Lectures are open to all and there is no charge for admission. However regular attendees are expected to be members of the society.

7:45pm for 8:00pm

Sorby Room, Wager Building, (formerly Geoscience),
The University of Reading,
Whiteknights, Reading.
Use Car Park 8


Monday 2 October 2017

Australia - SE Asia collision

The Wallace Line and Wallacea
Prof Robert Hall, Royal Holloway College

In Wallace's footsteps

Alfred Russel Wallace was arguably the greatest tropical naturalist of the 19th century and a co-founder (with Charles Darwin) of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. He was not a geologist but he certainly appreciated the role of geology in influencing the distributions of animals and plants. He was the first to recognise the division which today bears his name, the Wallace Line, which separates Australian and Asian faunas. This area is the collision zone between Australia and South East Asia and has seen the most significant changes in the distribution of land and sea in the last few million years. 45 million years ago Australia began to move rapidly north. About 20 million years later it finally collided with Indonesia and the collision continues today leading to the creation of a fascinating landscape of high mountains and deep basins. Wallace travelled extensively in the Malay Archipelago with local guides using small boats. Despite the impact of the modern world many parts of the region are still much as Wallace saw them in the 19th century. In his lecture Robert Hall of Royal Holloway University of London will illustrate some of the places Wallace visited, outline the history of this geologically dynamic region, and offer some suggestions as to why it may act as a major control of the global climate and contain the most diverse biota on Earth.

Professor Robert Hall undertakes field-based research into geology of SE Asia and the western Pacific; island arc origin and evolution; plate tectonic reconstructions; seismic tomography, mantle processes and tectonics of the region; tropical sedimentation and links to provenance, climate and tectonics; implications of plate tectonics for the biogeography of SE Asia.

Programme 2017

The programme for 2017 as currently proposed is also available as a pdf document.

Other programmes

Previous years programmes and other programme information can be found on the About us page.