Public Forum in conjunction with OzBio2010
WEDNESDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
This public forum does
not require registration and is free of charge.
BIOSCIENCES AND GLOBAL
WARMING – OPTIONS FOR LOW CO2 ENERGY PRODUCTION
Sponsored by ANZAAS, La
Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, Bio21 University of Melbourne and The
Location: Plenary Hall
2, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Three panel members will each give a 10-15 minute talk, and the rest of the
time will be questions and answers, and general discussion.
Williams (host of the ABC's Science Show since 1975)
Speaker / Panel Member
Dr Deborah O’Connell,
Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO, Canberra
Dr O'Connell currently
leads a major interdisciplinary team of 20 scientists on a project entitled
Sustainable Biomass Production for Biofuels and Bioenergy in Australia: Can
biomass provide low emission fuel and energy without compromising food, water
and biosecurity? She has specialised in the emerging area of 'integration' science
and systems analysis to provide insight into complex issues. This requires
integrating multiple disciplines, being able to elicit complex research
questions and provide tractable research approaches that draw on different
forms of knowledge and skills. Since 2005 Dr O'Connell has led the CSIRO team
that produced a series of industry reports including the high profile report
Biofuels in Australia – an overview of issues and prospects. These reports have
set the agenda for biofuels and bioenergy research in Australia.
Speaker / Panel Member 2
A/Prof Kirsten Heimann, James Cook University, QLD., Australia
biodiesel and CO2 removal"
Kirsten Heimann is the
director of the North Queensland Algal Identification/Culturing Facility within
the School of Marine and Tropcial Biology at James Cook University and leads a microalgal research team focusing on ecotoxicology and the
development of microalgae for the commercial production of fertilizers, animal
feeds, neutraceuticals, and biofuels. She has published extensively in diverse
research areas in high ranking journals including Nature, Molecular Biology of
the Cell, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. Kirsten’s research and teaching
has won several awards, the most recent the Queensland Smart Women – Smart
State Award for Research Excellence in 2008.
Speaker / Panel Member 3
Professor Lucas van
Zwieten, Department of Primary Industry, NSW
"Biochar for energy
production and carbon sequestration"
Lucas van Zwieten (PhD)
is a Principal Research Scientist with NSW Department of Primary Industries and
Energy, and adjunct Professor at the National Centre for Rural Greenhouse Gas
Research, University of New England. Research on biochar is internationally
acclaimed through the 2007 United Nations association of Australia World
Environment Day Award “Meeting the Greenhouse Challenge”. Work has been shown
on ABCs Catalyst program (2007), a CNN “special report” in 2008, BBCs ecopolis
in 2009 and ABCs Landline in 2009. Findings from his research have been
published in the “Financial Review,” “Sydney Morning Herald” and “the Age”
business sections. He is currently supervising 3 PhD students and manages over
200 field plots testing biochar in Australia, and is a project collaborator on
the National DAFF biochar project administered by the CSIRO. Lucas also works
on risk assessment and remediation of chemicals in the environment.
OzBio 2010 Media Release 20
Free public forum on bioscience advances to help
address the challenge of global warming
Scientists around the world are increasingly searching for
new ways in which the natural environment can be harnessed to produce
alternative fuels and reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
Australian researchers are at the forefront of this
pioneering work to generate new, environmentally friendly forms of energy,
sustain crops to help provide food security, and restrict factors contributing
to global warming.
These exciting scientific advances will be showcased at a
free public forum in Melbourne on Wednesday 29 September 2010.
and Global Warming – Options for Low CO2 Energy Production, the forum will
be held from 6.30pm to 8.00pm at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition
It will be a public extension of the international OzBio 2010 conference running in
Melbourne from 26 September to 1 October.
OzBio 2010 will bring almost
2,000 scientists from around the world to Melbourne to address latest advances
in understanding the molecular and genetic causes of
human diseases and potential new treatments, and the booming field of plant
2010 is a combination of the conferences of the
International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Federation of
Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists, and ComBio –
Australasia’s premier broad-based biological sciences meeting.
Professor Nick Hoogenraad, Head of the School of
Molecular Sciences at Melbourne’s LaTrobe University, said the free public
forum was designed to engage the broader community in some of the most exciting
areas of biological research.
He said biological science had been
revolutionised by the sequencing of the human genome, and advances in
understanding of the genetic make-up of other microbes, animals and plants.
“This is providing unprecedented insights into
basic biological functions which, in turn, are helping us to understand more
about human illnesses. Similarly, these technologies are helping us to
understand more about plant growth and the impact of various plants on human
health and the environment.”
The public forum will particularly focus on
latest research on the production of biofuels from plants and algae.
Dr Deborah O’Connell, Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO, will talk about
obtaining energy from biomass, and whether biomass can provide low emission
fuel and energy without compromising food, water and biosecurity.
Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann, Director of
the North Queensland Algal Identification and Culturing Facility, will outline advances in micro algal research to produce fertilizers, animal food
Professor Lukas van Zwieten, Principal Research
Scientist with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Energy, will
explain early outcomes from a project to produce biochar, a charcoal-like
product that is added to the soil to improve fertility and increase carbon
The free forum, moderated by science journalist
and broadcaster, Robyn Williams, will provide time for questions from members
of the public.
For more information, go to www.asbmb.org.au/ozbio2010/
Professor Nick Hoogenraad can be contacted on
(03) 9479 2196 or 0418 324753