Events

Seminars Unlimited

Our events bring some of the world's leading researchers from across Australia and worldwide with a diverse and engaging range of topics.

Event Name HIE Seminar Series

Date June 7, 2022

Time 12:00 PM   1:00 PM

Location Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus L9 Lecture Theatre, Richmond NSW

Speaker: Prof. Simon Haberle

Contact

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Seminar Series Committee

Jonathan Plett: j.plett@westernsydney.edu.au

Kristine Crous: k.crous@westernsydney.edu.au

Robert Sharwood:  r.sharwood@westernsydney.edu.au

Event Name HIE Seminar Series

Date June 10, 2022

Time 12:00 PM   1:00 PM

Location Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus L9 Lecture Theatre, Richmond NSW

Speaker: Owen Atkin

Contact

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Seminar Series Committee

Jonathan Plett: j.plett@westernsydney.edu.au

Kristine Crous: k.crous@westernsydney.edu.au

Robert Sharwood:  r.sharwood@westernsydney.edu.au

HIE Seminar Series

Event Name HIE Seminar Series

Date June 14, 2022

Time 12:00 PM   1:00 PM

Location Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus L9 Lecture Theatre, Richmond NSW

Speaker: Dee Carter

Contact

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Seminar Series Committee

Jonathan Plett: j.plett@westernsydney.edu.au

Kristine Crous: k.crous@westernsydney.edu.au

Robert Sharwood:  r.sharwood@westernsydney.edu.au

Event Name HIE Seminar Series

Date June 21, 2022

Time 12:00 PM   1:00 PM

Location Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus L9 Lecture Theatre, Richmond NSW

Speaker: Alex Wu

Contact

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Seminar Series Committee

Jonathan Plett: j.plett@westernsydney.edu.au

Kristine Crous: k.crous@westernsydney.edu.au

Robert Sharwood:  r.sharwood@westernsydney.edu.au

Event Name HIE Seminar Series

Date June 28, 2022

Time 12:00 PM   1:00 PM

Location Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus L9 Lecture Theatre, Richmond NSW

Speaker: Kate Huppatz

Contact

The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Seminar Series Committee

Jonathan Plett: j.plett@westernsydney.edu.au

Kristine Crous: k.crous@westernsydney.edu.au

Robert Sharwood:  r.sharwood@westernsydney.edu.au

Next Classes: 26-29 April 2022

The R statistical computing environment has become a standard for scientific data analysis, visualization and reproducible research...

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Participants at our Soil Biology Masterclass will learn how to adopt practices and strategies to enhance the life in soils and use the power of plant-soil-microbial relationships to unlock soil nutrients, produce healthier and more nutritious plants and understand how microbes drive modern farming success.

GCLBI Masterclass Icon

Previous Events & Courses

Eucalyptus-in-a-Changing-ClimateEucalypts in a Changing Climate

Sunday, 15 May

Join us for a conversation about eucalypt forests in a changing climate and the role of culture, art and science in communicating the urgent need for global and local change. This discussion will be followed by a tour of EucFACE, a massive experiment that exposes large areas of native Cumberland Plain forest to elevated levels of carbon dioxide — the levels we are expected to reach by 2050.

This event will take place at Western Sydney University - Hawkesbury Campus in Richmond. A minibus will be available from Richmond train station. This is an outdoor event and will be postponed in the event of strong winds or heavy rain.

2022 Seminar Series

People of the River: Aboriginal people, settlers and environments on Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River - Prof. Grace Karskens (UNSW)

Tuesday, 1 March -  Watch recording here.
Grace’s book People of the River: Lost Worlds of Early Australia explores the entangled worlds of Aboriginal people, settlers  and environments on Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. In this presentation she’ll discuss how and why she wrote this book, and how it relates to a whole new wave of Australian history as well as current national challenges, such as Makarrata. Grace will also talk about a related collaborative project, The Real Secret River: Dyarubbin, in which she worked with Darug and Darkinjung Traditional Owners to return long-lost Darug and Darkinjung place-names to the river.

Seeing the unseen: X-ray Imaging in Plant Biology - Dr Keith Duncan (Danforth Plant Science Center)

Tuesday, 17 March -  Watch recording here.
Much of plant biology involves studying how plants grow and develop in 3D space, both above and below the soil line. The lab of Dr. Christopher Topp at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has used a large format high-resolution X-ray tomography instrument to study diverse plant samples, using the rich volume data to extract 3D trait information not easily obtained with other imaging technologies. The addition of an X-ray microscope (XRM) to our facility has allowed us to generate multiscale high-resolution 3D tomographic data across a wide range of sample sizes and complexity. Imaging plant samples with high-resolution XRM can identify and measure important trait data at the cell, tissue, and organ level, while maintaining important whole plant contextual information. Recent application of X-ray imaging to Topp lab soil health research projects is also presented.

