Sunday, 30 June 2013

Mentor of the Month: Dr Tony Worby, Deputy Chief CSIRO

Welcome to our first Mentor of the Month post.  For the inaugural post we feature Dr Tony Worby, Deputy Chief CSIRO.

Dr Tony Worby, Deputy Chief CSIRO

1. What was your PhD thesis?
The thickness distribution of Antarctic sea ice, University of Tasmania (1989)

2. In a standard day, how do you earn your keep?
I manage CSIRO’s marine research across our three sites in Hobart, Perth and Brisbane and have overall responsibility for managing the marine research ‘capability’ in our Division. This includes our long-term planning and setting strategic research directions.

3. When or why did you decide to follow a career in your field of interest?
I enjoy managing people and programs, hence my move towards a career in science management.

4. Name someone (or multiple people) who has had a great positive impact on your career development, and what did you learn from them?

My Hons and PhD supervisor, Ian Allison. He gave me quite a lot of responsibility, coupled with appropriate support, early in my career, which is something I also try and do with early career scientists and junior staff. Also, a colleague Willy Weeks, who is the grandfather of sea ice research in North America. As a young scientist, very early in my career, he treated me as an ‘equal’ (even though we were at opposite ends of our careers) and I learnt a great lesson about being egalitarian and open to

5. What’s one of the most memorable experiences working with Antarctica?
There are too many to choose from.....working on the ice at sunset when the red and pink colours are reflected from horizon to horizon....having an orca swim directly under the ice floe I was standing on....flying around icebergs in helicopters....great camaraderie among fellow sea ice enthusiasts.

6. What do you think are the key issues/challenges of Antarctic science today?

The cost of research. Antarctic research is almost exclusively Government funded, and Governments of all persuasions are increasingly looking for a return on their investment. The cost of logistics and maintaining stations in Antarctica is becoming more closely scrutinised at a time when some of the most interesting research to answer big questions requires additional investment

7. Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower, and which do you think is more important in science today?

I consider myself a leader in the sense that I am involved in setting the broad strategic directions of our research and manage/lead a large organisation. People will be leaders or followers at different stages of their career. I believe many important leadership roles are informal.

8. As a manager, do you implode or explode in the face of adversity? Provide an example.

I have a policy of not losing my cool – at least not publicly. Nothing is to be gained by having a hissy fit. Some of the best advice I ever received is that we all have a choice about how we respond to any given situation. Saying “you made me do that” is a total cop out.

Leadership in Science workshop and panel discussion Twitter wrap

Here's how our Leadership in Science workshop and panel discussion unfolded at the Strategic Science in Antarctica conference on Friday, June 28th.

Workshop on Leadership in Science for Early Career Scientists about to begin! #antsci13.”
APECS Oceania would like to thank the panelists and @AntarcticScienc for helping us put this workshop together. Great turnout! #antsci13
Molly kicking us off with a presentation about the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (Oceania) #antsci

@Polar_Research (APECS) and @APECSOceania is about supporting postgrads, undergrads and those new to the workforce. #antsci13
What is leadership? @APECSOceania's Sarah Ugalde presenting on what leadership can mean to early career scientists. #antsci13

Interested in becoming a member of @APECSOceania or becoming a mentor? Join up @ …. #antsci13 #antarctic #science
Comforted to know that our polar early career scientists are democratic-type leaders #leadership #antsci13
Your career is more than just good science. Lack of leadership training during uni and early career phase highlighted #antarctica #antsci13
Opportunities are available for those early-career/student scientists. e.g. Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Award & Tall Poppy Awards #antsci13
Polar early career scientists & students need to be proactive in seeking out opportunities for leadership skill development #antsci13
@APECSOceania would like to also thank @IMAS_UTAS and the @TasPostgrads for their support in running this #Antsci13 workshop!”
Polar survival challenge activity: how will our early career scientists tackle a survival scenario? #antsci13

Early career leadership skills: create a clear vision; build networks; know strengths & weaknesses; identify morals; education #antsci13
Our panelists are arriving - looking forward to a vibrant discussion on leadership in polar science. #antsci13 #leadership #antarctica
We're off! Panel discussion has begun. Fabulous discussion ensuing between experienced scientists and early career scientists. #antsci13
Leadership: hard work, emotional intelligence, opportunity, mobility and enthusiasm are the cornerstones. #antsci13
The differences in the way men and women have approached their careers and their science, are changing. #antsci13
Marine and antarctic science environment is proving to be a supportive environment for women. #antsci13
Our panellists: wonderful and diverse discussion on career progression and experience. APECS thanks you! #antsci13"

