Local stars to shine at next Science at the Local

Science at the Local returns to Springwood Sports Club with free science talks being delivered by two locals on Sunday, July 28 from 2.30pm.

Professor Belinda Medlyn, who commutes to Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Insitute for the Environment from her Lower Mountains home, will be giving a talk on "Tree mortality, drought and climate change".

Also speaking will be Lower Mountains local Dr Patrick Smith, who now works at the Australian Museum, on the topic "Australia's ancient giants: fossils from the red centre".

"We've been lucky to have a few locals give talks at our events over the years but never two on the same day," said co-organiser Kevin Joseph.

Professor Medlyn has published more than 100 research articles on the effects of global change on forests, and is one of the world's most-highly cited scientists. She recently launched the "Dead Tree Detective" to track tree death in Australia.

"Australian forests and woodlands are well-adapted to heat and drought," said Professor Medlyn, "but just how much can they cope with? I'll talk about the impact of more (and more extreme) extremes as the climate starts to change, and whether rising CO2 is a help or a hindrance."

Former Springwood High School student Dr Smith completed both an Honours degree and PhD in Palaeontology at Macquarie University and has most recently taken up the role as a Palaeontology Technical Officer at the Australian Museum in Sydney (Australia's oldest Museum). Dr Smith is a strong advocate for palaeontological research and museum exhibitions, and has appeared on the ABC, BBC Worldwide and American ABC.

"It's a busy time for Science at the Local," said co-organiser Hamish Clarke. "We've got this great event on July 28, then the following Sunday we're crossing the road to the Hub for the launch of National Science Week in NSW.

"Tickets are free but are booking out fast, so make sure you head to the Blue Mountains Theatre website and grab yours now."

Other 2019 events will be on September 15 and November 24 at Springwood Sports Club, and November 3 at Lithgow Workies, all from 2.30pm and all free.

To get involved, go to www.facebook.com/ScienceAtTheLocal.

The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.