Announcing the Dorothy Hill Women in Earth Sciences Symposium – 15-16 November 2017

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) at The University of Queensland is proud to host the inaugural Dorothy Hill Women in Earth Sciences Symposium which will be held on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 November 2017 at The University of Queensland.
 
The Symposium celebrates the achievements of notable women in the Earth Sciences and is named after the late Dorothy Hill, who was the first woman Professor in Australia, the first woman to become a member of the Australian Academy of Sciences and its first President.  
 
Professor Dorothy Hill was a pioneer of research, a leader for women in science, a woman of action, and one of The University of Queensland’s (UQ) most outstanding graduates.  She was a well-known figure at the University from the time she was 18 years old and beginning her degree until she retired, aged in her seventies. By then she had become a world-renowned professor.

Throughout her career, she led by example and inspired women to pursue science and a university education. Through her numerous achievements, she helped to advance the place of women in academia. 
 
This inspirational event will be a powerful two days of learning, Come and learn from, and network with, some of the world’s top female earth scientists.
 

 

REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN
Included in your registration are inspirational scientific keynotes by renowned speakers, panel discussions on the advancement and leadership of women in geosciences, day catering and BBQ dinner on Wednesday night.
 
Registration prices are:

  • Company/Industry - $250
  • Academic/Alumni - $100
  • Tertiary Students - $25
  • High School Students and Teachers - $10

Symposium Networking Dinner tickets 
The networking dinner will be held on Thursday 16 November at Customs House, overlooking the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.   Tickets are $120 per person.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
The University of Queensland's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) has an integrated team of earth scientists, physical and social scientists, environmental management specialists, health and safety experts, and urban planners who are focused on generating new knowledge, creating opportunities for innovation and discovery, and nurturing a wide range of external partnerships.

Areas of study at SEES include: Geology, Geography, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Minerals and Energy, Environmental Science, Environmental Management, Planning and Palaeontology.

An archosauromorph reptile fossil preserving a live birth rewrites understanding of reproductive evolution

A remarkable 250 million-year-old "terrible-headed lizard" fossil found in China shows an embryo inside the mother—clear evidence for live birth! This research, recently published in the journal Nature Communications, is part of an ongoing collaboration between palaeontologists in China, the United States, the UK and TeBi Researcher Professor Jonathan Aitchison, Australia. Professor Jonathan Aitchison, co-author, said the fossil unexpectedly provided the first evidence for live birth in an animal group previously thought to exclusively lay eggs.

"Further evolutionary analysis revealed the first case of live birth in such a wide group containing birds, crocodilians, dinosaurs and pterosaurs among others, and pushes back evidence of reproductive biology in the group by 50 million years," Professor Jun Liu said.

This pregnant Dinocephalosaurus could help corroborate a dominant idea about what makes a reptile stop laying eggs and start birthing live young: that viviparity is an adaptation necessary for reptiles to move to a fully aquatic lifestyle. 

"Because eggs of reptiles (and birds) cannot be laid in water, aquatic reptiles have two choices: they either must come to land to lay their eggs (like sea turtles) or they must be viviparous (like ichthyosaurs and certain sea snakes)," Blackburn explains. "Dinocephalosaurus is highly specialized for aquatic life and probably could not come onto the land to lay its eggs."


Read the paper here: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14445

 ( a ) Photograph. The three separate blocks are arranged following their original positions in the field. ( b ) Interpretive drawing. Dotted line indicates the rough course of the vertebral column of the adult. The different colour in the cervical region aims to facilitate the association of cervical ribs with corresponding vertebrae. ( c ) Photo showing a close-up of the embryo preserved in the stomach region of LPV 30280. ( d ) Interpretive drawing of the embryo. ( e ) Photo showing a close-up of the perleidid fish preserved in the stomach region of LPV 30280. ( f ) Artist's reconstruction of  Dinocephalosaurus  showing the rough position of the embryo within the mother. ax, axis; car, caudal rib; crh, cervical rib head; cv, cervical vertebrae; d4, fourth digit; f, perleidid fish; fe, femur; fi, fibula; h, humerus; ha, haemal arch; m, mandible; mt1, metatarsal 1; mt5, metatarsal 5; poz, postzygapophysis; prz, prezygapophysis; ra, radius; ti, tibia; ul, ulna. Scale bar, 20 cm.

(a) Photograph. The three separate blocks are arranged following their original positions in the field. (b) Interpretive drawing. Dotted line indicates the rough course of the vertebral column of the adult. The different colour in the cervical region aims to facilitate the association of cervical ribs with corresponding vertebrae. (c) Photo showing a close-up of the embryo preserved in the stomach region of LPV 30280. (d) Interpretive drawing of the embryo. (e) Photo showing a close-up of the perleidid fish preserved in the stomach region of LPV 30280. (f) Artist's reconstruction of Dinocephalosaurus showing the rough position of the embryo within the mother. ax, axis; car, caudal rib; crh, cervical rib head; cv, cervical vertebrae; d4, fourth digit; f, perleidid fish; fe, femur; fi, fibula; h, humerus; ha, haemal arch; m, mandible; mt1, metatarsal 1; mt5, metatarsal 5; poz, postzygapophysis; prz, prezygapophysis; ra, radius; ti, tibia; ul, ulna. Scale bar, 20 cm.

