Nerd Nite #6

Haven’t been to Nerd Nite before? Welcome. It’s easy. Fun, games, three interesting talks, and of course, beer (or wine or whatever, it’s a bar, they have you covered). You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll leave.

When: Thursday, 28 April 2016 (7:30pm for 8pm)
Where: The Union Club (122 Baylis Street, Wagga)
$10 in advance, includes a free drink
$10 at the door (no free drink)
*18+ event, no minors

Tickets available here.

Plant vs. Pathogen: Arms Race
Audrey Leo

In the microscopic world, there lies a battle of unforeseen good and evil, where both sides have a sole purpose to survive. In order to attain a reasonable yield, crop need to be able to live disease free, or be strong enough to fight infection. So how do plants evade pathogen invasion? If they are successful in evading infection, how do the pathogens evolve to keep their existence? And how fast do they evolve? The arms race between plant and pathogen is always a dynamic one. With molecular biology tools, one might be able to explore how they keep up with each other and how information on a molecular level can be applied to achieve better disease management strategies in the world of agriculture.

BIO: Audrey is a metropolitan girl who stumbled upon a job in Wagga town after she finished her PhD at the University of Melbourne. She is now employed at the Department of Primary industries as a plant pathologist after spending her life learning about microbiology and molecular biology. By seeing the beauty of how such a minute amount of genetic material can do so much to the tiniest creatures on earth, her once hated undergraduate subjects have become her passion. Audrey’s current research involves cracking the code of how microorganisms have the ability to infect and cause devastating effects on agricultural produce.

Just Step Sideways: Post-Punk 1978-1984
Liege Jansen

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” – Johnny Rotten San Francisco 1978

Punk began as a violent and obnoxious reaction to Maggie Thatcher’s England & the bloated stadium rock of Leonard Skynyrd’s free birdin’ and went out with a whimper when it should have gone kicking and screaming. Punk rock as it was in the late 70s began with so much hope but degenerated into a packaged, made-to-order parody of itself; along came Mark E Smith, Siouxsie Sioux and Mark Stewart to take up the mantle. An oft-overlooked and sometimes maligned chapter of music history, the brief period between 1978 & 1984 saw a prolific, creative explosion in musical experimentation and themes that would shape the face of modern music and play as a running commentary to the political & social turbulence of the time. Familiar names like The Talking Heads, Devo and The B-52s shared the (sometimes not so bright ) limelight with such seminal acts as Gang Of Four, Public Image Ltd. and Wire. With the aid of vinyl and video the presentation will shed light on these fantastic bands and characters and illustrate how important this period truly was.

BIO: After DJing in several of Australia’s divey-est dive bars and managing a handful of hip cosmopolitan drinking establishments, Liege moved to Wagga from the big smoke ( Melbourne ). Armed with a Cert 2 in electro technology he attempted to dazzle the trade word with his electrical prowess and general handiness. Unfortunately for him  ( or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it ) the work  dried up. ..Or maybe he was just over the hill? He now spends most of his time in lycra and fixes punctured bike tubes at Morgan Street Cycles.

Can I thank the hole in the ozone for my fruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?
Zelmari Coetzee

Drop by the BWS and pick up a few 2-for-1 Sauvignon Blanc from Australia and New-Zealand. They’ll taste incredibly different. Why? While the French probably don’t need any encouragement on the quality of their produce, they may be on to something with their concept of “terroir.” How else could you explain the differences in the character of wines from the same varieties produced in different parts of the world? Terroir is loosely defined as the ability to associate a product to an origin according to its characteristics, e.g. the really tropical fruity Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand. There is a complex set of ecological interactions—which can be altered through human manipulation and decisions—that play a role in what ends up in your wine glass. In this talk we’ll look at a few of the interesting interactions that can alter the way that wine tastes in its finished form, including that pesky global warming.

BIO: Having been raised and schooled in a city in the north of South Africa, Zelmari decided to study the last job described in the career guide and headed south to the beautiful Cape winelands region to get an undergrad degree in Viticulture and Oenology. During her compulsory internship in a winery, it became readily apparent that her heart lies in the vineyard; withstanding several attempts by the winemaker to shift her into winemaking. After first heading west to work on the cruise liners to pay back a study loan, she returned to South Africa to specialise in viticulture in two postgraduate degrees whilst doing research at Stellenbosch University. Realising that all opportunities to be an eternal student has been depleted in South Africa, she finally headed east to Wagga to pursue a PhD in Viticulture.

Comments are closed.