A naked scientist, exploring the oceans, amazing caves and much more: National Science Week biodiversity events

International Year of Biodiversity

We’ve identified 135 Science Week events around Australia with a biodiversity connection. So we thought we’d share them with you in this special Science Week edition of our Biodiversity Year bulletin.

You can learn how to keep bugs alive, immerse yourself in flora and fauna on a walk through the forest, hear about the unique environment of Barrow Island in Western Australia and discover how a genetic disease in the Royal Family relates to biodiversity.

Here how many events we’ve found in each state:

VIC 21, NSW 23, QLD 13, ACT 11, TAS 22, SA 12, WA 30, NT 3

You can keep up to date with biodiversity events by visiting www.biodiversity2010.org.au. To find out about more National Science Week events, visit www.scienceweek.gov.au.

Kind regards,

Teresa and Valerie

Coordinators, International Year of Biodiversity (Australia)

Teresa Belcher (teresa.belcher@museum.wa.gov.au | tel: 08 9212 3760)
Valerie Gregory (valerie.gregory@austmus.gov.au | tel: 02 9320 6342)


This bulletin has been sent by Science in Public, on behalf of CAMD and the International Year of Biodiversity Coordinators.

IYOB is an initiative of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD), funded with assistance from the Science Connections Program within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.


Your say – add a story

Biodiversity events coming up:


Your say

Do you have a biodiversity story or event that you want to share? Check out the International Year of Biodiversity website and make sure other people don’t miss out on your experiences.

For instance, here’s a story about how mudcrabs have been helping the Cook’s River in Sydney.


Not sure what to write about? Here are some ideas:

  • Your community’s success or struggles in restoring native plants and animals
  • Interesting things you have noticed in your local environment or on your travels
  • How animals or plants are important to your particular culture
  • An environment that leaves you feeling inspired or wondrous
  • Any other biodiversity issues that are important to you.

So, let us know what your group has been doing. Share your biodiversity stories and help inspire others. Visit http://www.biodiversity2010.org.au/your-say/add-your-story

Biodiversity events coming up


Caving with Hazel Barton

Venue: Skipton Cave, Skipton, 15 Aug 9:00 AM

Travel to Skipton cave with Dr Hazel Barton and the volunteer group the Victorian Speleological Association.

Open day – zoology experience/city biodiversity – snakes and birds of prey

Venue: Debney Park Secondary College, 18 Aug 7:00 PM

Discover the wonderful world of animals and our studies of their physiology and reproduction, right up to their behaviour.

Open day – zoology experience

Venue: First floor, Zoology building, University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus, 15 Aug 10:00 AM

Discover the wonderful world of animals and our studies of their physiology and reproduction, right up to their behaviour.

Amazing caves: amazing microbes

Venue: Kaleide Theatre – RMIT, 14 Aug 11:30 AM

Hazel Barton has been exploring caves for over 20 years. She has uncovered unique antibiotics, researched how cave microbes can turn carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate and is currently working with NASA examining the similarities between cave conditions and the subsurfaces of mars. Discover a world hidden from your eyes as Dr. Hazel Barton gives a one hour lecture on caves and microbes.

Climate change, new diseases and parasites: what might it mean for Melbourne?

Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre, 17 Aug 6:00 PM

Join expert scientists at a free forum to highlight the potential threats and disruption to our society imposed by infection in a changing environment and, importantly the suggestion of options to counter their impact.

Discover microbial genomics – centre open day

Venue: Monash University, Clayton Campus Building 76, 20 Aug 10:30 PM

Open day showcasing the Centre’s research activities via poster exhibition, short presentation and tour.

Tongues, fangs and scales reptile show

Venue: Discovery Science & Technology Centre, 20 Aug 10:00 AM

Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with some slippery characters who are very often misunderstood – reptiles.

Microscope drawing workshop with the scale free network

Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 17-20 Aug 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

Microscope drawing workshops. Join three members of the Scale Free Network art-science collaborative.

