VLS Announcements  - 22 January 2015

Welcome to the latest School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Announcements.  We hope our weekly VLS Announcements will allow you to easily share internal and external news relevant to the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences.

You can consult our Announcement Guidelines to find out more about the type of information we are looking for, who will receive those emailed Announcements, submission deadlines and links to our previous Announcements. 

Note: items that require action are now marked with a red flag for action.   Click on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

Teaching and Research News [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Bacterial profiling of hair could help solve sexual crimes 

    Murdoch University PhD researcher Ms Silvana Tridico and her colleagues published a study in the journal Investigative Genetics last December, on bacteria living on human hair...

    The research is the first to find that individuals have a unique profile of bacteria on their pubic hair. This could be potentially significant for forensic science in identifying the subject of sexual crimes by analysing the suspects and the victim's pubic hairs bacteria.

    The study have had ample media repercussion. Some articles published on the study: Phys.Org, ABC Science, Science AAAS, Washington Post , The Telegraph-UK.

    + more information

  • Pilbara Freshwater Fishes documentary

    Dr David Morgan and his team, from the Murdoch Freshwater Fish Unit, have been working for more than 10 months on a documentary on the freshwater fishes of Pilbara

    Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit

    The project was funded by Rangelands NRM and the State NRM. The film, produced by ENVfusion films in partnership with Murdoch University, is now available on YouTube.

    + more information

  • Soil fungi diversity and geography

    Dr Bill Dunstan, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, is an author on a recent paper 'Global diversity and geography of soil fungi' published in the prestigious journal Science...

    The research is a result of a long-term work he has had with the lead author, Leho Tedersoo. The study conclusions show that climatic factors are the best predictors of soil fungal richness and community composition at the global scale.

    + more information

  • Request for Murdoch Contribution to ARC and NHMRC 2015 Major Roundsfor action

    Here is the contribution request form to be completed should your ARC or NHMRC application to the upcoming rounds require a contribution from the University...

    Please return the completed form to Jane Crier, Manager, Research Grants and Contract Services, by the 2nd February 2014.

    Please get contact Jane, phone 9360 2970, if you have any questions.

  • Calls for EOIs: Australia China Science and Research Fundfor action

    The R&D Office is requesting for EOIs for the 2015 round of the Australia China Science and Research Fund (currently expected to be launched in February 2015).

    Interested applicants should complete this attached EOI and submit it by COB Friday, 30th January 2015.

    Queries can be directed to Pearl Chua, via email or telephone (9360 6401).

  • International Student Scholarships for 2015for action

    Murdoch University has announced its Academic Excellence Awards 2015...


    Applications must have been received by Murdoch University International Admissions on or before the following dates;

    For the Semester One intake:
    Round 2 - 31 January 2015

    For the Semester Two intake:
    • Round 1 - 30 April 2015
    • Round 2 - 30 June 2015

    For Application and Eligibility Requirements:
    Please refer to the Scholarship opportunities for International Students.
    Please send Applications and Nominations to Murdoch's International Admissions Office , with "Scholarship Nomination 2015" in the subject header.

    For further queries: or Mrs Rupa Nair on Tel: (61 8) 9360 7695.

  • OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Telethon-Perth Children's Hospital Research Fund 2014 (Round 3)for action

    The Department of Health in conjunction with the Channel 7 Telethon Trust is pleased to announce the third round of the Telethon-Perth Children's Hospital Research Fund 2014 (TPCHRF) - funding available in 2015....

    The TPCHRF was jointly established by the Department of Health and the Channel 7 Telethon Trust to fund health and medical research that focuses on the health of children and adolescents in WA.

    For the first time this funding round will accept applications to two funding streams. These being:

    Stream 1: Short-term Research Projects: to be completed within 2 years and awarded up to $250,000 per project; and
    Stream 2: Strategic Research Initiatives: to be completed within 3 years and awarded up to $500,000 per project.

    Please note, the Department of Health's closing date for applications is 1:00pm, Monday 8 April 2015.

