Invasive species spotted at National Arboretum

Green web-like plastic cane toad lit from inside
Donors at the dinner could adopt an invasive dinner guest and take it home.

As a part of a busy program during Science at the Shine Dome 2017, the Academy’s annual Black Tie Dinner was held on Wednesday 24 May at the National Arboretum. Sponsored by the Future Industries Institute, UniSA, the evening took on an extra dimension of excitement with the table centrepieces, a series of 3D-printed rabbits, cats, toads and foxes, skillfully converted into lamps and put up for adoption.

Usually these animals are considered invasive but on the night they were harmless. Designed and 3D printed using enviro-friendly materials by Academy staff member, Dr Alistair Usher, they were derived from 3D photogrammetric analysis of wooden or ceramic ornaments—unless they were a cane toad! In that case, they fell asleep peacefully in a freezer before having their 3D form preserved for research purposes.

By making a donation on the night to the Academy’s Annual Giving Program, donors could adopt our invasive dinner guests and take them home. But people had to be quick as the creatures were limited in number and once a card was attached to them, they were spoken for and off limits to others!

It would appear that these creatures have landed on their feet. Reports of their new abodes are still coming in but one of them, ‘Ross’ as he is affectionately known, is comfortably housed at the Future Industries Institute, UniSA and proudly wears the 2016 ATSE Clunies Ross Medal for Innovation.

Thanks to all our adoptees, we raised over $3,700 on the night towards our Annual Giving appeal.

We acknowledge the support of our valued sponsors, whose contributions made Science at the Shine Dome 2017 such a great success.

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