Good news for koalas in the Blue Mountains

Science at the Local returns to Springwood Sports Club with two free science talks on Sunday, May 19 from 2.30pm.

Dr Kellie Leigh from the conservation not-for-profit Science for Wildlife will be giving a talk, "Koalas in the Blue Mountains: a Good News Story".

Also speaking will be Professor Gavin Brennen from Macquarie University, on the topic, "Not your mum's gravity - from string theory to loop quantum gravity."

Dr Leigh, who spent a decade working on conservation in Zambia, has research expertise in conservation biology, genetics and behavioural ecology. She has also done innovative work training and evaluating wildlife detection dogs and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Dr Leigh and the team at Science for Wildlife started the Blue Mountains Koala Project in the wake of the devastating 2013 bushfires. It combines citizen science and ecological research to understand the local distribution of koalas in the region.

"It's fantastic to have someone speaking about research happening right here in the Mountains," said Science at the Local co-founder Hamish Clarke. "We should have a great turn out for this event."

Professor Brennen trained in Alaska and New Mexico in the United States and is now part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Brennen abides by the maxim that "nature is a wondrous place and an unfinished product". His main interests are how to use the physical laws we know, particularly quantum mechanics, to probe nature in ever more exquisite detail.

"We're also looking forward to our first event in Lithgow on June 30," said Science at the Local's other co-founder Kevin Joseph. "As usual all are welcome and the event is free - stay tuned for the lineup announcement"

Other 2019 events will be on July 28, September 15 and November 24, all at Springwood Sports Club from 2.30pm. Topics include tree mortality, fossils from the red centre and the Yarramundi forensic science facility.

To get involved, go to www.facebook.com/ScienceAtTheLocal. The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.