12th International Symposium on Aquatic Oligochaeta

Fremantle, Western Australia

September 10-13, 2012


Department of Environment and Conservation DEC logo

Bennelongia Environmental Consultants Bennelongia logo

Outback Ecological Services OES logo

Subterranean Ecology Subterranean Ecology logo

Phoenix Environmental Sciences Phoenix logo

Biota Environmental Sciences Biota logo

Ecologia Ecologia logo

Australian Society for Limnology ASL logo


The organising committee of the 12th International Symposium on Aquatic Oligochaeta warmly invites colleagues with an interest in aquatic oligochaetes and allied clitellates to convene in Fremantle, Western Australia, in September 2012.

As for previous symposia, this meeting will encompass any aspects of the biology, ecology and systematics of marine, estuarine and freshwater oligochaetes and other clitellate worms.

A flyer for your notice boards is available here in A4 size or here in letter size


About Fremantle

Fremantle is located at the mouth of the Swan River, about 20km west of the State capital Perth. Prior to settlement by Europeans this area was called Manjah or Munjah, which in local language means a festival/fairground place, as the Noongar people would gather here for trade and ceremony etc. The mouth of the Swan is called Derbal Yerrigan by the Noongar people (Derbal meaning brackish and Yerrigan meaning turtle) and is part of an ancient Dreaming trail. In the Noongar belief system a great spirit serpent formed pathways that are called dreaming trails. A trail comes down the coast from the North and also up the coast from the south and there is one on each side of the river.

This area at the mouth of the Swan River was colonised by Europeans in 1829, making this fishing boat harbour and commercial port city one of the oldest towns in the Western Australia. Fremantle is now a multicultural city as a result of the many immigrant groups that have arrived since settlement, with the southern European influence particularly noticeable. The city has a wide range of accommodation options, restaurants, festivals, museums, theatres, galleries and bars, plus a range of historical attractions. It is also only a 30 minute train trip into Perth.

Fremantle has a maritime Mediterranean climate and September has average minimum and maximum temperatures of 11 and 18.5°C and 70 mm of rainfall. However, climate at this time of year is very variable.

Click here for a printable map of Fremantle.

View Larger Map



We are very grateful to the symposium sponsors listed down the left side of this page and we encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about them. These sponsors recognise that the exchange of knowledge and ideas at scientific meetings benefits their businesses and the wider community through improved environmental management.

Communication Plan

This website will be updated regularly. Colleagues already on our mailing list will be sent out announcements of major updates over the next couple of years. If you have not already been sent an email about the symposium and wish to be added to the mailing list then send us your name and email address. Contact details below.


The symposium will be held at the 4.5 star Esplanade Hotel located in the centre of Fremantle, a 800 metre walk from the Fremantle train station. The location of the hotel (corner of Essex St and Marine Terrace) is shown at the top right corner of zone B6 on this map.


The registration form is available for download in the following formats:

A MS Word 2007 document that can be filled out on a computer, then printed out for signatures if required. If this document saves as a .zip file just change the file type to .docx and it should open.

A pdf which must be filled out entirely as a printed version.

In either case, please send the original or scanned document by email to melita.pennifold@dec.wa.gov.au. Payments must be made either by Visa or Mastercard or by bank transfer. Credit card payments are strongly preferred as it makes our accounting much easier. Other registration information is provided on the forms.

Accompanying persons (family and friends not attending the symposium scientific sessions) should be included on the same registration form as the symposium delegate, unless separate payment is required, in which case send in a separate form.

Please submit registration forms by Friday 10th August 2012 so that we know numbers of delegates for bookings and printing etc.

Abstract submission

A template for abstract submission can be downloaded by clicking here. Please send abstracts as an email attachment (preferably in MS Word version 2007 or earlier) to adrian.pinder@dec.wa.gov.au. Abstracts must be received by Monday 20th August 2012 to be included in the book of abstracts.

Welcome function

A function to welcome you all to the symposium and Fremantle will be held on the evening of Sunday 9th September from 6pm to 8pm. This will be a great opportunity for you to catch up with old and new colleagues so come along and help us get the symposium off to a good start. All food and drinks are included in your registration fee (or a separate fee for accompanying persons). This will be held at the Sail and Anchor Pub and Brewery in the centre of Fremantle. Click here for more information.


A draft program is available here but times are indicative only. The first event on the program is the Welcome drinks on Sunday evening at the Sail and Anchor Pub (see above). There will be a microscopy session on Monday afternoon and a poster session on Tuesday afternoon. The symposium banquet will be held on Thursday evening. The field trip on Wednesday will be to Rottnest Island, 20km offshore from Fremantle for beaches, snorkelling, history, walking, cycling, collecting marine worms and visits to the island's salt lakes. This is your symposium, so suggestions for special topic sessions, keynote addresses or workshops are very welcome.

