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

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Event Type:
Special event
01.00 PM to 02.00 PM

The seminars 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 19 April 

Documentation, Narrative and Performance and Collection
Michael A. Mel
Australian Museum

Museums around the world pride themselves on their most interesting and engaging collections that revolve around material objects collected from indigenous communities. The Australian Museum has taken on the challenge of providing interesting and engaging displays of its collections of Pacific objects in a couple of exhibitions that have provided a major impetus for re-looking and re-examining the collection. This happened in a variety of ways. Most notable was the engagement of Indigenous communities with the objects on display for the exhibition.

This presentation will discuss how exhibiting, sharing and connecting aligns with the cultural traditions of Indigenous communities and provides new and more interesting pathways for both museums and communities.

60,000 species and counting: exploration of a super radiation
Josh Jenkins Shaw
PhD Student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

With over 60,000 described species, rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) represent a remarkable radiation of insects, dominating terrestrial environments worldwide. These beetles are specialists in unpleasant places, feeding on fungal spores, fly maggots or mites, in soil, under bark, or in all the rotting places enjoyed by maggots. They are mostly very small and historically unpopular and have been overlooked in assessments of world biodiversity. A Marie Curie grant to the University of Copenhagen in 2015 has sought to rectify this lack of knowledge, by funding several postgraduate scholarships for the study of Rove beetles. Im one of the lucky recipients.

My work is to determine the evolutionary relationships of one subtribe of this vast family, the Amblyponina. Amblyopinina are the dominant terrestrial rove beetles in the southern hemisphere with Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand and South America holding the highest diversity. Within the Australasian region there appear to have been dispersal events to Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. For my graduate research, I am using a morphology and molecular-based phylogenetic approach to resolve the genus-level systematics of Amblyopinina as a first step in making them suitable for addressing biogeographic questions, e.g. how has vicariance (Gondwana) and dispersal (e.g. Lord Howe and Norfolk Island) contributed to their extant distribution?


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