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Coming Up...


Jack O'Connor


"The temnospondyl trials: reconstructing and animating a giant Australian Jurassic amphibian"


7:30 pm, Thursday 5th October 2023

The Elgin Inn, Hawthorn

What species would live in Australia's 'Jurassic Park'? There are very few Jurassic vertebrate species known from Australia - with one of the only exceptions being the giant temnospondyl amphibian Siderops kehli ('Kehl's iron face'). This 3 metre long predator stalked the rivers of Queensland approximately 176 million years ago - and this species has never been fully reconstructed... until now! Come along on a journey as Jack O'Connor reveals their process for reconstructing the 3D skeleton, appearance, and walking animations of this incredible species.

Jack O'Connor (they/he) is a vertebrate palaeontology PhD student in the Evans evolutionary morphology lab at Monash University. With experience in Science Communication, conservation biology and PowerPoint Art, Jack has now leapt into the challenge of combining Australia's ancient fossils with new technologies through pioneering methods of 3D sculpting, reconstruction and animation. Find Jack on Instagram @jackocdesign

Join us upstairs at The Elgin from 6:30 for dinner and/or drinks (available for purchase). Talk starts at 7:30. 


This seminar will introduce the new Frogs of Victoria book, look at the ‘golden era’ of research on Vic frogs, delve into the features of the book, and examine the reasons that half of the State’s frog fauna is listed as threatened, and what must be done to arrest declines.

Nick Clemann began working at the Victorian government’s Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) late last century; over 25 years at the ARI Nick led programs on threatened species across SE Australia. He worked on international scientific expeditions in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Argentina. Nick’s extensive publication record includes papers from these expeditions, as well as conservation of lizards, snakes and – of course – frogs. Nick reviews reptile and frog submissions for the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, and serves on the Threatened Fauna Translocation Evaluation Panel. He has chaired several National Recovery Teams for threatened frogs, and holds an honorary position with Museums Victoria. Nick currently works for Zoos Victoria where he leads the Fighting Extinction programs on a snake, several lizards, and the Southern Giant Burrowing Frog.

Jeff Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Environmental Science within the School of Sciences at RMIT University. In recent years he has coupled his expertise in the physical sciences with a passion for frogs, recently having supervised PhD graduate Brendan Casey who undertook much of the work being presented.

The Giant Burrowing Frog (Heleioporus australiacus) is one of Victoria’s largest frogs but also one of the rarest. There have been only sporadic reports of the GBF in recent years. Records of this species in Victoria are confined to Gippsland east of Walhalla.

The scarcity of reports and cryptic habits of this species made it a good candidate to use bioacoustic monitoring to search for. In this presentation we will look at what is known about the GBF and the methods we used. The GBF, and also the Southern Toadlet, have played recent roles in influencing plans for new mining operations in Gippsland.

Listen to the Giant Burrowing Frog here:

Frogs Vic is currently seeking technological support - to assist with sound and video at events. Please e-mail if you might be interested in helping.

Dr Tiffany Kosch is a research fellow in One Health Research Group

at the University of Melbourne, where she studies genetic intervention approaches

for increasing chytridiomycosis resistance in frogs.

Tiffany will talk about her research to understand the genetic basis of

immunity to chytridiomycosis in Australian frogs and how this information

can be used to restore threatened species to the wild.

​Frogs Vic is currently seeking technological support - to assist with sound and video at events. Please e-mail if you might be interested in helping.

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