Unlocked: Stories from our Scientists
The South Australian Museum is a major centre of exciting scientific discovery. Our institution plays an important global role as our scientists work to understand and conserve Australia's natural and cultural heritage for current and future generations.
Researchers embark on amazing adventures across the world to discover and describe new species of fauna and their relationship with the environment, provide valuable advice to policymakers, lawyers and corporations, and act as custodians of the Museum's extensive national collections. Our scientists are world leaders in fields such as palaeontology, evolutionary biology, terrestrial invertebrates and mineralogy.
Each week, Unlocked brings you the hidden gems from the South Australian Museum. Be inspired as you unearth the secrets of science.
10 May 2013
The South Australian Museum is conducting exciting research into Aboriginal archaeological and burial sites on the State's Yorke Peninsula, which will tell us more about the diet and culture of people from up to 2000 years ago.
South Australian Museum Archaeologist Dr Keryn Walshe is researching archaeology and human remains from the Narungga community, which were originally handed in to the Museum by local residents, farmers and holidaymakers up to a century ago.
"We thought it would be a really good opportunity to return to the collections in the Museum - the skeletal material from the burials and the archaeology. Some of the archaeology material is 8000 years old and that made it so much more interesting because we could really begin to understand how people were living 8000 years ago on Yorke Peninsula."
- Created: 10 May 2013
2 May 2013
"For about two million years all humans had were stone tools, but the technological change is accelerating – every generation has undergone more change than the last. Every technological invention facilitates a whole new set of possibilities, so the pace of human technological change is just going to get faster and faster."
Human evolution in the digital age is a hot topic in scientific and social debates. This weekend, South Australian Museum Evolutionary Biologist Dr Mike Lee will present his ideas on how fast we adapt physically and mentally to our gadget-filled environment. This fascinating talk is part of TEDxAdelaide on Saturday 4 May titled Technological change and alien encounters: lessons from the fossil record.
Dr Lee will use evidence from the fossil record and important evolutionary events such as the Cambrian Explosion and dinosaur extinctions, to suggest interesting ideas on the future of human evolution, as well as evolution on alien worlds.
- Created: 01 May 2013
25 April 2013
Senior geologists from every Australian state have toured the famous Ediacaran fossil sites in the Flinders Ranges, on a visit led by the South Australian Museum's Palaeontologist Prof Jim Gehling.
The fossils of the oldest known marine animal communities from more than 550 million years ago are preserved in rocks from South Australia's Flinders Ranges, and especially in places like Brachina Gorge and Nilpena.
Australia's chief geologists from the Federal Government's Geoscience Australia, the State Geological Survey, oversee geological information that is vital for Australia's future. They work with industry towards "the responsible development of the nation's resources, including management of the environment; cleaner and low emissions energy technology, marine planning and protection and community safety".
- Created: 25 April 2013