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

AMRI Seminar Series #2
Photographer:  © Australian Museum

Event Type:
Special event
01.00 PM to 02.00 PM

The seminar consists of 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.

Wednesday 16 September


Resistance in the wild: dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants to wildlife populations.

Dr. Michelle Power
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

Antibiotic resistance has been identified as one of the world’s most pressing issues. The spread of antibiotic resistance is commonly attributed to overuse of antibiotics in both human health and animal production. However, we are seeing increasing reports of antibiotic resistance in diverse wildlife species, and in the absence of antibiotic therapy. Antibiotic resistance in wildlife has been reported for both captive and wild populations, and proximity to humans is a significant factor associated with its presence. Knowledge of the genetic basis of antibiotic resistance has shed light on the rapidity of emergence and role of antibiotic use as a selective agent. We have been investigating terrestrial and marine wildlife hosts to determine carriage of antibiotic resistance determinants. In terrestrial environments we have investigated captive bred Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies that form the primary population of supplementation of wild populations, as well as the Tasmanian Devil insurance population. In marine vertebrates, we have investigated Little Penguins inhabiting Sydney Harbour and endangered Australian Sea Lions. Our data shows that antibiotic resistance elements are being transferred from terrestrial to marine environments.
The Simpson Desert Expedition 2015


The Simpson Desert Expedition 2015

Dr Sandy Ingleby, Dr Anja Divljan & Janet Waterhouse
Australian Museum Research Institute

Despite extensive collecting over more than 150 years, many parts of Australia remain poorly represented in the Australian Museum’s natural history collections due to their remote location or limited vehicular access. Munga-Thirri National Park (formerly the Simpson Desert National Park) near Birdsville in far western Queensland is one such area. Munga-Thirri features extensive areas of high parallel sand dunes, up to 200 km in length, separated by clay or gibber plains. In August 2015, three Australian Museum staff members (two mammalogists and a malacologist) accompanied by freelance journalist Jo Stewart took part in an 18-day camel trek through the Simpson Desert with “Australian Desert Expeditions” in order to fill one of these gaps in geographic coverage. We also aimed to assess the feasibility a using camels for similar expeditions in the future. We will discuss some of our experiences, findings and recommendations of this often challenging yet (mostly) rewarding trip.

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