Science Indigenous Seminar Series

Science Indigenous Seminar Series is an initiative to raise awareness of the indigenous culture and foster dialogue between staff, students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the Faculty of Science. Supported by Associate Professor Jaime Gongora, the Associate Dean of Indigenous Strategy and Services, the seminars are presented by prominent speakers who are recognised in different areas of science. Learn more about our past seminars here.

Past seminars


From glaciations to traditional indigenous practices – large-fruited species as indicators of change

Using genetic, environmental and ecological data from large-fruited rainforest trees to investigate the impact of climatic shifts on rainforest distribution, develop management strategies that consider megafauna extinction, explore the deliberate impact of indigenous people on plant distributions and aim to trace ancient trade route.

Presented by Dr Maurizio Rossetto, Senior Principal Research Scientist and Manager, Evolutionary Ecology at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Honorary Professor of the University of Queensland.

Promoting Gender Equity and Aboriginal Participation in STEM

Gender disparity in Mathematics and in STEM subjects and professions, in general, is evident across Australia. Data shows that low participation of girls in advanced mathematics courses plays a large role in the lack of female participation in STEM professions including Maths teaching. Mrs Stewart discusses where gender disparity comes from and shares the strategies she uses to help promote girls in mathematics and STEM.

Presented by Mrs Ashley Stewart, Head of Mathematics, Newton Moore Senior High School.

The Astronomy and Navigation of Australia's Aboriginal people

Aboriginal people in Australia have a rich astronomical tradition such as the "Emu in the Sky" constellation of dark clouds, and stories about the Sun, Moon, and stars, revealing a depth and complexity of pre-contact Aboriginal cultures which are not widely appreciated by outsiders. Not only did they know the sky intimately, but they were familiar with planetary motions, tides, and eclipses. Their songs and stories show that Aboriginal Australians sought to understand their Universe in a similar way to modern science. They used this knowledge of the sky to construct calendars, song lines, and other navigational tools, enabling them to navigate across the country, trading artefacts and sacred stories.

Preented by Professor Ray Norris, an astrophysicist at CSIRO and Western Sydney University, also known as a popular science speaker.