Sprigg lecture series

Dr Reg Sprigg AO sm

Dr Reg Sprigg AO                                                      

The Sprigg lecture series provides visitors with access to the latest research and thinking around scientific and cultural discoveries at a local and global level and to engage with scientific ideas that affect them and their world, now and in the future.

These free lectures commemorate the life of Dr Reg Sprigg AO, a remarkable South Australian geologist who discovered the world’s oldest fossilised animals in the Flinders Ranges in 1946, now internationally recognised as the Ediacara fossils.


John Tibby


Sprigg lecture series: Prof. John Tibby - Mega-droughts and flooding rains

Tuesday 5th June, 6pm – 7pm (the Museum will open to guests at 5:30pm, with a complimentary glass of wine available prior to the talk)

Book here.


Mega-droughts can last two or more decades, and have been responsible for the demise of at least five major civilisations in the past 1500 years. Extreme events such as prolonged droughts or massive floods are occuring ever more frequently, and predictions indicate that there's more to come. Can these events occur naturally, or are they always human-made? Can we reconstruct and learn from previous climates?

In this special Sprigg lecture for World Environment Day, Professor John Tibby will focus on evidence for hydroclimate variation in the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age, a period with similar climate conditions to the present. He uses evidence from indicators preserved in fossil leaves, pollen and algae, to infer the past hydroclimate. These sediments reveal evidence for substantially more extreme climate events including mega-droughts longer than any in the historical record.

Professor John Tibby currently lectures at the University of Adelaide, and has previously lectured at Loughborough University and University College London. He has been a research associate at Monash University studying the environmental history of the Maritime Continent. His work with the University of Adelaide focuses on the sources and effect of nutrient pollution in the upper Torrens River Catchment.


Suitable for ages 12+

There is no need to print a physical ticket. Museum staff will check off your name at the door.

As places are strictly limited please cancel your Eventbrite booking if you are unable to attend so we can secure a place for others.

For booking enquiries, please call 8207 7575 or email programs@samuseum.sa.gov.au.


 Previous Sprigg lectures

Dr. Phil Weinstein, Biodiversity and human health, November 2017.

Dr. Liz Reed, Naracoorte’s fossil caves: extraordinary windows into Australia’s recent past, August 2017

Dr. Peter Veth, Kimberley Visions: rock art dynamics of northern AustraliaMay 2017

Aaron Corn, The Didjeridu: an Australian icon, March 2017

Professor Rachael Popelka-Filcoff, Spectroscopic Views into the Past,: Characterisation of Aboriginal Australian Pigments at the South Australian MuseumApril 2016