Predicting time-to-recover from Australian Forest Fires - Dr Sami Rifai (UNSW)

Tuesday, 22 March -  Watch recording here.
Climate change has accelerated the frequency of catastrophic wildfires; however, the drivers that control the time-to-recover of forests are poorly understood. We identify the causes of variability in time-to-recover in South-Eastern Australian eucalypts using remotely sensed data, species distribution models, and functional traits. Time-to-recover was highly variable within individual burns, across seasons, and years. Approximately 97% of all observed burns recovered to a pre-fire leaf area index (± 0.25 sd) within six years. The time-to-recover was found to be predictable from burn severity, pre- and post-fire meteorological conditions, and species-level differences in life-history strategy and functional traits. This allowed us to explore a machine learning approach to generate a high-accuracy model (R2: 0.68; mean absolute error: 177 days) to predict the time-to-recover from the megafires will be only slightly longer than average owing to anomalously high rainfall following the fires.

Crop Pathology: From Cotton to Hemp, a survey of the effects of disease and climate change - Dr Karen Kirkby (DPI-NSW)

Tuesday, 29 March -  Watch recording here.
I have been a crop pathologist with NSW Department of Primary Industries for over 10 years, studying the effects of fungal disease on cotton and hemp. In this seminar, I will give an overview of some of my career research highlights including:
  • Predicting the disease severity of Verticillium dahliae in cotton based on quantifying soil inoculum levels and the use of climate modelling to predict the future range and impact of the disease
  • Development and commercialisation of a novel natural fungicide for the control of V. dahliae
  • New research on disease management in the emerging hemp industry

Charcterising Vegetation Dynamics based on Passive Microwave Satellite Observations - Dr Yi Liu (UNSW)

Tuesday, 12 April -  Watch recording here.
Vegetation optical depth (VOD) is an indicator of the vegetation water content of both woody and leaf components derived from passive microwave observations. VOD is distinctly different from products derived from optical remote sensing of vegetation (e.g. normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)): it is less prone to saturation in dense canopy; is sensitive to both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic biomass; is less affected by atmospheric conditions; and is of coarser spatial resolution. In this talk, several cases studies will be presented to demonstrate the potential of passive microwave-based VOD in characterizing vegetation responses to long-term climate change, extreme climatic events, and human activities at regional to global scales.

MSc in Forest Fire Science & Integrative Management - Prof Dr Jose-Vicente Oliver

Tuesday, 26 April -  Watch recording here.
Seminar Overview: 1. Introduction: why a MSc in Forest Fires 2. Key figures and objectives 3. Skills for students 4. Structure: courses, modules and subjects 5. Implementation and teaching calendar 6. Our teaching staff 7. Experiences of our students 8. International cooperation

Seeing Forests in a new light: Virtual Forests through 3d Laser Measurements - Dr Kim Calders (Ghent University)

Tuesday, 10 May -  Watch recording here.
The physical forms of trees, in particular their dimensions and structure, provide insights into how forests function. Measuring forest structure is often represented in one or two dimensions only. While this can help simplify analysis, there may be a loss of information to properly understand ecosystems. In this presentation, I will show how new observations, using 3d laser scanners provide us with a new way to quantify the structure of trees. These measurements allow us to build new 3d models, estimate the mass of trees , explore theories of metabolic scaling or monitor phenology. These laser measurements allow for objective 3D time-series analysis (i.e. 4D) - allowing us to gain new insights into forest dynamic. These virtual forests can assist in testing simpler models, methods and their associated uncertainties  and are being used for a variety of applications.

TropOz: Ozone in the Tropics - Dr Alex Chessman (James Cook University)

Tuesday, 31 May -  Watch recording here.
Ozone in the earth's lower atmosphere is an important air pollutant that causes adverse effects on plants and ecosystems worldwide. Current O3 concentrations have been shown to cause significant productivity losses in both agronomic and natural system, but the impact of future changes on topical systems remains unclear. The TropOz facility represents a unique experimental facility to examine the impacts of O3 on tropical vegetation under semi-natural conditions and conduct detailed examination of the physiological impacts of air pollution on both tropical trees and important crop species while providing the data needed to model the impact of future changes on tropical systems.