    An Information flyer regarding the Telethon-Perth Children's Hospital Research Fund 2014 (Round 3) is available here and can be distributed for advertising purposes.

    Further information along with the Guidelines for Applicants and Application Forms can be found here.

    The Research Development Unit is available to present information sessions to assist researchers with applying for this round, please email if you wish to organise a session.

Staff News and Events [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • New VLS starters

    Please welcome our new staff, Dr Louise Sullivan, Mr Warren Timpson, Dr Colin Northover and Dr Wei Xu:

    Dr Louise SullivanWelcome Dr Louise Sullivan (nee FitzGerald) who will be helping out in Pathology, while Dr Nahiid Stephens is on maternity leave. Some of you will remember Lou because she did a residency with us a few years ago. Lou has been at the University of Pennsylvania for the past 3 years doing an anatomic pathology residency there and has just sat and passed her ACVP board exams –first time! Please welcome Lou back to Murdoch if you see her.

    Mr Warren Timpson

    Welcome Mr Warren Timpson, the new Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager, who started on Wednesday, 7 January. His background is commercial and industrial, having worked in the Security, International Training and Development, Business Development and Restructuring sectors. Warren will be based in the office next to Joy’s, which was until recently occupied by Fleur James. His extension will be 2431.

    We welcome Dr Colin Northover as a locum veterinarian working with the Production Animal Group. Colin has over thirty years’ experience in production animal practice, especially with dairy cattle, in the UK (Cornwall). He arrived just before Christmas and helped take care of various animal patients during the shutdown period, experiencing a challenging welcome to the Australian farming environment on some of those 40C days during the first two weeks of the year! Please say hi to Colin if you see him!

    Welcome Dr Wei Xu who has joined the Agriculture Cluster in VLS as a lecturer in Entomology. He received his PhD in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Walter Leal, a leading authority in insect chemical ecology. His research project was “Olfactory (Smell) proteins in moths and mosquitoes”. He came to Australia with an OCE (Office of the Chief Executive) Postdoctoral Fellowship in CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (CES). His research focus is the molecular mechanisms of insect chemosensory systems and their functions in insect-host interaction and co- evolution.. His research interests focus on chemical ecology, functional genomics and molecular biology of agricultural and medical insect species. Dr Xu will give a seminar describing recent research and his interests (venue to be confirmed) at 9am on 2 February.

  • NSA prestigious fellowship to Prof David Pethick

    Prof David Pethick won a fellowship from the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) for his outstanding contribution to nutrition and its application to people and animals...

    Prof David's research, related to animal nutrition, biochemistry and physiology, has contributed valuable findings to the sheep, beef cattle and pig industries, helping to develop the Meat Standards Australia.

    + more information

  • Volunteer Call Out - February On-Campus Graduation Ceremony - message from Renée von Schwan for action

    Just a friendly reminder that with the 2015 February On-Campus Graduations just around the corner, we are looking for reliable staff and students who would like to volunteer their assistance on the nights to help make this momentous occasion come together seamlessly...

    Please contact Renee if you are interested in volunteering to help us at the February graduation ceremonies.

    The days and shift times for VLS (and Arts) are as follows: 
    Monday, 16 February 2015 (wet weather contingency day: Tuesday, 17 February 2015)
    5.30pm – 9.30pm
    6.00pm – 10.00pm

    Days and times for other schools are:

    Wednesday, 18 February 2015 (wet weather contingency day: Thursday, 19 February 2015)
    Management and Governance
    Health Professions
    Psychology and Exercise Science

    5.30pm – 9.30pm
    6.00pm – 10.00pm

    Friday, 20 February 2015 (wet weather contingency day: Saturday, 21 February 2015)
    Engineering and Information Technology

    5.30pm – 9.30pm
    6.00pm – 10.00pm

  • RELOCATION: VLS vehicle keys  for action

    The vehicle keys and booking diary in the building 240 rm 2.004 ex: Biological Sciences building and VEHICLES, diary and keys from Environmental Sciences building corridor have been relocated.

