University of Tasmania

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    Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Expedition of Discovery III – The flora and fauna of the Spring Bay Mill area after a long history of industrial use

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    Flora and fauna surveys were conducted at the Spring Bay Mill property and adjacent area near Triabunna in 2019 as part of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s ongoing research, collection-building and nature-discovery program entitled Expeditions of Discovery. Although a large portion of the mill site has experienced significant disturbance, some bushland remnants on the property and the adjacent coastal reserve remain in very good ecological condition and are refugia for species now lost from the wider landscape. The survey recorded 1088 taxa, principally from the targeted groups of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, beetles, butterflies and moths, with several of the taxa, chiefly lichens and invertebrates, either new to science or new records for Tasmania. The survey expands our knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Triabunna area and serves as a baseline for a property undergoing strategic rehabilitation after a long history of industrial use

    S. Warren Carey : New Guinea oil explorer (1934–1942)

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    Samuel Warren Carey (1911–2002), Professor of Geology at the University of Tasmania from 1946 until 1976, was recognised internationally as a controversial extrovert in global tectonics. He joined Oil Search Ltd, and then the Australasian Petroleum Company working as a field geologist in New Guinea from 1934 until 1942. Carey and his colleagues carried out a heroic campaign of geology-based field exploration under the most difficult of conditions. Although their work did not find commercial hydrocarbons it paved the way for PNG’s current hydrocarbon industry. While his post-World War Two work is well documented through his publications and the reminiscences of those who worked with and were taught by him, his pioneering work as an explorer in the inhospitable environment of New Guinea before he took up his post in Tasmania is less well known and the subject of this paper

    Reply to the apology to the Aboriginal community by The Royal society of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

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    Those who have delivered the apologies today on behalf of their institutions also have made an important acknowledgement of the hurt to we Aborigines of today. In return, I stand here before you and say “on behalf of all of those Aboriginal generations I have mentioned, we readily accept, with pride, the apologies given, in the spirit within which it was stated

    Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Expedition of Discovery II – The Flora and Fauna of Musselroe Wind Farm, Cape Portland, Northeast Tasmania

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    Flora and fauna surveys were conducted at the Musselroe Wind Farm property in 2018 and 2019 as part of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s ongoing research, collection-building and nature-discovery program. The property was found to have significant ecological and nature conservation values and this survey program increases the number of vouchered taxa known for the area to 1336 primarily from the targeted groups of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, butterflies, moths, beetles, freshwater invertebrates, snails and slugs. Many threatened taxa were recorded and several of the taxa, chiefly lichens and invertebrates, are new to science or new records for Tasmania. This survey significantly expands our knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Cape Portland area and serves as a baseline for a property with a mix of farming and environmental conservation management

    The geology and glacial history of the Walls of Jerusalem, Central Tasmania – a preliminary study

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    The Walls of Jerusalem, in Tasmania’s Central Plateau, is marked by several dolerite escarpments, or “walls”, enclosing sheltered grassy valleys with Pencil Pine forests. Geologically, the area is a structurally raised block between two faults, with the peaks and plateaus being 100 m or so higher than the surrounding plateau. The valleys and escarpments may be mainly due to intense faulting and shattering of the dolerite by cross-faults, and removal of this material by glaciers. The higher peaks and plateaus have all been abraded by ice, except for an extraordinary patch at Solomons Throne, which retains irregular scree piles coloured red with lichen. Virtually all the valley floors are covered by glacial till, which probably relates to the younger glacial episodes. It consists mostly of dolerite boulders and clay, and shows subdued morainal forms in most places, with a few matrix-free boulder deposits probably representing lag after meltwater washing. Bedded clay deposits formed in lakes and meltwater streams as the ice retreated are extensive within the drift deposits, reflecting the confined nature of the two glacier lobes which entered the valleys from north and south. Dolerite screes along the scarps appear to post-date most of the morainal deposits, but some older screes may also be present. The Temple eminence within the centre of the Walls consists of fragmented dolerite overlying Triassic sandstone, almost completely covered by periglacial and glacial deposits, including superb examples of solifluction flows. There are many unanswered questions concerning the glacial deposits, but the lack of any dates means it is not yet possible to establish a comprehensive glacial chronology

    What’s in a name? Polyzosteria yingina ; the Golden Sun Cockroach

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    The endemic Tasmanian cockroach Polyzosteria yingina, was formally described in 2021, 80 years after it was first documented. Evidence from morphology, biogeography and DNA barcodes distinguishes this species from the related mainland Australian taxa it had previously been confused with and united the geographically disparate alpine and coastal populations under a single specific epithet. That specific epithet, yingina, was chosen in collaboration with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. This was to acknowledge that, given the species’ large size, handsome appearance and overt behaviours, it would once have had Aboriginal names, which now may have been lost due to colonial disruption of language, land and culture

    Apology to Tasmanian Aboriginal people 2021

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    On Monday, 15 February 2021, the Royal Society of Tasmania (RST) and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) delivered paired Apologies to the Aboriginal people of Tasmania. The event was held in the Courtyard of TMAG, Hobart, and attended in person by about one hundred invited guests including members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, members of the Council of the RST and members of the Board of Trustees of TMAG. A large number of invited guests also witnessed the event by livestream. It was also the first time the Aboriginal flag had been flown at Customs House to commemorate the significance of this event

    Vegetation change in an urban grassy woodland since the early nineteenth century

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    Our understanding of the history of vegetation change after the British invasion of Tasmania is limited. The Queens Domain in Hobart is an area of remnant grassy woodland that provides the opportunity to document such vegetation change and its causes using historical images and reports. Tree removal, stock grazing, and the consequent reduction in the incidence of fire appear to have resulted in a decline in tree cover after European settlement, reaching a nadir during 1861–1880. Paintings and photographs indicated a sharp increase in tree cover between 1921 and 1941, associated with the banning of stock grazing. This increase appears to have been encouraged, rather than hindered, by the increasing frequency of low-intensity fire resulting from a reduction in grazing pressure

    Effects of garden type and distance from bush on adventive trees in domestic gardens

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    Gardens are both a source of plant species that invade native vegetation (bush) and are places that native species can invade. We test the hypotheses that the richness of adventive exotic and native trees in suburban gardens declines with distance from the bush, and that the type of garden strongly influences the establishment of adventive trees. The adventive woody species in front gardens of houses on randomly selected streets in three Hobart suburbs were observed from the street, along with garden type. Distance from the bush boundary was measured from maps. Most taxa occurred less frequently with increasing distance from the bush and garden type was associated with the occurrence of several taxa. Distance and garden type had no effect on the exotic Pittosporum undulatum, possibly because it is rare in native vegetation due to its fire sensitivity but is both attractive to many gardeners and well-dispersed by birds between gardens

    Contents page for Volume 155 part 1, Council and Office Bearers from March 2021 to March 2022

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    Part 1 of Volume 155 has been prepared in recognition of the centenary of The Royal Society of Tasmania, Northern Branch and includes a forward by the President of The Royal Society, Mary Koolhof and a reflection on the Northern Branch by Dr Eric Ratcliff OAM, 2021 Northern Branch President. Included is a list of Elected Office Bearers, Council Members and Ex Officio Council Members from March 2021 to March 202

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