CIE Seminar Series – 2019: Life in Glass Houses – Marine and freshwater travels with silica

SPEAKER: Associate Professor Erica Young, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

DATE: Friday, 24th May 2019

TIME: 1:30pm

LOCATION: Warrnambool Campus, Room G1.01 (Percy Baxter LT)

Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207 and Melbourne Campus at Burwood –Burwood Corporate Centre

External visitors – wish to join us and connect to our seminars?
External parties may connect to the live seminar via *N SEBE VMP LES Seminars [ID.36958] via the methods listed below:

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As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone – thank you!


This talk will present an overview of Si biogeochemistry in aquatic ecosystems. The availability of silica can help structure aquatic phytoplankton communities with Si-requiring diatoms being an abundant and important group supporting food webs in marine and freshwater communities. Lake Michigan is a large freshwater lake within the Great Lakes which is showing long term increases in Si over the last decade. This cannot be explained in terms of changes to inputs, or changing Si demand by diatoms.

This talk with present some of our research to better understand Si cycling in the Lake, and to define the ‘players’ in freshwater Si cycles. Comparisons will be made with recent work on Si incorporation and labelling in marine macroalgae and phytoplankton species in Tasmania.


Erica completed a BS with first class honors in Botany at University of Western Australia before heading to Sweden to work with symbiotic cyanobacteria. She returned to Monash University for a PhD in microalgal physiology of photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism. After a post-doc in Ireland working on large kelps, she moved to University of Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Her current research spans microbial biodiversity and community analysis, nutrient transformations by key enzyme activities in algal and microbial communities, to biogeochemical cycling of macronutrients in lakes, ponds and coastal oceans. Recent work on silica cycling has brought her to Hobart for a sabbatical at Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at University of Tasmania.

Appointments with speaker may be made via Aleica Bellgrove (

For more info:

Knock back a Pint of Science this May!

Melburnians will have the opportunity to listen to cutting edge science as Pint of Science comes to pubs around the country from May 20 to 22.

Pint of Science is a festival that invites some of our intriguing minds to come and talk about their research with an audience curious about the world. The nights provide a unique insight into research happening right in our backyard!

In Melbourne, 8 venues are opening their doors for a fun night of science! With events happening at The Newmarket (St Kilda), The Exchange (Port Melbourne), The Provincial (Fitzroy), The Spotted Mallard (Brunswick), the Richmond Bowling Club (Richmond), the Royal Melbourne Hotel (CBD), the Carlton United Brewhouse (Abbotsford), Welcome to Thornbury (Northcote), there is sure to be one near you.

63 speakers will be presenting their talks on all things science ranging from social sciences, neuroscience, astrophysics, to ecology.

Glasses will be raised in a record number of 19 cities this year, and Directors Jirana Boontanjai and Dr. Tom Carruthers are excited for this chance to celebrate the science and innovation that drives our nation.

“Pint of Science is all about having researchers connect with their local community in a familiar, relaxed setting – the pub. We strongly promote diversity in our festival, and are proud to feature speakers from a range of disciplines, career stages and genders”, Boontanjai says.

The festival is entirely volunteer-powered, running in multiple venues in each city. Each night will focus on a theme, ranging from the Beautiful Mind, Atoms To Galaxies, Our Body, Planet Earth, Tech Me Out, and Our Society.

Pint of Science began in the United Kingdom in 2013 and has grown to 24 countries this year. It is a unique event where we can find out how the science of today is affecting lives tomorrow.

Tickets are $6.

For full program details and ticket sales: