Uni hosts a meeting of scientific minds

Monday, 22 January 2007

The University of Adelaide will this week host up to 180 scientists from around the world with an interest in the ecology of the southern hemisphere and the environmental challenges facing the region.

The 5th International Southern Connection Conference will bring together scientists researching the so-called Gondwana land masses. This was the supercontinent which included Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, before starting to break up 167 million years ago.

One of Australia's leading ecologists, Dr Steve Morton from the CSIRO in Canberra, will present the plenary session on Monday 22 January at 8.30am: "Australian Ecosystems and Environmental Management: A Personal View of the Ten Most Exciting Challenges."

Professor Bob Hill, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, says the main aim of the conference is to develop and emphasise environmental differences between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Canada, the USA, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Austria and Norway will attend the gathering which runs from 22-25 January.

"Southern Connection was formed in the early 1990s to improve communication among researchers with an interest in the environment of the southern land masses," Professor Hill says. "Its membership numbers over 400 scientists who study aspects of biology and the early history of the southern continents."

Other keynote participants include:


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