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ISSN 1329-7759 RSWA Proceedings May 2005 ATTENTION LIBRARIANS: This publication should be catalogued under "Proceedings of the Royal Society of Western Australia" 7:00 pm, Monday May 16th 2005 Royal Society of Western Australia Ordinary Meeting Kings Park Administration Building Off Fraser Ave., Kings Park Desert Frogs Dr Graham Thompson School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Campus In this presentation, Dr Thompson will be discussing a paper by Kellie McMaster, Victoria Cartledge, Graham Thompson and Philip Withers Frogs are, surprisingly, often more numerous in Australian deserts than reptiles and small mammals. However, we know very little about how these arid-adapted frogs survive the very hot, dehydrating conditions of our deserts. The most common behavioural adaptation seen in desert frogs is burrowing and the frogs are only surface-active after heavy rains when access to deserts is very difficult. Until now, we have not been able to locate burrowed frogs so know little about their burrowing ecology and physiology. With the assistance of aboriginals in the Gibson Desert we were able to dig up frogs that had been underground for many months. This allowed us to explore their microhabit and the physiological adaptations that enable these frogs to survive often for years underground. We will explain the behavioural, ecological, physiological, reproductive and anatomical adaptations that enable cocoon forming and non-cocoon forming frogs to survive for year’s underground waiting for rain. Dr Thompson is a former President of the RSWA; he gained a Bachelor of .Education and Masters of .Education in Physical Education at the University of Western Australia, and later completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Science, and a PhD at the University of Western Australia in Zoology. His principal research interests are in ecophysiology and ecology of reptiles and frogs (with a special interest in the effects of size and shape), and goannas. More recently, he has become interested in using reptile assemblages as bio-indicators for measuring mine site rehabilitation success and the diversity of reptile assemblages in arid areas of Australia. He currently supervises post-graduate students at Edith Cowan University and the University of Western Australia in his fields of interest. __________________________________________________________________________ Members, guests and visitors are welcome; there is no need to RSVP http://www.ecu.edu.au/pa/rswa This issue of the RSWA Proceedings was edited by Margaret Brocx <email@example.com> 1 Isn’t Science Wonderful! magnifying projector, Ian elegantly Ordinary Monthly Meeting 18th April 2005 demonstrated how zinc, normally considered reactive in hydrochloric acid, was relatively Forty four members, families, guests, and unreactive as pure zinc. With the addition of visitors attended the Ordinary Monthly Meeting copper, the corrosion of zinc with hydrochloric of the Royal Society of Western Australia on acid the reaction was promoted. In the food the 18th April 2005 to hear Emeritus Professor preservation industry, for the manufacture of Ian Ritchie present his talk”. food canisters, ideally, one needs a metal not to corrode in contact with food, and the interior of Ian commenced with what he considered to be the steel canister needs a protective layers that chemistry’s most notable achievements: clean will not corrode in acid, will not catalyse water and ample food, and ample food derives reaction in the steel, is not toxic, and is easy to from the success in the large scale industrial apply. Tin provides these services. Spon in preservation of food. Ian went on to build his 1988 developed the technique of heating iron in talk around the “tin can”, colloquially now tin chloride to develop a coating of tin, and the called “tins”, or “cans”, but etymologically same process is still in use today. A personal degraded from the original term “tinned historical context to the longevity of canisters”, meaning the tin coating of steel preservation of tinned steel was provided by Ian canisters. The tinning of canisters is the story with anecdotal snippets from the Boer war, and of food preservation and metal chemistry, and tins in good condition (formerly containing integrates a variety of chemical principles in chocolate, and bearing Queen Victoria’s every day life. image). The talk ended with Ian Ritchie providing information and insight on a variety Bacteria decomposes food, and