What's on: AMRI Seminar Series

The Australian Museum Research Institute hosts a monthly series of short talks showcasing current research at the Australian Museum.

AMRI Seminar Series #2

 © Australian Museum

Event Type:
Special event
01.00 PM to 02.00 PM

The seminar consists of two 30-minute snapshots of new results or ongoing projects designed to keep our staff informed, but are also open to members of the public with an interest in scientific research.

21 January

Flint workshop at Wadi el-Sheikh, Egypt
Stan Florek, Australian Museum Research Institute
Sarah Carter and 
Thomas Hikade, University of Sydney

The large quarry at Wadi el-Sheikh was an important source of chipped stone tools for ancient Egyptian civilization. Given that the current political upheaval in the region could prevent field research in the region for some years, it is important to use existing material evidence to elucidate the provision and distribution of tools and their role in Egyptian culture. In 1896-97 H. W. Seton-Karr, an amateur archaeologist, surveyed a complex of flint mining sites at Wadi el-Sheikh. He sold and donated 15 separate collections to museums in Europe, Egypt and Australia. Only one of these was published, more than a century ago. We report how new research on the Australian Museum collection of 120 Seton-Karr flints demonstrates the importance of our historic collections. More information.

Phylogeny and evolution of Australasian passerine birds
Jacqueline Nguyen, Australian Museum Research Institute

Passeriformes (passerines) is the largest and most diverse order of living birds, comprising more than 6000 species. Since the origin and early evolution of this group occurred in Gondwana, the Australasian fossil record is crucial, but the fossil record is sparse and poorly studied. Identifying passerine fossils is highly challenging due to the large number of species and the uniformity in their skeleton relative to other bird groups. I will discuss pre-Quaternary (25–2.5 million years ago) fossil passerines from Riversleigh, Queensland and St Bathans, New Zealand, many of which represent the oldest known members of modern passerine families. A new phylogenetic analysis helps better understand the relationships among modern and fossil passerines.

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Please email Robin Torrence or call her on (02) 9320 6401.

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