Gaining experience: from a hiring perspective, volunteering and demonstrating keen-ness goes a long way. #antsci13
You will not get a job on your scientific qualifications alone, but on that extra thing you give to employer #earlycareerscience #antsci13
Do you need a PhD to get somewhere in the science community? Not necessarily. Interesting response from panellists. #antsci13
Quiet achiever in a large institution is often the most sought after. #earlycareerscience #antsci13
Publish or perish for career progression? #earlycareerscientists #antsci13

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tweets from day 3 of Strategic Science in Antarctica

@APECSOceania was a little quiet on the Twittersphere for day 3. We are following a number of organizations involved with the conference, so if you're looking for a summary of topics covered then this blog entry is for you.  Today was the last day of the conference but the workshops are still to come over Thursday and Friday.  Here's a selection of tweets from today (older to newer):

11h Lyndal Byford opens day 3 at @utas_ with a keynote on working with changing media (@AntarcticScienc)

11h We need experts for a 3rd voice in media so those gaps aren’t filled by misinformation. (@AntarcticScienc)

11h Facebook has taken over Google in sending people to news stories online. (@AntarcticScienc)

11h A good quality picture to accompany a story is essential in this era of media (@AntarcticaNZ)

10h How to present your story without dumbing the message down - make it real (@AntarcticaNZ)

10h We need a more diverse range of scientists to comment on climate in the media. (@AntarcticScienc)

10h Megan Balks from University of Walkato discusses changes in the terrestrial environment. (@AntarcticScienc)

10h Data gets more valuable as records get longer. (@AntarcticScienc)

10h Matt King of presenting on past, present and future of ice mass changes. (@AntarcticScienc)

10 h Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), the weight of on causing deformation of the landmass (@IMAS_UTAS)

10h Models of melting from increased CO2 (@IMAS_UTAS)

9h Don't forget to join us tonight at Metz @7:30 (Sandy Bay) for Drinks.

9h What is NZARI? Launched last yr to bring scientific community together by (@AntarcticaNZ)

9h The Deep South - NZ's Antarctic, Southern Ocean & SubAntarctic Challenge - collaborative effort (@AntarcticaNZ)

9h moving NZ research towards more international and achieving scientific outcomes (@IMAS_UTAS)

9h delivers NZ Antarctic Programme and supports NZARI to deliver peer reviewed science strategy (@AntarcticaNZ)

9h Funding -> science -> data -> communication -> politics & policy -> real change to benefit humanity. (@AntarcticScienc)

9h Aleks Terauds of now discusses biodiversity conservation in Antarctica. (@AntarcticScienc)

8h Sort spacial data to inform policy on biodiversity. (@AntarcticScienc)

8h Dr Mike Williams of NIWA speaking on outflowing waters from Mertz Polynya Region. Dramatic changes discovered (@AntarcticScienc)

8h Colin Southwell of discussing seabird ecology in East Antarctica. (@AntarcticScienc)

8h Seabirds used as indicator species in fisheries (@AntarcticaNZ)

8h Development of camera rigs to standardize the data so counts could be compared accurately now & in future (@AntarcticaNZ)

8h Solar powered time lapse rigs have been used successfully (@AntarcticaNZ)

8h Camera counts allow us to measure key times in colony - arrival, nesting, hatching, creching etc (@AntarcticaNZ)

8h Graham Hosie from now speaking. (@AntarcticScienc)

8h Size of planktonic species increase as you move from tropical to temperate to Antarctic polar zones (@AntarcticaNZ)

7h A wide variety of info is required for managing the risk of alien species invasion in (@IMAS_UTAS)

7h Stephen Rintoul discusses changes in Antarctic Bottom Water in an overflowing theatre (@AntarcticScienc)

7h Declining bed health at Casey station, a bit of (@IMAS_UTAS)

7h Big gap in knowledge about flora and fauna, redlist status unknown for many species. Many gaps to fill! (@IMAS_UTAS)

