Pests, pets and the plague — find out what they all have in common when the Parasites: Life Undercover exhibition opens at Queensland Museum.
You’ll be able to come face to face with a giant mosquito, get up close to more than 50 original parasite specimens and take a detailed look at how a parasite-host relationship works across more than 30 displays.
Infections, itches and eye sores will all be on the agenda when you take a glimpse into the lives of these microscopic blood-suckers that will make your skin crawl.
Sounds pretty appealing, right?
Professor Suzanne Miller, Queensland Museum’s CEO and director, says the exhibition will give visitors an opportunity to understand the impacts parasites have on both animals and humans.
“Parasites: Life Undercover highlights the significance parasites have on our daily lives, from the common pests such as fleas and lice, to the more serious epidemics and threats such as malaria and those skin and gut parasites costing our livestock industries over a billion dollars each year,” she says.
“Parasitism is a highly successful way of life. Parasites are a real and serious threat to all living things and this exhibition will showcase the fascinating evolution of parasites, their resilient life cycles and their ability to move from one host to another in order to not only survive, but in many cases, thrive.”
Contrary to what you might think, Professor Miller says these parasites serve a purpose.
“Having plagued us for centuries, parasites have certainly gained a bad reputation, but you will also see the positive role parasites can play in the medical industry and in developing our immune systems.”
Naturally, the Australian Society of Parasitology is getting behind Parasites: Life Undercover. Society president Professor David Emery hopes the exhibition will lead more people to develop an interest in parasitology, which, let’s be honest, you didn’t know was a thing until just now.
“Parasites are our world at the Australian Society of Parasitology,” he says.
“We are truly excited to partner with Queensland Museum to bring this unique exhibition to Brisbane, which will coincide with our annual conference.
“We are always looking at ways to connect with the community and recently have had artists collaborate with us on a unique project exploring the theme of parasites and health. One of the signature artworks of this project, Gula Guri mayin, which means ‘heal the body’, by Cairns artist Bernard Lee Singleton will feature in the exhibition.”
Parasites: Life Undercover will run from 10 August 2016 to 27 January 2017 on Level 2, Queensland Museum. Entry is free.
To complement the exhibition, and as part of National Science Week, there will be three free public lectures in the Queensland Museum Theatre on Level 2 on Monday 15 August, Thursday 18 August and Friday 19 August. For more info, visit qm.qld.gov.au.