Our Thursday lunchtime talks cover diverse aspects of the natural world in Australia and around the globe.
The talks are aimed at a well-informed general audience and everyone is welcome.
Please email Doug Laing with any questions about our Thursday talks.
25 October –– Can the world feed 10 billion people sustainably?
Associate Professor Jamie Pittock
As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion people, is it possible to eradicate hunger and sustain a healthy environment as our governments have proposed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030?
Is it possible to decouple production of nutritious foods from consumption of natural resources like land and water in a changing climate?
This talk will draw on research on making irrigation more sustainable in Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) and on the trade-offs among hydropower and food security in the lower Mekong River region to illustrate key options for greater food security.
1 November –– Hedgerows for victory! Wild plant gathering to keep the wartime medicine cabinet stocked
Dr Laura Dawes
With the pharmaceutical industry dominated by Germany and Japan the sole manufacturer of bacteriological agar, Britain in World War II faced a national crisis: how to keep the medicine cabinet stocked?
The answer was ‘Hedgerows for Victory!’ – the wild gathering of plants and seaweed by volunteers to provide raw materials to British drug companies. Medical historian Laura Dawes tells the story of scientific inventiveness and the girl guides, boy scouts, and ladies of the Women’s Institute who rambled for Britain.
8 November –– Birds in revegetated habitat
Nicki, is from Greening Australia, which has been revegetating the ACT region for 35 years.
This talk will explore what we know about birds’ response to the re-establishment of native vegetation.
15 November –– In the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace
Emeritus Professor Jim Hone
Hear about the life and work of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in Indonesia, based on the speaker’s own travels from Sumatra to New Guinea.
Wallace is best known for his joint paper with Charles Darwin on the theory of evolution by natural selection. He also did major work on biogeography, which is now represented by the Wallace Line that separates the plants and wildlife of Asia from those of Australia. He also has many animals named after him.
22 November –– Plant-pollinator networks in Kosciuszko National Park
Dr Francisco Encinas-Viso
Francisco will speak about his current research using historic natural history specimens and field data to unravel the past structure of pollen transport networks in Kosciuszko National Park.
After matching the historic field data and plant specimens in the Australian National Herbarium, Francisco visits the areas where these specimens originated to find out how plant-pollinator communities have changed in the last decades.
29 November –– Climate change: tales of the future today
Dr Pep Canadell
Australia has seen unprecedented impacts of climate change in recent years, with extreme climate events superimposed on an always-increasing warming trend.
Pep will discuss some of these impacts, what makes them unprecedented, and their future evolution. He will also discuss current and emerging opportunities for mitigating climate change and stabilising the climate system.
12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2018
Entry by donation