6h Totten Glacier, a single volume of ice greater than the whole west antarctic ice sheet, alone could allow for 7m sea level rise! (@AntarcticScienc)

6h Lana Cohen discusses modeling snow composition for storm events at Roosevelt Island (@AntarcticaNZ)

5h Human impacts in , they stay around for a long time, old buildings and vehicle tracks (@IMAS_UTAS)

5h Oliver Marsh discusses grounding ice thickness using satellite data (@AntarcticScienc)

4h working on schedules but aim for sea ice work to start at end of August (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h NZ programme includes a number of international collaborative projects - inc sea ice and diving events (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h Also international collaboration for terrestrial and atmospheric programmes (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h There are also some existing collaborations with Australian scientists which continue to develop & evolve (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h run science programmes for two years (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h How long does it take to get to stations? Longer than for !!! (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h Focus for is high quality science that can make a difference (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h You don't have to be heading south to apply for a grant! Be clear with what you need! (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h 2014/15 will probably focus on locally based projects due to logistical constraint - but we can negotiate with other nations (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h has revised its application process - AAD web and theme leader will be able to update you (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h Don't assume project reviewers will see other project submissions - be clear - identify project linkages!! (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h uses a variety of fixed wing aircraft and ships to get to the ice - check out their website for schedules! (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h What is the AADC?? Australian Antarctic Data Centre - a mature data repository for program (@AntarcticaNZ)

4h Welcome of the AADC. (@AntarcticScienc)

4h Data management plans are v comprehensive - AADC have a specialist team to help you through the process (@AntarcticaNZ)

3h Ed acknowledges the hard work by all in making the conference possible, particularly by (@AntarcticaNZ)

3h Martin draws the conference to a close - thanking all the organizers and attendees (@AntarcticaNZ)

3h Best early career plenary Jessica Melbourne-Thomas (@AntarcticaNZ)

3h Prizes were provided by ACE CRC, IMAS, CSIRO, Tasmanian Government, NZ's Earth Sea Sky and NZ Antarctic Society (@AntarcticaNZ)

2h It’s been a huge 3 days of Antarctic science discussions. Workshops begin tomorrow (@AntarcticScienc)

2h Day 3 of the Strategic Science in Antarctica Conference in pics! (@AntarcticScienc)

21m APECS Oceania Drinks in full swing (@APECSOceania)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Tweet wrap of day 2 at the Strategic Science in Antarctica conference

APECS Oceania is "tweeting" from the Strategic Science in Antarctica conference currently underway in Hobart.

For those not on the Twitter bandwagon yet here is our wrap-up of day 2 at the conference straight from the source, our Twitter feed @APECSOceania (retweets included):

9h Great way to start day 2 with a keynote presentation from Ian Allison on Antarctic Cryosphere.

9h Jonathan Stark talking about the environmental impacts of sewage out falls and the impacts of introducing non-native microbes

9h Next Plenary - Jonathan Stark discusses an environmental impact study of sewage discharge from Davis Station

9h Effluent highly concentrated and is full of toxic chemicals and pathogens

8h Animals being exposed to excessively high levels of faecal pathogens  

8h Identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria from sewerage outfalls and surrounding environment  

8h Australian Antarctic division are developing new state of the art waste water system to reduce sewerage contamination.

8h Keynote presentation by Neil Gilbert on the Antarctic Treaty.

7h Greg Hince of discusses fuel spill remediation in Antarctica. (@AntarcticScienc)

 7h ’s Macquarie Island station implements a complex remediation response to contamination sites.
7h Mark curran presenting on secrets from the past. Using antarctic ice cores to provide information on climate variability

6h Dr Mick Abbott of discusses Scott Base.
6h Reducing waste and environmental impacts at Scott Base by Mick Abbot.

6h For every tonne that goes down, 200 kg comes back. Working on managing this as activities in Antarctica increase. (@AntarcticScienc)

5h Mark Hindell talking about ecological response of top predator to climate variability.

3h Keynote speaker for the next Session Prof Steven Chown.

2h Vascular weeds are spreading and adapting faster than indigenous species on subantarctic Marion Island (@AntarcticScienc)

Monday, 24 June 2013

It's a busy week

Don't forget our social event on Wednesday, June 26th.  It kicks off 7:30pm at The Metz, Sandy Bay Rd, Hobart.