The art of scientific observation regional tour

Venue: State wide, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 Aug 11:00 AM

Go on a journey of scientific discovery and observation with ‘William Blandowski’ and get creative with hands-on art and drawing activities to engage with biodiversity and the local environment.

The bug blitz Burke & Wills project

Venue: Castlemaine Primary School, 20 Aug

It is 150 years since the Burke & Wills Expedition departed from Royal Park in Melbourne. To mark the 150th anniversary, the Royal Society, Bug Blitz™ and other partners are following in the footsteps of the explorers with the aims of engaging students in a series of ‘hands on’ investigations of biodiversity in local habitats, raising awareness about the importance of science in our lives and sharing learning about science via the arts.

Wild: amazing animals in a changing world

Venue: Museum Victoria, Carlton Gardens, 22 Apr – 30 Dec 10am-5pm

Be surrounded by the wonderful diversity of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world.

Ballarat biodiversity discovery

Venue: Narmbool, 21 Aug

Need a treechange? Walk tracks on beautiful Narmbool and investigate the insect and other fauna of a unique part of western Victoria.

Additional Victorian events from the National Science Week website…

A day at Melbourne Museum

Venue: Melbourne Museum, 14 Aug 10:00 AM

Come along and discover Melbourne Museum as we celebrate International Year of Biodiversity! One day only, so be quick, be first – and get amongst it!

Science on show

Venue: Melbourne Museum, 14 Aug 10:00 AM

A rare opportunity to see some of the science collections up close and meet a museum scientist.

Mega touch trolley

Venue: Melbourne Museum, 14 Aug 10:00 AM

Experience Science Week hands on, with Discovery Centre’s large collection of scientific specimens.

Keeping bugs alive!

Venue: Melbourne Museum, 14 Aug 11:00 AM

Meet some amazing live bugs and get tips on how to care for insects and other spineless wonders.

Global warming effects at the two poles

Venue: Discovery Science & Technology Centre, 17 Aug 5:30 PM

Come along and hear from Dr Catherine Meathrel, Senior Lecturer, Conservation Biology, La Trobe University Wodonga as she discusses the effects of global warming.

“Science you can see” – plants, pests and biodiversity

Venue: Grace Park Pre-School, 18 Aug 10:00 AM

Played based science activities will be offered to children at Early Learning Centres to encourage their interest in plants and bugs, developing their observational and analytical skills.

Frogs and friends festival

Venue: Yarrabah SDS, 19 Aug 9:00 AM

Yarrabah’s Frogs and Friends Festival will involve our whole school in a day of frog activities and experiments. Classes will rotate through a series of activities designed to explore local frog species, habitats, life-cycles and threats to their survival. This day will also focus on our participation in the Melbourne Water Frog Census.

Marine science careers day

Venue: Melbourne Aquarium, 19 Aug 9:00 AM

Marine Science Careers Day is a fantastic opportunity for students to discover a range of careers in the field of marine science, to hear about everyday experiences from professionals in the field and see a working example in Melbourne Aquarium.

New South Wales

Some like it hot: life in the central deserts of Australia

Venue: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, The University of Sydney, 12 Aug 5:45 PM

In this lecture, Professor Chris Dickman will take us through the extraordinary ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ cycles that characterise inland Australia and examine how life persists during good times and bad.

A green thought in a green shade

Venue: University of Wollongong Library, University of Wollongong, 17 Aug 12:30 PM

As part of the Science Made Marvellous celebration of National Poetry Week, Kiama poet Christine Paice will be commissioned to write a poem in response to the Janet Cosh Herbarium at the University of Wollongong. To mark this initiative, Christine will give a lunch time reading at the University of Wollongong Library.

The naked scientist talk

Venue: The Muse Gallery, Ultimo TAFE, Building C, 18 Aug 5:30 PM

Dr Chris Smith, from BBC Radio’s The Naked Scientists show will be speaking at The Muse Gallery at Ultimo TAFE on August 18 as part of the Ultimo Science Festival. He warns that if we don’t learn from the past it’s almost guaranteed we will suffer from our mistakes.

