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Associate Professor Andy Austin (email)
The University of Adelaide
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Wednesday, 18 October 2000
The Centre of Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity will be launched at Adelaide University today. The Centre represents a major joint research initiative between:
The Centre's role is to be a leading national and international centre for research and teaching in evolutionary biology and biodiversity studies, with an emphasis on the fauna and flora of Australia.
"The Centre will focus on a range of major scientific questions, such as 'how are species formed?', 'how many species of plants and animals.really exist?', and how answers to these questions relate to the conservation and management of biodiversity," said Associate Professor Andy Austin, who will be the Centre's Director.
The Centre will provide national and international recognition for the high-calibre research already being undertaken in Adelaide, and attract high-quality post-graduate students and visitors from interstate and abroad.
Members of the Centre already attract in excess of $1.1 million into Adelaide University including 10 ARC Large/SPIRT grants. The formation of the Centre will help to provide secure external funding and infrastructure through collaboration among its member, and with national and international colleagues.
Professor Austin, who was recently elected President of the Australian Entomological Society, works in the Department of Molecular and Applied Ecology at the University's Waite campus. ""Adelaide University and the Museum have clearly recognisable strengths in evolutionary biology and biodiversity but they are spread across two organisations, two faculties and four Departments," said Professor Austin."The Centre will bring this expertise together to foster collaboration, focus on new questions, and take advantage of new funding opportunities"
"The recent arrival in Adelaide of Professor Tim Flannery as Director of the SA Museum, and Professor Robert Hill, an ARC professorial fellow in paleobiology in the Dept of Environmental Biology have really strengthened the scope of the Centre," said Professor Austin.
Following the launch, at 4.00pm, Professor John Maynard Smith will talk on: The Evolution of Animal Signals.
Professor Maynard Smith, from the University of Sussex, is one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the last 40 years. A winner of many international awards, he is the author of "The Evolution of Sex," "Evolution and the Theory of Games," and "Evolutionary Genetics."