Workshop on identifying Australian aquatic oligochaetes

A workshop on identifying Australian aquatic oligochaetes will be held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle on the Friday before the symposium (i.e. 7th September). This will be an all day workshop with presentations by leading oligochaete taxonomists and a practical microscope session (see program). There will be a separate charge to attend the workshop but registration will be on the same form as the symposium. A flyer for this workshop is available here. The workshop can be attended without attendance at the symposium.

Student Prize

The Australian Society for Limnology is providing prizes for the best student oral presentation. If you wish to nominate for this prize please indicate this on your abstract.

Travel and transport

Flights from various points in Asia (such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur) fly direct to Perth. Flights from North America normally reach Perth via these Asian cities or via Sydney on Australia’s east coast. Flights from Europe normally come via Dubai or south-east Asia. There is also a trans-continental rail-link between Perth and Sydney known as the Indian-Pacific.

Direct flights from overseas arrive at Perth Airport's terminal 1 whereas flights from eastern Australia land at terminals 2 or 3. There is a shuttle bus between these terminals.

We will provide transport from airport terminal 1 to Fremantle only on Sunday 9th September. If you wish to take advantage of this service please advise Kirsty Quinlan (kirsty.quinlan@dec.wa.gov.au).

Otherwise, there are three options for getting to Fremantle from the airport.

1. The easiest way is by taxi. This will take up to an hour and costs about $55.

2. There are two shuttle bus services between the airport and Fremantle but these operate infrequently and needs to be pre-booked for Fremantle. Cost is about $30 (cheaper if part of a group). There is a bus shuttle service from Perth airport to Perth city and Fremantle: Connect.

3. Another option is to catch a taxi to the Esplanade Train Station in Perth (about 20 minutes and about $35) and then catch the train to Fremantle (about 30 minutes and $4). Note that the Fremantle train terminates at the Fremantle Station (it does not continue to the Esplanade Station shown on the map provided above). The Fremantle train station is located about 800m from the conference venue (Esplanade Hotel) but there is a free bus service that leaves the Fremantle train station every 10 minutes during the day and stops near The Esplanade Hotel and other areas of town.

Information about visa requirements can be obtained at http://www.immi.gov.au

Travelling in Western Australia

We have put together some notes on places to go to and things to see in Western Australia on a separate web page. There's lots of information on the web so this just presents a quick overview of the main areas of the State.


The organising committee will not be taking accommodation bookings as this is easily done by delegates via the web. However, the conference venue (Esplanade Hotel) is offering delegates a discount on accommodation. To take advantage of this discount please use this form and send to the hotel (please note that this is for the room only). There is also a very wide range of other accommodation and dining options in Fremantle. Some suggestions are listed below. Almost all of these are within a few minutes walk of the Esplanade Hotel.

Booking services



Hostels/backpackers (most have private rooms)






Houses and apartments for short stay lease - many with multiple bedrooms for cheap but high quality accommodation if you share with colleagues.

http://www.fremantlecolonialaccommodation.com.au/index.html - historic cottages








Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts



http://www.terracecentral.com.au/ (has some 2 bedroom apartments)





Caravan Park with chalets and cabins 3km from Fremantle town centre



Collecting oligochaetes in Western Australia

Fauna collecting permits are issued by the different conservation departments in each Australian State. Collecting specimens for research purposes in Western Australia requires a permit from the Department of Environment and Conservation. Information about obtaining a collection permit is available here. You will need to down load the form titled "Application for Licence to take Fauna for Scientific Purposes" and if you intend collecting in any conservation reserves then you will need to specify which reserves on another form titled "Application to Enter DEC Lands/Waters for Undertaking Research".

To take oligochaetes out of Australia you will require an export permit from the Australian government. Details and the application form can be found here.


Full papers of research presented at the symposium will be published in a special issue of the journal Zoosymposia. This is published by Magnolia Press, who also publish Zootaxa. The journal's website has instructions for authors. Papers will be available as free downloads on the journal's website or a hard copy of the whole volume can be purchased for a small fee payable to the publisher.

To minimise publishing delays please bring your completed manuscript, conforming to the journal's requirements, to the symposium on CD, or email to david.cale@dec.wa.gov.au. An absolute deadline will be 31 March 2013.

Your gorgeous organising committee

Adrian Pinder

Adrian Pinder *


Melita Pennifold

Melita Pennifold *

David Cale

David Cale *

Anna Leung

Anna Leung **


Anna Leung

Kirsty Quinlan *

Anna Leung

Joanne O'Connor *#

* Department of Environment and Conservation

** Phoenix Environmental

# Murdoch University



For further information please email Adrian Pinder.

Fax: +61 (0)8 9306 1641. Mobile +61 (0)400 629 658.

Mailing address: Adrian Pinder, PO Box 51, Wanneroo, 6946, Western Australia, Australia.



Delvene Cornwall and Thomas Dimer from DEC's Indigenous Heritage Unit for information on aboriginal history of the Fremantle area and facilitating the Welcome to Country.

Kathy Salonga, Marissa Mallia, Sandy Grose, Vicki Hartshorn and Rod Mell (DEC) for assistance with financial issues.

Peter Walker (www.dubmunky.com.au) assisted with the fiddly bits of this webpage.


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