    They are now located in an electronically locked key box just inside the level 1, southern entrance to building 240 (old Biology building) = entrance next to the fire panel adjacent to the external stairs to/from Vet buildings (see attached pictures).The box is on the university cardax system so ensure you take your staff access card with you to open the box when you need keys.

    At this time the move only affects the vehicles from above locations, in the future all VLS vehicle keys will be located at the new location and changes to the booking system will occur.

    If you do not have cardax access to the area you will need to organise this through VLS operations for access to Level 1, Building 240 Southern Entrance. Please send an email to VLS Operations with the following details:

    Family name:
    Given names:

    Highlight one of the below:
    Staff / Student / Postgraduate ID number:

    School of VLS
    Access group:
    Building No: 240/ Room / Level 1 Southern Entrance
    Expiry date of your staff card:

  • Day trip meal expenses

    The Finance Office would like to remind staff that as per the 'Murdoch Travel - Meals While Travelling Expenditure Procedure (1502f)', the meal allowances for day trips are as follows:

    "3. Day Domestic Travel – Expenditure Table

    The expenditure table is based on the ATO guidelines for daily expenditure on breakfast and dinner. All other meals and beverages taken while on domestic day travel are not considered an expense of the University.

    Table 3.1.

    Travel Times

    Approved Meals Expenditure

    Travel required to commence prior to 6am

    Breakfast $23.65
    Travel or work required beyond 6pm Dinner $47.10

     + more information

  • Murdoch University Learning and Teaching Certificate - message from Mike Bryant

    The Centre for University Teaching and Learning, Academic Registrar's Office, would like to invite staff to enrol in the Learning and Teaching Certificate...

    This program, delivered over a semester, aims to develop and reward excellent practice in research and teaching. Although the invitation only mentions new and early career academic staff, there may in fact be experienced staff at the University and new staff in senior positions who would find it valuable.

  • Free online course on Agriculture, Economics and Nature

    The University of Western Australia (UWA) is offering a free online course on the economics of agriculture, natural resources and the environment...

    This course will be presented over six weeks, starting 2 February 2015, by Professor David Pannell, one of Australia’s leading economists working in the area of agriculture, natural resources and environment. The course is made possible through the generous support of Yara Pilbara.

    To register, go to The site includes a brief video that provides an overview of the course.

    If you have any questions about the course, email

    + more information

  • ATTENTION Supervisors - Compulsory workshop - message from Dean of Graduate Studies for action

    In order to meet research training educational standards expectations under a range of national mandated and best practise policies, the Research Degrees and Scholarships Committee (RDSC) of the university has approved the implementation of a compulsory supervisor professional development program (don’t be alarmed – it is one 3-hour workshop once every 4 years) as part of the requirements for academic staff to be listed on the approved register of supervisors...

    This document provides details of the background to development of the Workshop program, and identifies how it will be rolled out over the next few years.

    The next round of Supervisor Workshops will be presented on Tuesday, 17th February 2015 (9am -12) and Thursday, 19th February 2015 (9am -12) in the Murdoch Business School Building, rooms LL2.002.

    As per the roll-out information in the document above, we require academic staff in the School who fall in to the first cohort for Workshop completion - i.e. all staff who are not eligible to act as a Principal Supervisor, and have not completed the EPS (Enhancing Postgraduate Supervision) program - to attend a workshop session before 1st March 2015 if they wish to continue to be eligible to supervise graduate research degree students after that date.

    Please contact Kellie O’Toole to register for one of the February sessions by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 11th February 2015. Any queries can be directed to her.


    Prof Neal Enright
    Dean of Graduate Studies and Chair of RDSC

HDR Opportunities [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • PhD scholarship opportunity

    The University of WA, School of Earth and Environment, has available a PhD Scholarship in the area of Agriculture, Soil Science......

    Applications close 28th February 2015. Click here to get more information.

VLS Announcements No. 021