CIE Seminar Series 2015 – A look at ice nucleation in nature – from Antarctic fishes to mountain grasshoppers, from oil pipelines to nacreous clouds

SPeter WilsonPEAKER: Professor Peter Wilson, Associate Dean (Internationalisation), Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania
DATE: Friday, 1st May 2015
LOCATION: Warrnambool Campus, Room C1.13
TIME: 12:00 noon
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka5.303 & Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Room T3.05

ABSTRACT: I will discuss the process of water cooling, supercooling, nucleating and finally forming ice and give an overview of what is known as the supercooling point (SCP). The stochastic nature of nucleation makes measurement of the SCP difficult unless carried out many times on the same sample.

I will also look a little at some organisms which utilise supercooling and some which don’t and how it may be either enhanced or avoided. Polar fishes have small ice crystals inside them – are they freeze tolerant or freeze avoiding? Mountain wetas are the largest freeze tolerant insect known and induce nucleation.

Finally, I will discuss briefly ice nucleation in the related topics of gas hydrates and atmospheric chemistry.

BIO: Professor Peter Wilson has been involved in the study of ice nucleation for 30 years. He has fished in Antarctica studying antifreeze proteins which hinder nucleation, gathered mountain wetas which tolerate freezing and formed a company manufacturing lag time apparatus in order to measure the nucleation temperature.

Peter worked at the University of Tsukuba in Japan 2010 – 2014 and in early 2014 he joined UTAS as Associate Dean (International) within the Faculty of Health.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Alecia Bellgrove