to arrest or slow of other chemical processes and products in this decay, food is usually processed one of every day use and how chemistry is an integral three ways: (1) by refrigeration, which slows part of Earth, the biosphere, and human the rate of reaction; (2) by killing the bacteria industrial and social activities, from the through osmosis (by coating it in sugar, or in predatory boring of clams by snails, to the salt - hence as a preservative salt in the past was shark Bay coquina, stalagmites and stalactites, an important commodity); or (3) by canning it geological metamorphism and marble, to quick in a steel canister (i.e., heating the food to kill lime and the common grave burial of Mozart. the bacteria, then sealing it in a steel container After question time, the evening ended with the to prevent further bacteria from entering). audience partaking f beverages and Canisters of food are easily manufactured, the conversation. canning process is relatively inexpensive, and metal canisters are strong, and so this style of food preservation has become popular. Journal of the Royal Society However, as food is commonly acidic, the of Western Australia protective steel canisters corrode, allowing for openings to develop in the protective covering, EDITOR’S REPORT allowing the entry of microorganisms, and April 2005 bacteria, and contaminating the food with K Meney metals. This problem is resolved by applying a email address: < firstname.lastname@example.org> protective metal layer on the inside of the Manuscripts Accepted: canister, but most metals in contact with steel Stylidium validum (Stylidiaceae): a new trigger promote its corrosion. To illustrate this plant from Western Australia’s South-western principle, accompanied by his wife as an Interzone. Juliet A Wege assistant, and with the use of a light-illuminated 2 The year 2005 has been 4316, declared the world-year-of- email@example.com physics (WYP2005) and physics societies around Author of The Big Bang, Simon Singh tours the world. This month, Australia WA is sponsoring lectures Simon Singh has the uncanny ability of making on relativity, the photo science and mathematics accessible to the electric effect and how this masses. His most successful documentary for led to talking movies; as well as a science fair the BBC has been nominated for an Emmy and a workshop where students teach students. award and won a BAFTA, and his first book is the only mathematics book to become a no. 1 May highlights: bestseller in Britain, and has been translated Celebrating Einstein's 1905 Discoveries into over 20 languages. Einstein's explanation of the photoelectric effect not only earned him the Nobel Prize but Simon will be visiting Australia to discuss his is also used today in everyday applications in book, Big Bang, which tells the story of the our homes, such as TV remote controls, solar brilliant minds that deciphered the mysteries of cells and electronics gadgets. the Big Bang. Albert Einstein once said: 'The most incomprehensible thing about the universe Igor Bray will be using interactive animations is that it is comprehensible.' Simon Singh and demonstrations during the public lecture. believes geniuses like Einstein are not the only He is Director of the Centre for Atomic, people able to grasp the physics that govern the Molecular & Surface Physics universe. We all can. You can hear Simon at 4 May 7-8pm & 6 May 1.30-2.30pm the following events: Kim Beasley Lecture Theatre, Bush Court, Wednesday 1 June, 1pm Perth Dymocks Murdoch University, South Street Claremont Contact: RSVP Christina Tan on (08) 9360 Wednesday 1 June, 7.30pm School Event 6078 or Christina.Tan@Murdoch.edu.au University of WA, University Club. Kids Teach Kids Best To book for any of these events, go to his Until June 2005, WA website For more details, go to Simon’s Ten primary schools from Lynwood, Parkwood website: www.simonsingh.com and Ferndale in Western Australia are getting together to teach students to teach. Students Einstein Year in Australia is an initiative of the from Year 8 classes will be trained to Australian Institute of Physics and is supported demonstrate a number of hands-on physics by the Department of Education, Science and experiments with small groups of primary Training. For more information visit school children. www.einstein2005.