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Just back from a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Southwest of London. They are keen to promote the science behind the collections and the gardens at Kew and I went to give them some of my ideas as a teaching academic with some experience of science community outreach.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for talks. Last week I did two in Chile and this week I gave a research seminar at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham, and a talk about living and working in Antarctica to the Barnt Green Day Centre.  Thanks to the audience at both who asked lots of good questions.  

On Monday I gave a seminar to Professor Gustavo Zuniga's group at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile.

Congratulations to Rhys Wyber for winning the 1st prize for his PhD introductory talk at the Annual PhD retreat.  Thanks to Team moss at Wollongong and Barry Osmond to their help in getting him there while I was on study leave.   Way to go Rhys and I am sorry I missed it!

 

Here is Rhys giving a talk about his Honours work at SCAR in Auckland.

I am at the Annual meeting of the Chilean Biological Society in Puerto Varas in the very beautiful Lake District region of Chile.  Yesterday I participated in a symposium on Antarctic flora organized by Dr Angelica Casonova-Katny, Universidad de Concepcion, and Professor Gustavo Zuniga, Universidad de Santiago de Chile.

My latest paper on the climate effects of the Ozone hole has just been published in the science journal Global Change Biology.

Do invisibility cloaks actually exist? 

Is time travel real?

What is fact or fiction from sci-fi movies?

ANSTO and UOW collaboratively hosted a highly entertaining and educational event for adults and children that explored areas illustrated in many popular Sc-Fi films. These included Teleportation, Time Travel, Invisibility, Immortality, Light Sabres,

 

Visited Howard Giffiths and Jessica Royles, Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge and colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).  I gave a seminar and also attended a fascinating talk on vernalisation by Caroline Dean from the John Innes Centre (Enid MacRobbie Woman in Science Lecture).  At BAS I got very excited about the new reanalysis models for Antarctic climate that John Turner and colleagues are producing.

Recently Melinda and I were invited to give a demonstration at Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre's (SBRC), along with a plethora of other PhD students.

Our demonstration focused around UOW's new Light Induced Fluorescence Transience (LIFT) instrument, which uses pulses of blue light to measure photosynthesis in plants. We set the instrument up to take measurements from the plants growing on the SBRC green wall (many of which were really struggling due to the low light levels). We were thoroughly surprised at the amount of interest from the public and the number of people who came to see the new building.

Hopefully future events like this will help the public engage with scientists and understand its importance.

 

 

We got some excellent news yesterday. Melinda Waterman has been awarded a 2015 Endeavour Fellowship to study Global change impacts on Antarctic mosses. The award will allow to Melinda to work with other moss experts at Portland State University and in Concepción, Chile.  

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