News (123)

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.  

Friday was my first day as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, at the University of Birmingham.  I had a wonderful welcome both from Sue Gilligan and Sarah Jeffery and over lunch with academic staff from the Schools of Geography, Earth and Environmental SciencesBiosciences and Mathematics. The IAS aims to promote interdisciplinary research and it was great to see so many people connecting over lunch.  

Last year in November, our group led by Barry Osmond hosted a LIFT (light induced fluorescence transient) meeting in Wollongong.  The second meeting was held in Germany hosted by the Forschungszentrum Jülich IBG-2: Plant Sciences. The University of Wollongong, HRPPC at CSIRO in Canberra and the Forschungszentrum Jülich are developing protocols for measuring canopy photosynthesis using these new LIFT chlorophyll fluorometers.

Next stop was a 2 day workshop on Innovative optical Tools for proximal sensing of ecophysiological processes (OPTIMISE) in Milan. This was funded by COST which is an intergovernmental framework promoting European Cooperation in Science and Technology, through coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level.

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