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National Science Week to highlight plastic problem on Australian islands

Launceston residents are invited to hear tomorrow evening how single-use disposable plastic items are accumulating on remote Australian islands, as part of a special National Science Week event at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) researcher Dr Jennifer Lavers will speak about the environmental challenge posed by marine plastic debris at 7.15pm (Friday, 16 August).

Dr Lavers, pictured, has made global news in recent years through her research on the impact of plastic on remote Henderson Island in the South Pacific and Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands, as well as on seabirds that ingest plastic.

Dr Lavers said it was important that the community is able to hear about problems such as those caused by plastic pollution.

“The research being done in Tasmania can contribute to long-term solutions for plastic pollution and, in my case, that means keeping seabirds and our coasts healthy,” Dr Lavers said.

“National Science Week gives us the opportunity to chat with the public about what the research tells us and to answer questions they might have.

“Our work is communicated well with peers in the academic community, in schools and the media, but it’s not often we can sit down with non-scientists and chat with them about our work.”

Before Dr Lavers, Brittany Trubody, organiser of TastroFest, will discuss the connections between asteroids and the end of the dinosaurs (6.30 -7 pm).  

A new collaboration between QVMAG Friends and IMAS, the event includes a lively public discussion, ‘Space vs species: The good, the bad, the ugly’ (8.15 pm).

The event is part of QVMAG’s National Science Week program, Science Open Season.

When: 6.30 pm – 9 pm, Friday, 16 August 2019.

Where: Theatre Annexe, UTAS/QVMAG, 2-4 Invermay Road, Launceston.

More information:

For event details and program guide visit

Published on: 15 Aug 2019 9:54am