VLS Announcements 028 - 13 March 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 028 of our weekly anouncements. 

Recently I was reflecting on the fact that we have appointed six new young academics to the School so far this year. Each of these talented individuals has the capacity to go on to become academic leaders of the future, and that is a good feeling. I am really happy that they are here with us, and I cannot help but notice the new energy that they are pumping out.

I was also considering what the “new School” meant to them and to our other top flight recent academic and professional staff recruits, and realised that this concept is not relevant. They are part of a large well integrated School, and the history of how it became “new” and like this is not that important. It is just VLS, and we can celebrate that whilst continuing to evolve and strengthen what we do best.

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Sarah Gillett by COB each Friday for publication the following Friday.

Warm wishes,

David Hampson

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

  • Important information on the use of imported biological materials - Message from the Department of Agriculture

    The Department of Agriculture has request that the OGTR send the attached Fact Sheet to our key stakeholder primary contacts.

    This Fact Sheet raises an important issue regarding restriction on use of imported biological materials, and is particularly relevant to those conducting in vivo studies, whether this involves work with GMOs or not. (Note that these restrictions are in addition to any requirements under the Gene Technology Act 2000 in relation to dealings GMOs.)

    The Department of Agriculture would appreciate your distributing the Fact Sheet to relevant people in your organisations to help ensure that they are aware of applicable requirements. If you have any questions on this matter please contact the Department of Agriculture using the contact details in the Fact Sheet.


    William QJ Tucker
    Director, Contained Dealings Evaluation Section
    Office of the Gene Technology Regulator

    Free Call: 1800 181 030 :
    Post: MDP 54, GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia

  • New serials resources - Semester 12015 - Message from Library

    As a result of the Serials Review last year, some new acquisitions, and some changes to subscription providers, some new serials resources available for the beginning of Semester 1, 2015:


    AccessScience – subscription database which combines four McGraw-Hill reference titles: McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, the Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography, and the McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. This is updated on an ongoing basis.
    Ebrary – subscription database of nearly 120,000 academic ebooks on the ebrary platform.


    Advances in Agronomy (access available soon)
    Ecological Society of America - 4 title bundle:
    Ecological Monographs
    Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment
    Ecological Applications

    Freshwater Science
    Journal of Experimental Biology
    Nature Chemistry
    Nature Immunology
    Nature Plants
    Nature Reviews Genetics
    Nature Reviews Immunology
    Nature Reviews Microbiology
    Pain (changed provider)
    Proceedings Biological Sciences
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    More information about Ebrary academic ebooks

    A new subscription database of academic ebooks – this collection is an annual subscription and content of the collection may occasionally change
    Almost 120,000 new records for ebrary titles have been added to the Library catalogue
    Ebrary titles can also be accessed via Findit
    Users can quick search, advanced search or browse by topic on the ebrary platform
    Users can create a personal ebrary account, which will let them save books to their bookshelf, as well as save their own highlighting and notes for ebooks
    The ebooks have no simultaneous user limits, and are usually able to be downloaded for 14 days at a time (using Adobe Digital Editions)
    Printing, copying and download limits are very clearly indicated on ebook landing pages
    The front page of ebrary has links to how-to videos on YouTube, a knowledge base and a helpful LibGuide


    Jean Coleman | Librarian, Veterinary & Life Sciences|
    Reference & Information Services | Library |
    Murdoch University, 90 South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150 |
    T +61 8 9360 7278 | E | W

    Please note that I am at Murdoch on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

  • Fish Disease Investigation goes digital - Message from Susan Kueh

    Please see here for information on two recent seminars and training sessions held on fish disease investigation techniques which were organised and facilitated by Dr Susan Gibson-Kueh from Murdoch University, and co-funded by The Crawford Fund. 

  • Invitation to join the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability - Message from the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability

    The recently convened Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability cordially invites teaching and research staff at Murdoch University to become members of this exciting new venture.
    Teaching and Research staff whose interests align with the Centre will be invited to take part in collegial activities designed to further research and teaching in a range of areas.
    It costs nothing to join but we ask that you complete an application form - available by emailing Please see information sheet and application form.
    Dr Rochelle Spencer | Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability
    School of Management and Governance | Murdoch University
    +61(8) 9360 2898 |

  • Important information on Murdoch University building names - Message from Space and Timetabling Manager

    With the recent advent of large building numbers on buildings, there seems to some confusion amongst staff and students about how we are referring to buildings, especially given that we are still providing students with building name information via the timetable. While numbers are being used because they are easy to read at a distance and clearly label a building, building names are not being done away with.

    I’m not sure if everyone is aware of the various sources of directional information which reference all possible permutations of names and numbers. These include:

    • Downloading the Murdoch mobile app - students can search by abbreviation of building name, building name, building number as well as room locations on their mobile.
    • Paper maps – these have been reprinted by DCO and have building names, abbreviations and numbers on them. We have some in this CFMO and can assist you in obtaining them if you don’t already have them.
    • Online campus maps ( - from our main webpage. If there are any issues with viewing this then IE8 + or Firefox should resolve these.

    It may be worthwhile distributing the above to anyone that is frontline dealing with student enquires including academic staff.

    For staff information there are also floor plans available on the CFMO website which may assist with giving directions. These are located here:

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or concerns.


