania and Australia.

Members and visitors are warmly invited to attend and to stay for supper following the meeting. No booking required. If the door to the Mawson Building is closed, ring the FGC doorbell to left of the door for admittance. Note that the door to the building will not be monitored after 7.45 pm (and there will be no doorbell - too disruptive!) so please be sure to arrive on time. The door will however be opened briefly for latecomers just before the main lecture starts, at around 8 pm.

Please be warned that there is no wheelchair access to the lecture theatre.

Upcoming Workshop

Cynthia Pyle will run a workshop before the meeting. 
The topic for the August 3rd workshop is 'TBA.

The workshop will start at 6.30 pm, but people are welcome to come in later, as everyone
works independently or with a friend.

The workshop will be held in the Sprigg Room. Go past the Tate Museum and take the next
staircase on the right. The Sprigg Room is right at the top of the stairs. 
Anyone who arrives after 6.30pm and can't get into the building can ring the FGC bell if it is in place.

10 Minute Topic

Laurence Campbell will give a 10-minute talk on "Glacial deposits in northern Tasmania".