August 2012

  • 29 August 2012

    Fishing in the Desert

    When you think of deserts you don't normally think of fishing, but that's exactly what Dr Steve Cooper and his collaborators are doing in the deserts of Western Australia. What they've caught could help to answer some of the biggest questions in evolutionary biology.

    Dr Cooper, Principal Researcher with the South Australian Museum's Evolutionary Biology Unit, is fishing in calcretes – calcium carbonate or limestone rock formations full of crevices and caves that hold groundwater. The calcrete systems are not far below the surface and are quite shallow — some up to only ten metres deep — but they can range in area from 3 km² to over 200 km². The only way to access these calcretes is through wells or boreholes that have been drilled by landholders or miners.

  • 22 August 2012

    Museum's "Frozen Zoo" May Join Global Tissue Network

    The South Australian Museum could soon join a new international "bio-bank" of institutions that look after valuable tissue samples.

    The Museum is custodian to the Australian Biological Tissue Collection – the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – with a jaw-dropping nearly 125,000 samples of animals, fish, birds and plants kept in giant freezers at the Adelaide site.

  • 16 August 2012

    Science Illustration in the Digital Age

    The fusion of science and art at the South Australian Museum is causing an inspiration explosion for visitors as part of National Science Week.

    This year's stunning Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize exhibition forms a timely backdrop for Science Week as we look at the intricacies of bringing specimens and scientific processes to life. The digitally-produced videos and images that scientists use today are a talking point for how illustration has changed over hundreds of years.

  • 14 August 2012

    Museum Staff Member a Science Week Hero

    The South Australian Museum's Mike Gemmell has been announced South Australia's Unsung Hero of Science Communication as part of National Science Week.

    Mr Gemmell has run the Information Centre at the Museum – a public hub of discovery about our natural world – for 20 years. Few South Australians would have his depth of knowledge about natural science.

  • 07 August 2012

    New Species Found in World's Harshest Continent

    South Australian Museum Scientist Dr Mark Stevens is describing a new species of springtail – the largest known land animal living on continental Antarctica all year round.

    It's the first new species of springtail to be found in the Transantarctic Mountains for nearly 50 years and the first to be found on continental Antarctica for 34 years.