No prospect of an end...

This is just a short celebratory post to mark a whole year since the launch of the Tectonics and Biostratigraphy Research Group.

In that time our researchers have conducted successful field seasons in Ladakh and Manipur in India, the earthquake affected regions of Nepal, and a stint on JOIDES Resolution for IODP Voyage 362. Their research has been making ripples at the International Workshop on the Gorkha Earthquake, Palaeo Down Under 2, and the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Along the way, we have maintained and established valuable collaborations with colleagues around Australia and internationally. 

Here's to many TeBi rumblings into the indefinite future! This is our Birthquake:

See if your birth was as earthshaking as ours: http://www.earthscope.org/birthquake/

AGU Fall Meeting and a field trip to the Franciscan Complex

The 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting took place in San Francisco 12-16 of December. It’s the world’s largest conference in Earth and space science with over 23,000 people attended in 2016. Team members, Jonathan Aitchison, Sarah Kachovich, Denis Stojanovic, and Renjie Zhou attended and presented in the conference.

Jonathan delivered a talk summarizing recent works in the eastern part of the Indo-Burma range in India. Sarah and Denis each presented a poster about new geochronological and paleontological results from Manipur, India. Renjie presented a poster on his recent work in eastern Australia, and chaired a session about sedimentary basin study in mountain belts.

The team also took the opportunity to visit the famous Franciscan Complex. The one-day field trip brought the members from San Francisco to the areas close to the Sonoma Coast State Park. Colleagues from University of Sydney, Geoffrey Clarke and Tim Champan, joined the trip.

Famous TV celebrity: radiolarian, Podocyrtis sinuosa

During the introduction song of the TV series ‘The Big Bang Theory’, while the Barenaked Ladies sing "History Of Everything", you are flashed with an amid series of fast-paced images that appear to tell the story of the universe. The 3rd image from this montage of 109 images shown in that seemingly short span of time is in fact of an Eocene radiolarian assemblage. Here you see the image used in the TV series, which was originally obtained from stock photography (Jupiter and Getty Images being their primary source). 

At the bottom in the middle you see the biostratigraphically diagnostic radiolarian species Podocyrtis sinuosa, along with other radiolarians including Thyrosocyrtis ? rhizodon and Theoperid gen. et. sp. indet. Podocyrtis sinuosa is a low latitude species that has been estimated to have evolved 49.74 million years ago and existed until it went extinct 42.90 million years ago. These other species mentioned are known to have concurrent occurrences with Podocyrtis sinuosa. Interestingly, the juxtaposition of this image of an Eocene radiolarian assemblage and a timescale is depicted at 40, 000 BC. This is a pretty good estimate considering it only took the guy 2 hours to put this series of images together.

On-board IODP Expedition 362 (August-October, 2016), Tebi Researcher, Sarah Kachovich had the privilege to meet this celebrity at one of their sites. Podocyrtis sinuosa provided an important age control to a critical interval of some interesting stratigraphy as they approached basement. It seems very fitting that radiolarians, a critical tool for geological dating, were chosen, together with the other 108 images to provide a “history of the universe” in the introduction to 'The Big Bang Theory'. 

 

Working in the microscope lab on-board Expedition 362 (Credit: Tim Fulton, IODP JRSO). Sarah Kachovich and Paola Vannucchi (Structural Geologist, Royal Holloway University of London, UK).

 

 

This fun investigation into the radiolarians used in the introduction song of the TV series ‘The Big Bang Theory’ led to the inspiration of modellinga Podocyrtis sinuosa as a Christmas decoration. Here is a teaser for an upcoming post.

 

Throw another zircon on the barbie

Some readers may remember TeBi adventures in Manipur earlier this year (See Rock Hunters in Manipur). After some months of sample preparation and mineral extraction, the time has come to zap our zircons in hope of retrieving igneous ages from the Manipur Ophiolitic Complex (MOC). This is usually done using some variety of mass spectrometer and our weapon of choice is the SHRIMP RG (Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe - Reverse Geometry) of the Research School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra. 

The ophiolitic material in the MOC represents oceanic crust formed in the Neo-Tethyan Ocean prior to India's collision with Asia. As the vast majority of this oceanic material has been subducted beneath the continental crust of Asia, the ages from the MOC will give us a rare insight into the tectonic history of an ocean basin that as otherwise all but disappeared. 

Many thanks to Trevor Ireland and the rest of the SHRIMP team for hosting our time there and assisting tirelessly with the analyses and data reduction. 

Results will hopefully be making an appearance at this year's AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December. Stay tuned!

Cambrian fossils from South China and South Australia

Our visiting student, Yan ,who has been studying in UQ for a few months,gave a talk about Some Cambrian fossils of South China and South America .As we know, Cambrian plays a very important role in geological history. According to current global chronostratigraphic subdivision, the Cambrian System is now divided into four series, ten stages, of which some internal boundaries still remain undefined or unnamed.The Cambrian Explosion, during which most major animal phyla appeared, also stimulates our curiosity about the origin and evolution of lives. And many discovered fossils of Cambrian especially early Cambrian are poor preserved and hard to identify. In a word, all these factors call for more well-preserved and earlier fossils for further study. Yan showed some quite interesting fossils,including spicules and small shelly fossils.

Source: C