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Genitals and genes: the lepidopterist’s taxonomic toolkit

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Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Dunn Place

Hobart, TAS 7000

Australia

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The insect taxonomist’s toolkit has changed over the last few hundred years, and there is hardly anyone better versed in the categorising and describing of insects than Dr Cathy Byrne, senior curator of zoology at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Join Cathy at BeakerStreet@TMAG, a pop-up science bar at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 18-20 August. She will explain how although descriptions of body shape, colour and pattern are still very important, internal anatomical features, such as genitalia are now routinely used to separate species. Even more recently, subtle differences in gene sequences are recruited to tell us about evolutionary relationships. The classification of the beautiful, iconic Australian satin moths are a case in point. Cathy will also talk about how new species are often right under our noses in collections, and she will take the listener through the intricate steps of new species taxonomic descriptions.

About the Speaker:
Dr Cathy Byrne heads the Zoology section of TMAG and has a busy work schedule overseeing the management of the large Tasmanian faunal collection, conducting research and delivering a variety of public programs highlighting TMAG’s scientific work. Cathy’s research area is the taxonomy of the Australian Lepidoptera which involves naming and classifying new species of moths. She has worked on Lepidoptera for nearly 20 years, systematically revising a species-rich fauna, of which around half are still undescribed. She has been pivotal in organising surveys of Tasmanian fauna over the last ten years. This has made an important contribution to TMAG’s aim of providing, through the collection, a specimen–based record of every Tasmanian animal.

About BeakerStreet@TMAG:
BeakerStreet@TMAG is a pop-up science bar at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 18-20 August - admission is free. Join us during the second weekend of National Science Week for three packed nights of intriguing short talks and hands-on workshops, live music, beer brewing Q&A, the 360 Cinema Dome, SCINEMA short films, a photography exhibition, storytelling, have a beer with a scientist, delicious local food and Tassie tipples, heaters and hot drinks in the courtyard, and more! Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of this talk to get a drink and find a seat - talks will start promptly at the advertised start time.

BeakerStreet@TMAG is free and open to the public but designed for an adult audience. Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult. Registration for talks is not required and does not guarantee a seat, but will be a great help to us (we're scientists and we like numbers). Registration for workshops is essential. For program details and more information, visitwww.beakerstreet.com.au or get updates by clicking "Going" or "Interested" on our facebook event.

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Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Dunn Place

Hobart, TAS 7000

Australia

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