Communicating climate change: communicating for action

Venue: Powerhouse Museum, 8 September, 2010 10:30 AM

The International Association for Public Participation Australasia, Australian Science Communicators and the Sydney Environmental Educators Network are pleased to present a series of 3 innovative workshops with 3 leading practitioners on ‘Communicating Climate Change’.

Spring into science – mystery of the munchers biodiversity quest

Venue: Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 9th-22nd Aug 9:00 AM

Take a self-guided adventure-trail in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Clues, riddle and puzzles will lead you to talkative birds, metre-long finned creatures that travel by sea and land, and plants with a taste for fish – but who rules?

3D biodiversity live at the royal botanic gardens

Venue: Royal Botanic Gardens, 22nd Aug 10:00 AM

Explore our DNA and Plant Pathology Labs, meet our plant scientists and experience some of their amazing discoveries. Tour the Herbarium’s collection of over a million plant specimens and bring in your mystery plants for expert identification. Tours, talks, workshops and fun for everyone.

Sydney’s aquatic reserves

Venue: Manly Community Centre, 19 Aug 6:00 PM

Find out what creature live in aquatic reserves and how they are different to unprotected areas. Discover how Wobbegong Sharks are helping us to assess the efficiency of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve in Manly. You will also learn more about aquatic reserves and the impact they are having on local fish assemblages around Sydney.

The relationship of poetry to natural history illustration

Venue: The Hunter Writers, 14-28 Aug 4:00 PM

The Department of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Writers’ Centre will launch a new poetry competition called ‘In the Detail’ as part of the Poets’ Union Science Made Marvellous events. Illustration students have submitted 12 scientific drawings, which will be posted on our website during Science Week.

Mapping vegetation from space

Venue: National Parks and Wildlife Service Gosford (details given on booking), 14 Aug 2:00 PM

Thousands of satellites orbit the Earth, some of which are being used to map and record information about the surface of the planet. During this seminar, you will find out how scientists identify patterns relating to native vegetation such as forest, woodland, shrubland or grassland, marshes, herb fields and much more.

Exploring the marine diversity of NSW’s north coast region

Venue: Tomaree Library and Community Centre, 19 Aug 7:00 PM

Come along and meet a group of DECCW scientists who are using the latest in modern technology to map the seafloor and study aquatic ecosystems that were previously off limits to science.

How rainforests are likely to adapt to climate change

Venue: Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, 19 Aug 9:30 AM

A 50 year study in Werrikimbe National Park is offering a unique insight into how rainforest ecosystems may be adapting to the effects of climate change.

The Murray and Riverina’s best biodiversity pictures

Venue: Albury Library and Museum, 16 – 23 Aug

A series of large-format photographs that illustrate biodiversity at its best- you will see echidna emerge from the snow, wattle beetles hunting small fish, and more.

Ants! What can they tell us about the health of our bushland?

Venue: Ku-ring-gai Council Chambers, 16 Aug 7:00 – 8:00 PM

While many of us think of ants as household pests, they play a vital role in the health and function of bushland ecosystems.

Biodiversity in the city

Venue: Multiple throughout Sydney city, 15-22 Aug

How did Queen Victoria give a disease to the Royal Family? Is there life in outer space? Do you really know what lives in the depths of your own back yard?

Stony Range Botanic Garden spring festival

Venue: Stony Range Botanic garden, 22 Aug 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Take advantage of expert cultivation advice from members of Stony Range Botanic Garden and Australian Plant Society Northern Beaches Group.

Sunday at the sanctuary, North Head Sanctuary – a living lab

Venue: North Head Sanctuary, 22 Aug
North Head Sanctuary is the location for the Manly Environment Centre’s upcoming event held in conjunction with ‘Science Week’ and the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’.

Biodiversity in the forest

Venue: Cumberland State Forest, 15 Aug

As part of Biodiversity in the City run by the Australian Museum, Cumberland State Forests is running a special double activity – Forest Detective and the Featherdale Wildlife Show!

