Nerd Nite Melbourne is so excited to be bringing you one more show in 2021! Jordyn Thomas talks about inflammation, Aaron Ginter discusses Australia’s least known endangered bird and Jack Dunston tells the story of the Yarra River. Come nerd out with us over a few beers and help us finish the Nerd Nite year with a big bang.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

at Howler 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick

Doors 7pm

Tickets: $15 – SOLD OUT

*Presentation 1*

Inflammation causes everything!

by Jordyn Thomas (@JordynMThomas)

Description: Inflammation causes everything!!! Well, maybe not quite everything, although it might surprise you that it doesn’t just cause classic inflammatory diseases like asthma, eczema, autoimmune diseases, coeliac disease etc. etc. but also, cardiovascular disease! My talk will explain how exactly our immune system contributes to cardiovascular disease, what I’ve been doing to investigate it and what we could do in the future to target our own pesky immune systems.

Bio: Jordyn Thomas is a cardiovascular disease researcher at Monash University. Jordyn recently submitted her PhD thesis at La Trobe University, investigating how the immune protein interleukin-18 causes the kidney inflammation that leads to high blood pressure. Her postdoctoral work will focus on how inflammation contributes to peripheral artery disease. Jordyn is excited to share her enthusiasm for kidneys and cardiovascular disease with you and have a few beers/wines in the process.

*Presentation 2

Who you calling Plain? Protecting Australia’s least known endangered bird

by Aaron Grinter (@PhilosophyGrin)

Description: The Plains-wanderer is a little known Australian bird that stands around 15cm tall and constantly has a terrified expression on its face. With good reason too, as it is disastrously endangered with only around 600 birds left in the wild. Most of these birds reside in the Northern Plains Grasslands about 2 hours north of Melbourne, and it is our job to make sure we don’t lose them for good.

Bio: Aaron Grinter has a PhD in ecological philosophy and works for the Victorian Department of Environment (DELWP) leading threatened species programs. While he does work for the state government he doesn’t know Dan Andrews personally so please don’t ask if he can get you an autograph. This is Aaron’s second time speaking at Nerd Nite, so be prepared for all the gritty realism and off the cuff swearing that you expect from a veteran.

*Presentation 3

The upside down river, backwards” A living stream of consciousness

by Jack Dunstan (@dunstanet)

Description: Not as beautiful as Sydney’s Harbour, but infinitely more interesting, the story of the Yarra River has more twists and turns than Melbournians may realise. The Yarra is famous as it is infamous – where e coli and eels, swans and sewage, dolphins and dog doo, share all year round. While we enjoy the free electric BBQ’s on its banks in summer, many of us know little about its history, changing shape and socioeconomic influence, affluence and effluents. This talk will dredge up the past, covering topics like how poor water management in the 1880’s coined the name ‘Smellbourne’. In this reverse history of the river that flows upside down, we’ll soak up Jack’s litter trap mind as he shares what he’s learned living on and around the Yarra, Birrarung Marr, as a Melbournian.

Bio: In his geologically short time on earth, Jack Dunstan’s life and career has flowed through some aqueous experiences. As Sea Scout, winemaker, dishwasher, iceberger and canoer there’s always been a theme of fluids – his time nursing exposed him to some pretty loose flowing moments. He now finds himself riding the wave of developing online education, something we’re all doing without a paddle at the moment. When not making the bits of the internet that aren’t cats, he’s submerged in curious historical miscellany of the area around Melbourne, since and before settlement. Once his first Nerd Nite talk snowballed into a sellout Fringe Festival show, he gushed at the opportunity at another, and the chance of pooling all his water puns together for a thirsty audience.