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The AGM will be on 29th March at 7.30 pm in the hel Hao room in the Halswell Library. Getting a nice room for a discussion on the future of the branch closer to our usual venue hasnít been easy so we hope that those of you a bit further away will still make it.
Geoscience Society of New Zealand Hochstetter Lecture Tour 2017
UC theatre A4, Tuesday 4th April 6.30 Ė 8pm.
Tectonics and genetics in topographic evolution
Geology Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
The landscape of New Zealand is spectacular in its expression of the active tectonic processes that occur along the Pacific-Australian plate boundary. However, it is difficult to determine the geological history of development of the onshore topography because previous configurations in the evolution of that topography have been eroded. Some of the native fauna carry a biological memory of the topographic environments in which they evolved, in their genetic makeup (DNA). Native freshwater fish are the most useful for this type of study. In particular, the genus Galaxias has numerous freshwater-limited species and populations that have been isolated by changes in the river drainage pattern. The South Island vividly displays the resultant biological diversity and co-evolution of topography and fish. The genetic variations of the fish can be used to document the nature and timing of river capture events and mountain range growth, especially since the Plio-Pleistocene but with some extensions into the Miocene. Hence, these biological tools provide some new insights into the development of the onshore landscape since the submergence or near-submergence of the NZ landmass in the Oligocene. The biological memory approach to understanding topographic evolution could be extended to all endemic NZ fauna and flora for which suitable distribution and genetic data are available
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