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org The experiments will illustrate the physics behind the greenhouse effect, rocketry, Sunday 11th June Fungi Walk communications and pollution. The secondary Members are reminded that RSWA has schools students will also prepare posters, organised an excursion to be run by Dr Bougher presentations and charts to accompany their on Sunday 11th June, at Melon Hill in demonstrations. Swanbourne as part of PUBF project, and information about the PUBF project is enclosed Contact: Dr. Sarath Chandran, Head of Science, here. Places are limited, so it is important to Lynwood S.H. School, Metcalfe Road, RSVP as soon as possible. Please advise Parkwood 6147. W.A. on 94571222 / 9354 Margaret Brocx email@example.com 3 RSWA Events Calendar This space will be updated each month in order to provide RSWA members and guests with a calendar of up-coming events which will include ordinary monthly meeting, and special events such as Public Forums, Symposia, and excursions. Watch this space! Date Time Venue Event May 16th 7 pm Kings Park Dr G Thompson et al: Desert Frogs June 11th 10 – 12 Melon Hill Swanbourne RSWA/Friends of Allen Park Fungi Walk Lead by Dr Neale Bougher. RSVP essential June 20th 7 pm Kings Park Dr Colin Raston: Green chemistry July 18th 7 pm UWA Department of Zoology AGM August 15th 7 pm Kings Park ASWA: Astronomy? August TBA TBA ASWA: daytime Astronomy viewing? September 19th 7 pm Kings Park Salinity in WA October 17th 7 pm Kings Park TBA November 21st 7 pm Kings Park TBA December TBA TBA Xmas Function TBA Perth Public Forum Keeping Cane Toads Out of WA Cane toads are nearing the northern WA border and there is a need for urgent action. How we can stop them advancing and what it will mean for WA’s ecology should they make it here. Guest speakers Mr Tim Winton, leading Australian author Mr Russell Guého, Northern Habitat Mr Allan Thompson, Save Endangered East Kimberley Species Mr Graeme Sawyers, Northern Territory Frogwatch Alexander Library Theatre, Francis St, Northbridge Saturday 4 June 2005 11:00am – 1:00pm RSVP: 9420 7266 or firstname.lastname@example.org 4 Perth Urban Bushland Fungi (PUBF) is a collaborative project begun in 2004 between the Urban Bushland Council and the WA Naturalists’ Club in conjunction with the WA Herbarium, with financial support from Lotterywest. Over the past 10 years, many well attended fungi forays and workshops have been held in urban bushlands of Perth. These events have highlighted growing requests by community and professional land managers to address the generally low level of awareness and knowledge about fungi and their general exclusion from bushland management. PUBF addresses this gap and aims to improve awareness and knowledge so that fungi become an integral part of long-term urban bushland management. Activities of the PUBF project include: • Working with community groups to collect data on fungi and build inventories of fungi for Perth bushlands, in many cases for the first time. • Increasing community skills and knowledge of fungi in bushland via PUBF fungi kits and posters, forays, biological surveys, workshops, university extension courses, feedback packages and presentations to bush care groups. • Teaching community group members to identify fungi and conduct fungi surveys. • Building an accurately identified reference collection of fungi at the WA Herbarium accompanied by high quality data. • Fostering a volunteer and salaried fungi workforce in the field, laboratory and herbarium. • Encouraging Federal, State, and Local Governments to integrate fungi into natural resource management strategies for the Perth Region. Perth’s urban bushlands lie within one of the world's 34 biodiversity hotspots for conservation priority. Our region is the only hotspot in Australia. The bushlands are an important natural refuge for many fungi. The fungi underpin the long-term health and resilience of the bushlands. Knowledge of the fungi and other organisms that help keep the region’s plants healthy is essential for effective conservation management of this hotspot region. Development of an on-line fungi information base for the Perth region and continued community participation and education are major priorities for upcoming phases of PUBF. Want to participate? Contact Roz, the Community Education Officer, on 9334 0500 or by email at email@example.com or Jac, the Project Support Officer, on 9420 7207 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the PUBF website which will be on-line very soon. Perth Urban Bushland Fungi – a collaborative project between the Urban Bushland Council and the WA Naturalists’ Club in conjunction with the CALM WA Herbarium, is….....
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