The culmination of 16 months of hard work by marine worm researchers just arrived on a pallet at the Australian Museum.

The Proceedings of the 11th International Polychaete Conference held in Sydney in August 2013 has now been officially published in the Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria and is available online. This publication represents the culmination of several years of hard work by the Australian worm workers and a significant advance in our knowledge of marine worms.

It all began back in August 2010 when we bid at the 10th International Polychaete Conference to host the 11th Polychaete Conference in Sydney in 2013, exactly 30 years after the first one (which was also held in Sydney). You think I would have learnt about the hard work of organising an international conference.... However, luckily for me, I was helped by a great organising committee.

A wide range of papers are included in the Proceedings and they highlight some recent developments in polychaete biology. Several papers describe new polychaete species and there are several obituaries of leading polychaete workers who have died since the previous conference. There is also a book review of a recently published Invasive Polychaete Identifier developed by Elena Kupriyanova and her colleagues. In total, the Proceedings includes 25 papers by authors from around the world.

This publication will be followed up in 2015 with the Proceedings of the Polychaete Workshop which was held immediately after the Conference at Lizard Island Research Station a facility of the Australian Museum. This publication will document the polychaete diversity at Lizard Island, and will be published in the international taxonomic journal Zootaxa.

The Proceedings demonstrate the vibrant nature of polychaete research around the world and the new techniques being applied to study them. Polychaetes dominate most benthic marine communities, play a critical role in marine ecosystem functioning and can act as indicators of polluted or disturbed environments.

Dr Pat Hutchings
Senior Principal Research Scientist

More information:
11th International Polychaete Conference Proceedings (2014). Memoirs of Museum Victoria, 71.