Out of the lab

Venue: Australian Museum, 1 Jun – 17 Sept

Australian Museum scientists and researchers come out of their labs/offices to the Alive Program to mingle with the visitors in a variety of ways.

Born again beasties

Venue: Australian Museum, 22 May – 19 Sept

Create a beastie born from recycled materials! Using a variety of recycled objects create your own beastie to represent an animal, plant, insect, spider or whatever your imagination can conjure.


Venue: Australian Museum, 22 May – 19 Sept

The celebration of International year of Biodiversity at the Australian Museum. Understanding and documenting biodiversity is fundamental to what museums like the Australian Museum do.

Additional NSW events from the National Science Week website…

Freshwater mussels – a neglected component of life in our coastal rivers

Venue: Merimbula Visitor Centre, 18 Aug 12:00 PM

Have you ever noticed the shells of dead mussels scattered over gravel bars or gathered into piles on boulders, logs or the river bank by water rats?

Our seabird islands

Venue: Fitzroy Fall Visitor Centre, 19 Aug 2:00 PM

Australian islands are fragile places surrounded by hostile seas; natural wonders that form part of our true wilderness. Despite their isolation, they have had a higher number of bird extinctions than anywhere else in Australia.

Living science – ecological research in the Blue Mountains

Venue: Blackheath Community Centre, 21 Aug 2:00 PM

Join us for a series of short presentations about ecological change, how their research affects park management and how climate change may affect Blue Mountains ecosystems.


Reverse garbage design challenge evening

Venue: Pka Hall Thursday Island, 19 Aug 6:00 PM

Reverse Garbage Design Challenge Evening is a project initiative to get students, schools and the community of Thursday Island engaged in engineering and constructing objects to perform a pre determined set task.

Additional QLD events from the National Science Week website…

Holland Park State School science week

Venue: Holland Park State School, 16 Aug 9:00 AM

Students in each year level will participate in science activities about biodiversity.

Clover Hill science fair

Venue: Clover Hill State School, 16 Aug 9:00 AM

At the Clover Hill Science Fair all students and classes will participate in a rotational science activity day; attend a science show during the week and can go to the science lab each day to watch bio-diversity DVD’s or participate in some science experiments.

Lunchtime rotational science activities

Venue: Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary School, 16 Aug 11:00 AM

A selection of science investigations and activities during lunchtime in Science Week based on theme Australian Biodiversity.

Glenden State School science fair

Venue: Glenden State School, 16 Aug 11:00 AM

Students will be given a challenge centred on the theme of Biodiversity. Students will showcase their results at a community science fair that will be judged by community members and secondary school students. Interactive activities will also form part of the fair. During the week there will be lunchtime activities for students of all ages, from Prep to Secondary students.

Science spectacular show

Venue: Browns Plains Primary School, 16 Aug 2:00 PM

Science Spectacular Show – Biology

Science expo

Venue: Isabella State School, 17 Aug 9:00 AM

Every child at Isabella State School will complete a series of investigations and experiments simultaneously on the theme of biodiversity and environmental care.

Biodiversity expo”

Venue: St Paul’s Primary Catholic School, Woodridge, 17 Aug 9:00 AM

Biodiversity Expo – whole school display and hands-on exhibits displaying classes work on this topic

Science spectacular show

Venue: Regents Park Primary School, 17 Aug 2:00 PM

Science Spectacular Show – Biology

Robyn Williams – The promise of miracles: how to survive the 21st century

Venue: Queensland Museum South Bank, 18 Aug 5:45 PM

A special presentation by one of Australia’s foremost broadcasters and science journalists.

Science spectacular show

Venue: Yugumbir Primary School, 19 Aug 9:30 AM

Science Spectacular Show – Biology

Science works! – herpetology, mammals & birds

Venue: Queensland Museum South Bank, 21 Aug 10:00 AM

Vertebrate Zoology is the study of animals with backbones, and being showcased now are the scientists who specialize in studying Mammals and Birds. Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians, and incudes frogs, snakes, turtles and lizards. Queensland Museum Scientists showcase the Museum’s collections and research.

