Exciting new NGO for PNG emerges from the IAE Piku Program

Posted in Turtle Research on Nov 09, 2017

An exciting new NGO has emerged from the Piku program that has operated out of the University of Canberra since 2006. Our sponsors gave us the lead -- it is time for this program to transition to PNG leadership, and we agreed. The Piku Biodiversity Network was incorporated last week and will be led by Public Officer Yolarnie Amepou. The Board comprises persons with impeccable connections to community and sustainability programs within PNG, and a representative from UC. The new NGO received a welcome injection of funds last night, by way of a donation of 10,000 kina from the PNG-Australia Alumni Association.

Berenice Talamantes attends the First Youth Latin-American summit

Posted in Uncategorized on Oct 25, 2017

Berenice Talamantes Becerra recently attended the First Youth Latin-American biotechnology summit held in Santiago, Chile where she presented her ideas on the challenges we face with bioanonymity. She gives an account of the conference here.

Yolanie Amepou named UN 2017 Youth Champion for Sustainable Development Goals

Posted in Turtle Research on Oct 24, 2017

Congratulations to IAE Masters student Yolarnie Amepou on being named one to the United Nations 2017 Youth Champion for the Sustainable Development Goals in PNG. The pesentation was made at the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations, in Port Moresby, PNG.

Jenny Graves honoured with PM Prize for Science

Posted in Pogona Research on Oct 21, 2017

Professor Jenny Graves from La Trobe University was honoured last week as recipient of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science. This is Australia's top science prize. The prize is in recognition of an outstanding career in science during which Professor Graves made a number of discoveries and generated many new insights to vertebrate chromosome evolution. Professor Graves is a Thinker in Residence at the IAE.

Electric Ants

Posted in Uncategorized on Sep 21, 2017

IAE staff and students were just treated to an expose' on electric ants on the Big Island, Hawaii, delivered by PhD candidate Michelle Montogomery. These fascinating little creatures switch life history as opportunity presents, becoming highly invasive under the right conditions. Australia will soon be witness to their biology and impacts as they spread through Queensland.

New Blood for Team Pogona

Posted in Pogona Research on Sep 03, 2017

Welcome to Sarah Whiteley who joins Team Pogona from Queensland University where she recently completed her honours on sex reversal and temporary pseudohermaphroditism in the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Sarah was awarded first class honours for her work, which has since been submitted in part for publication.

Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 24, 2017

Congratulations to Carla Eisemberg and Yolarnie Amepou of the IAE on securing funding from Exxon-Mobil PNG to attend the 7th Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival in PNG later this month. The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival celebrates the importance of the kundu drum and the Digaso oil in the traditional culture of the Kutubu people in the Southern Highlands Province. Cultural groups will travel from remote parts of the province to participate in the festival celebrations.

Science Meets Street Art

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 20, 2017

Last weekend, a street artists was at work on a science-inspired mural collaborating one-on-one with early career scientists to create these artworks to celebrate their research and discoveries. Postgrad student with the IAE, Berenice Talamantes was one such early career scientist. The work was spectacular, giving new meaning to the concept of SNPs.

Mammal Emblem for the ACT

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 10, 2017

Just had a chat on ABC Radio Breakfast, hosted by Dan Bourchier, as part of a panel to discuss options for an ACT mammalian emblem, to complement the Gang-gang Cockatoo and the Royal Blue Bell. On the panel with me was David Headon and Ivo Ostyn. What do we think? Spotted-tailed Quoll gets our vote.

New Book on Australian Turtles

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 06, 2017

Friday, Turtles of the World, and today I receive a copy of Freshwater Turtles of Australia by John Cann and Ross Sadlier. This is a greatly improved version of John Cann's earlier book on the same topic -- a spectacular expose of the diversity and form of the unusual turtle fauna of Australia, dominated as it is by the family Chelidae. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a wealth of experience that John has accumulated through decades of passionate enquiry. The taxonomy is a bit odd I must say, not in many cases following the lead given by the article by myself and Scott Thomson in 2010, or the Turtles of the World compendium, or the official list of turtles prepared by the Australian Society of Herpetologists. Cann and Sadlier go it alone, which is their perogative, with taxonomic rearrangements that reduce some species to the level of subspecies, and elsewhere raise a plethora of geographic variants to subspecies. This aside, it is a must for anyone who shares our passion for this fascinating group of reptiles.

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