My first year in Brisbane

It has been just over a year since I came to Brisbane and started my PhD in the Mayfield Lab at the University of Queensland. I had just come from a cold winter in Wyoming/Colorado (in fact, there was a snow storm the day I left Denver) into the middle of summer in Brisbane (HOT humid sunny days). I had also come from Laramie, Wyoming which has a population of about 30,000 to Brisbane which sits at about 2.3 million. Quite a change of pace!

In the past year I have gotten the chance to explore the culture of Brisbane. I have explored the arts in GOMA (Gallery of Modern Arts) and the Queensland Art Gallery.

Apt 8, Asia Pacific gallery at GOMA

Apt 8, Asia Pacific gallery at GOMA

I also caught a couple of shows at the Queensland Performing Arts Center (QPAC) including Les Miserables and Welcome to Night Vale. I am already planning to visit again soon to see My Fair Lady in April 2017.

Welcome to Night Vale. L-R: Musical Artist Disparition, Dylan Marron (playing Carlos), Cecil Baldwin (playing Cecil Palmer)

Welcome to Night Vale. L-R: Musical Artist Disparition, Dylan Marron (playing Carlos), Cecil Baldwin (playing Cecil Palmer)

Les Miserables at QPAC

Les Miserables at QPAC

What I especially love about QPAC is that they have a wall of information about the history of the currently featured show (see below for part of the isntallation for Les Mis).

Timeline of the historical events surrounding the timeline of Les Miserables

Timeline of the historical events surrounding the timeline of Les Miserables

The Queensland Museum is also a great place to visit. It has displays on cultural and natural history of Queensland.

Whales heading to grab some souvenirs at the Queensland Museum Shop.

Whales heading to grab some souvenirs at the Queensland Museum Shop.

I have also explored nearby attractions including Mt. Coot-tha and the Botanic Gardens. Being sans-car, it is hard for me to get around and explore more of Brisbane. However, this year I intend to keep taking mini-adventures within and surrounding the city so that I can experience as much of Australia as I can!

View from the top of Mt. Coot-tha looking onto Brisbane

View from the top of Mt. Coot-tha looking onto Brisbane

Water lilies in Brisbane Botanic Gardens Tropical Display Dome

Water lilies in Brisbane Botanic Gardens Tropical Display Dome

Not sure if they are insinuating anything about those of us from the US... :)

Not sure if they are insinuating anything about those of us from the US... :)

There are events in Brisbane all year. I attended the premiere World Science Festival in Brisbane where there was a variety of events and activities of all ages. I attended a viewing of The Martian with a panel that included Andy Thomas (an Australian astronaut) and Pam Conrad (an astrobiologist from NASA). I am planning to attend the festival again this year (2017) and go the another viewing & panel discussion, this time for the film Hidden Figures.

World Science Festival Brisbane, 2016

World Science Festival Brisbane, 2016

The Martian viewing and panel discussion, 2016

The Martian viewing and panel discussion, 2016

I am astounded by diversity of urban and suburban Brisbane (albeit a heavily exotic-influenced diversity). I commonly see kookaburras and cockatoos (which are very different to the common birds of Wyoming). I have also spotted possoms and echidnas in the suburbs of Brisbane. The flora here is even more interesting that the fauna (from my point of view because of my addiction to botany)! 

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

Cowboy beetle ( Chondropyga dorsalis )

Cowboy beetle (Chondropyga dorsalis)

African Sausage Tree ( Kigelia  sp.)

African Sausage Tree (Kigelia sp.)

Short-beaked echidna ( Tachyglossus aculeatus )

Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Sulfer Crested Cockatoo

Sulfer Crested Cockatoo

Thunbergia  sp. (?)

Thunbergia sp. (?)

Grevillea  sp.

Grevillea sp.

Ringtail possum ( Pseudocheirus peregrinus )

Ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)