The Strategic Science in Antarctica conference is also well and truly underway in Hobart.  APECS Oceania is hosting the free workshop Leadership in Science on Friday, June 28th, 1:00pm-4:00pm at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus.

**Register for the workshop via

We're on Twitter!

APECS Oceania can now be found on Twitter.

Follow us on our feed @APECSOceania

Sunday, 23 June 2013

APECS Oceania Social Event

APECS Oceania Social Event

Please join us for drinks at The Metz, Sandy Bay Road, Hobart.
Where: The Metz, Sandy Bay Road, Hobart
When: Wednesday 26th June 2013
Time: 7:30pm
$10 beer/cider jugs, $15 vodka jugs, $15 house wine bottles, $5 shots, $8 pizzas, $12 parma's, $12 pasta. DJ kickin off at 6pm

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Call for abstracts, 2014 International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment, Hobart

Abstract submission open

2014 International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment, sponsored by the International Glaciological Society (IGS).
10-14 March 2014, Hobart, Australia

You can submit your abstract and register to attend via the IGS website

The first circular is also available from the website.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Confirmed panel members for Leadership in Science, a free workshop during the Strategic Science in Antarctica Conference

Here's the confirmed panel for our Leadership in Science workshop at the Strategic Science in Antarctica Conference.

We have confirmed:
Dr Dana Bergstrom, Australian Antarctic Division; terrestrial ecologist; SCAR delegate
Dr Tony Worby, CSIRO - deputy chief
Dr Rick Stuart-Smith, Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies; early career researcher; marine biodiversity
Prof. Michael Stoddart, Chair of Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Board; 14 years as Lecturer and Reader in Zoology
Dr Andrew Martin, Victoria University of Wellington; early career researchers; sea ice ecology

Hosted by APECS (Oceania) the workshop runs 28th June 2013, 1-4pm at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus, Tasmania, Australia.

The afternoon will feature a variety of activities and the panel discussion.  To reserve your spot for this free workshop refer to our flyer and follow the registration instructions.  See you there!

Register now for 'Leadership in Science', a free workshop at the Strategic Science in Antarctica Conference

APECS (Oceania) will host Leadership in Science, a free workshop during the Strategic Science in Antarctica Conference, Hobart, Australia.

The workshop runs 28th June 2013, 1-4pm at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus.

Follow the registration instructions on the accompanying flyer to reserve your spot for this afternoon of activities and panel discussion.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Amazing Antarctic opportunity for PhD students

The Spirit of Mawson Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014

A team of scientists from the University of New South Wales, plus members from other national and overseas institutions will be journeying from Hobart to Commonwealth Bay via the subantarctic islands.  Over the course of the expedition they will be conducting research into oceanography, climate and biology to provide "the first complete snapshot of this region for a century". (from their website (

Spirit of Mawson Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 is offering four postgraduate (PhD) students the exciting opportunity to join them as volunteers on the expedition.

To be considered for a volunteer role on the expedition applicants must be a registered postgraduate student and able to defer their studies between 23 November 2013 and 6 January 2014 for a minimum of 3 weeks.  Successful applicants will provide support to the scientific team and assist in communicating their results of the expedition

For more details on eligibility and application instructions below.

Application deadline is 5 pm Australian Eastern Seaboard Time, 13 September 2013.  It is anticipated that shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an online interview in October.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Free Leadership in Science Workshop, 28 June 2013, Hobart

Free Leadership in Science Workshop

The workshop is being hosted by APECS (Oceania) during the Strategic Science in Antarctic Conference and will run on 28 June 2013, 1 - 4pm, at University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.

Pull on your mingling pants and get ready to enjoy an afternoon of activities, including a panel discussion with key members from the Antarctic and marine community.

Everyone is welcome, so grab a friend, or seven! To register, go to (, fill out your demographic details, and select ‘W14 – Leadership in Science’ (right down the bottom). Did we mention it’s free?

The panel for APECS Oceania's Leadership in Science Workshop has been confirmed and includes:

Dr Dana Bergstrom (Australian Antarctic Division; terrestrial ecologist; SCAR delegate)
Dr Tony Worby (CSIRO - deputy chief)
Rick Stuart-Smith (Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies; early career researcher; marine biodiversity)

Don't forget to register via (