Into the Worm Hole: a beginner’s guide to practical polychaetology…
Thursday, 8 August 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (AEST)
EXPERT PANEL EVENT:
A rare scientific subculture is worming its way into Sydney in August: real human beings who are passionate about polychaete worms! Wriggle in to the Australian Museum to discover why these remarkable (and remarkably overlooked) animals are so interesting, important and beautiful. And the worms are pretty interesting too...
Here’s your chance to meet some of these specialists and to try out all those wormy questions you were too afraid to ask. Find out what makes a person devote their lives to these spineless, soft-bodied wonders. We’ll even throw in an opportunity to see a slide show of these worms and a chance to check out the poster exhibition in the café!
The highlight of the evening will be a Q&A session, chaired by closet worm-fancier Dr Richard Smith, award-winning documentary filmmaker and host of the recent 4-part ABC series Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide. In a past life Richard probed some rather beautiful worms to find out how they see our world. Now he’ll turn the spotlight on the brainy bunch of humans on the panel:
Dr Jim Gehling, South Australian Museum,
World-renowned expert on the Ediacaran fauna: fossils of some of the oldest animals on Earth discovered in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Some of these strange creatures have been interpreted as polychaetes because of their resemblance to modern day worms. But is this really where the worm story begins?
Professor Damhnait McHugh, Biology Department, Colgate University, New York.
As a child on the west coast of Ireland, Damhnait spent rather too long playing in tide pools and ended up turning into one of the world’s pre-eminent annelid biologists! Her quest? To work out where worms come from and who is related to whom!
Dr Pat Hutchings, Australian Museum
Convenor of the Conference and the person you may hold responsible for gathering the world’s worm experts together in Sydney. Pat has spent a lifetime hunting down these animals in the field and herding them into collections in the lab. In her mission to find true blue Aussie worms there is no mud too soft, reef too deep, nor stone unturned. Hear her stories from the worm front line.