Thursday 4th of April 2019 at 7.45pm
Mawson Lecture Theatre
Department of Geology
University of Adelaide
The presentations are as follows:
Today the Australian fauna is characterised by a very familiar assemblage of animals - kinaesthetic kangaroos, pesky possums and wearisome wombats. Most of these species have been roaming the outback for hundreds of thousands of years. But what mysterious marsupials shared their prehistoric world 150,000 years ago? And why did they disappear? By studying the bones of these long-dead creatures, palaeontologists have been able to reconstruct the faunal community of the Pleistocene. These bones can also shed light on how these prehistoric animals responded to the numerous glaciations during this time and what may have driven some of them to extinction. Learn what goes on in a day in the life of a palaeontologist and decide ….do you have what it takes to play the Game of Bones?
Deciphering the intricacies of how the Australian environment has evolved over time is fundamental in exploring various hypotheses, especially those associated with continental wide faunal extinctions. Climate events have a profound influence on environmental change forcing shifts in the moisture balance across the nation. Sediment records in terrestrial wetlands are important for understanding temporal changes as they are capable of preserving a multitude of proxies used in reconstructing the past. As core scanning technology continue to develop, it is now possible to evaluate chemical changes in sedimentary sequences at high resolution, providing an additional proxy without needing to sacrifice material. Through combining core scanning technology and rigorous age controls across 25 m of seemingly featureless peats, we unravel the history of a >85,000 year old wetland on North Stradbroke Island, identifying links between soil chemistry and global climate drivers.
In my talk, I’m going to convince you that sand found in caves can hold incredible secrets to the past. They are time capsules that provide us with information such as wind direction, landscape burning and climate change.
That’s not all. By using a technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating, we can tell when cave sediment was last exposed to daylight. This provides us with a timeframe for past environmental changes.
Come find out the interesting results I have discovered from studying cave sediment from Alexandra Cave in Naracoorte Caves National Park.
The meeting will be held in the Mawson Lecture Theatre, commencing at 7.45 pm. Everyone is invited. If the door to the Mawson Building is locked ring the FGC doorbell for admittance but note that this will be removed at 8.00 pm in order not to disrupt the proceedings.
Workshops start at 6.30pm, 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. If you cant get into the building, you can ring the FGC doorbell if it is in place.
Topic of the next Workshop to be advised. Stay tuned!
There will be no ten minute talk as the Fossil Forum will take up the available time