Earth water wind and fire show

Venue: Queensland Museum South Bank, 21 Aug 11:00 AM, 22 Aug 11:100AM & 1:00PM

Live science theatre presented by the Young Scientists of Australia, Brisbane Chapter

Australian Capital Territory

Issues that divide skepticism

Venue: Manning Clarke Lecture Theatre 2, ANU, 16 Aug 6:00 PM

Martin Bridgestock will be talking about issues that divide even the skeptics. There are lots! One example is climate change.

Australia’s biodiversity threatened by rapidly changing climate

Venue: Optus Theatre, CSIRO Discovery, 14 Aug 12:00 PM

A lecture by Will Steffan of the ANU Climate Change Institute on how Australia’s unique biodiversity is under threat from a rapidly changing climate.

Reptile show

Venue: CSIRO Discovery, 20 Aug 10:30 AM

Peter Child presents an entertaining and hands-on reptile show. Look, touch, experience Australia’s creepy critters.

Microscopic worlds: a 3D exploration

Venue: Optus Theatre, CSIRO Discovery Centre, 20 Aug 2:00 PM

How do spiders and flies find lunch or avoid becoming someone else’s lunch? Do plants really hunt insects? Moulds, fungi and poisons… Alice’s wonderland?

Barak Zelig talks about his exhibition – ‘human impact’

Venue: CSIRO Discovery, 19 Aug 10:30 PM

Barak Zelig will give an insight into his art and the way he sees the local environment. Barak is an artist with a wide range of talents and experiences; as an artist in residence and as a teacher.

Twilight forest adventures

Venue: Australian National Botanic Gardens, 16 Aug 7:00 PM

Ever wondered just what happens at the National Botanic Gardens after dark. The Australian Botanic Gardens is home to many species of animals many of which are nocturnal. Spot a possum or see the yabbies feeding by the light of your torch or just enjoy walking through the rainforest. These are guided tours and bookings are essential.

Tour of the Australian national insect collection

Venue: Entomology Building, 20 Aug

This is a tour of the Australian National Insect Collection taken by Dr Beth Mantle from CSIRO Entomology. This is a great opportunity to explore Australia’s biodiversity through insects and the enormous insect collection.

How could mathematical thinking be any use to conservation?

Venue: Room B10, Blackfriars Building Australian Catholic University, 19 Aug 5:00 PM

A lecture by Hugh Possingham who has a joint professorship in Zoology and Entomology, and Mathematics at the University of Queensland

Environment speaker series

Venue: CSIRO Discovery Centre, 14 August, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The International Year of Biodiversity and the Science Festival is celebrating that with a speaker series about just that, Biodiversity.

Marine biodiversity hub exhibition at Questacon – ensuring a future for life in Australia’s oceans

Venue: Questacon, Canberra, 21st May – 31st Aug 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Come and see the Marine Biodiversity Hub’s exhibition of images at Questacon in Canberra from 21 May to 31 August to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity.

Additional ACT events from the National Science Week website…

Charles Darwin & the voyage of the Beagle

Venue: Discovery Centre – Optus Theatre, 16 Aug 10:15 AM and 5:00 PM

This lecture by James Taylor covers the 1831 – 1836 voyage of Charles Darwin and Robert Fitzroy on the HMS Beagle.


Tahune airwalk

Venue: Tahune AirWalk, Geeveston, 16th-20 Aug 10:00 AM

Forestry Tasmania scientists will be hosting walking tours and answering questions and will be happy to tailor these to school programs on request.

Clams workshop: creative links between marine science and art

Venue: Woodbridge Marine Discovery Centre, 14 Aug 10:00 AM

Tasmanian artists Ruth Downham and Roland Gabatel will workshop the artistic interpretation of marine science.

Amphipod collected from tressler bank off east Antarctica

Venue: The Australian Antarctic Division, 16 – 20 Aug, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

As part of National Science Week, the Australian Antarctic Division is featuring fascinating photos of creatures from the bottom of the Southern Ocean.

Clarence plains rivulet – monitoring biodiversity

Venue: Rokeby High School, 18 – 19 Aug, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Involves students, teachers and community organisations participating in flora, fauna and freshwater monitoring procedures. The Clarence Plains Rivulet runs adjacent to Rokeby High School.

Backyard, bush & beach – a variety of life

Venue: Circular Head Community & Recreation Centre, 16 Aug, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Backyard, Bush & Beach – A Variety of Life’ focuses on biodiversity in Circular Head with lots of interactive exhibits and science based fun.

Tasmanian science talent search technology judging day: Launceston

22nd Aug, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

A Public Judging Day for the Technology Challenge of the Tasmanian Science Talent Search: “Design, make and evaluate a model insect powered by a single rubber band”.

Additional TAS events from the National Science Week website…

Acid seas & lost hollows: What you can do?

Venue: University Of Tasmania Launceston Campus, Arts Lecture Theatre 9, 15 Aug 12:30 PM

An inspiring documentary from The Bookend Trust exploring environmental issues and what ‘you’ can do to be involved in finding positive solutions.

Celebration of science

Venue: Tasmanian Academy – Don Campus, 16 Aug 8:35 AM

Celebration of Science will include a one-day community Science Fair coordinated with local industry and the University of Tasmania at the Don Campus; a week of hands-on activities for primary school students run by Year 11-12 students; a range of science competitions and challenges for school students; and a guest presentation on Biodiversity.


Venue: Natone Wetlands, 16 Aug 9:00 AM

Acton School Wetlands unit focusing on a whole school visit to the Natone Wetlands Reserve.

Sustainability – making a difference

Venue: South Hobart Primary School, 16 Aug 9:00 AM

Sustainability – whole school hands-on activities that will help give students an understanding of how to live in a more sustainable way. We can all make a difference!

Nature conservation, people, places, maps, satellites, insects and climate -does this sound like geography?

Venue: School of Geography and Environmental Studies, UTAS, 16 Aug 9:30 AM

See where studying geography can take you in the world. Suitable for Yr 7 – 10 students.

Tasmanian seaweed

Venue: Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Building, Chapel Room (CCAMLR), 16 Aug 10:00 AM

Photographic Exhibition of Tasmanian Seaweed.

UTAS Cradle Coast research week

Venue: UTAS Cradle Coast campus, 16 Aug 10:00 AM

A week of events, forums and discussion about the important research being carried out in North West Tasmania.

Exploring marine diversity

Venue: Local primary schools, 16 Aug 12:00 PM

Kingston High School Grade 7 students visit our local primary schools to present science activities to the Grade 6 classes.


Venue: Flinders Island District High School, 17 Aug 9:00 AM

A celebration of the biodiversity of our beautiful island

The Royal Society of Tasmania winter lecture series

Venue: Sir Stanley Burbury Theatre, University of Tasmania, 17 Aug 8:00 PM

Lecture: “From Tasmania to Antarctica – Macquarie Island on the World Stage”

Conservation crusaders

Venue: Flinders Island District High School, 18 Aug 9:00 AM

Highlighting career opportunities and success stories in conservation biology in Tasmania…

Forestry talks – climate change and the carbon cycle

Venue: National Forest Learning Centre, 18 Aug 1:00 PM

Dr Martin Moroni will discuss the science of how greenhouse gasses impact climate change and the link between forests, greenhouse gasses and the carbon cycle.

Hillcrest professional learning afternoon with Costa

Venue: Hillcrest Primary, 18 Aug 1:00 PM

Costa is visiting to discuss biodiversity and gardening with the plan to help move these aspects forward in schools.

Conservation crusaders

Venue: Cape Barren Primary School, 19 Aug 9:00 AM

Highlighting career opportunities and success stories in conservation biology in Tasmania

Marine conservation film series – The Cove

Venue: Lecture Theatre 9, Arts Building, UTAS Newnham campus, 19 Aug 6:00 PM

Documentary focusing on marine conservation.

All about reptiles

Venue: UTAS Cradle Coast campus, 22 Aug 10:30 AM

Learn about the lives of snakes, lizards and frogs.