    Clare McLaren
    Space and Timetabling Manager, Campus and Facilities Management | Murdoch University
    Campus and Facilities Management Office|South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
    Tel: 618 9360 2582
    Mobile: 0488 094 667

  • Grant Opportunities from the Gates Foundation and its Partners - Message from Gates Foundation

    Dear Colleagues,

    The Gates foundation and its Grand Challenges partners are now accepting applications for the following grant programs – for more information please visit the grant opportunities page at

    1. Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions, is now accepting grant proposals for its latest application round. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for profit companies.

    Proposals are being accepted online until May 13, 2015 on the following topics:

    Addressing Newborn and Infant Gut Health Through Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering
    Explore New Ways to Measure Delivery and Use of Digital Financial Services Data
    Surveillance Tools, Diagnostics and an Artificial Diet to Support New Approaches to Vector Control
    New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission
    Reducing Pneumonia Fatalities Through Innovations that Improve Pneumonia Diagnosis & Referral of Malnourished Children
    Enable Merchant Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments

    Initial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions are available at

    2. Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development has launched its fifth round for innovative prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the world. Saving Lives at Birth partners will fund transformative approaches that cut across three main domains: (i) science & technology, (ii) service delivery, and (iii) demand-side innovation.

    The application deadline is March 27, 2015. Details on how to apply for a grant can be found at

    3. All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development has launched two grant opportunities:

    - As part of the Technology to Support Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings Ideation Challenge, it is seeking technology-supported approaches to provide basic education in one or more of the following situations: health crisis, natural disaster, and conflict zone. Proposed solutions should be usable within the first six months after the onset of the crisis or conflict and be usable within the context of a developing country.

    The application deadline is March 30, 2015. Details on how to apply can be found at

    - The Tracking & Tracing Books Prize Competition is seeking innovations to track books destined for early-grade classrooms and learning centres in low-income countries and allow stakeholders, ranging from parents to Ministries of Education and donor agencies, to quickly and easily access tracking information.

    The application deadline is April 1, 2015. Details on how to apply for a grant can be found at

    4. The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) as part of its new Grand Challenges Japan initiative has launched a Target Research Platform to fund bold ideas in drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for a set of priority neglected infectious diseases. Applications must be from a partnership between Japanese and non-Japanese organizations.

    The application deadline is March 13, 2015. Additional Information can be found at

    We are looking forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world and from all disciplines. If you have a great idea, please apply. If you know someone who may have a great idea, please forward them this information.

    Thank you for your commitment to solving the world’s greatest health and development challenges.

    The Grand Challenges Team

    Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.

    Visit our site:
    Privacy Policy:

    PO Box 23350
    Seattle, WA. 98102
    (C) 1999-2014 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    All Rights Reserved.

  • Canine Research Foundation 2016 Grants - Message from the Grants and Contracts Office

    Please see here for information from the Canine Research Foundation as well as the application form and guidelines.

  • Nominations now open for Tall Poppy Awards - Message from Camille Thomson, Tall Poppy Campaign

    Nominations are now open for the Tall Poppy Awards please see attached e-flyer for further information.

  • Article from South Western Times, Bunbury WA - Human impact on bottlenose dolphins under microscope 

    Please see here for an article from the South Western Times featuring Lars Bejder on Human impact on bottlenose dolphins.

  • Murdoch Hackathon - Request for Student Engagement - Message from Andrew Bell 

    Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The Murdoch University Hackathon event is fast approaching and I was hoping to secure your assistance with promoting the event in a final push to kick off. Please have a look at the attached link for event info but in summary, it is a team based, fixed duration event encouraging innovation and diversity where teams finish by pitching their idea / solution to a judging panel for substantial prizes.

    I sincerely appreciate any assistance you could provide by forwarding this to your lecturers and asking them (and anyone else in your school that has an interface with students) to promote this event and encourage the students to register a team and compete. If you are able to assist please set this in motion as soon as possible, the event is near and we want as many people aware of it in the next 2 weeks.

    Our major sponsor Commbank has also offered to come onto campus (if they are permitted) and get a couple of minutes at the start of some of the larger lectures to quickly plug the event and answer any questions. If this is something that you would be willing to assist with also, please let me know and I will get in touch with any lecturers you suggest may be open to the idea.

    There will be technology items around which teams may choose to formulate their solution and assistance will be available in the form of Mentors to guide teams on solution methods and technology. It is also a viable and encouraged approach to produce a solution or idea that doesn’t involve coding or application design, the prize winning solutions do not need to involve a technology product, we are after innovation of all kinds!

    Sincere thanks,

    Andrew Bell

    Manager IT Client Services | Library and Information Services | Murdoch University
    9360 6755 | 0429 318 307 |

  • Information on $250,000 innovation prize and $50,000 stem cell prize - Message from Niall Byrne, Creative Director, Science in Public

    Please see here for information sheet on these prizes.

  • AINSE Winter School Scholarship 2015 - Message from Graduate Research Office

    Please see here for flyer on AINSE Winter School Scholarship 2015

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

  • Post-doc after work drinks - Message from Sofie De Meyer

    Dear fellow Post-docs,

    I would like to invite you to the first post-doc Friday after work drinks taking place on 20 March 2015 from 4pm in the BSB common room (Building 240, room 21.020). It is a great opportunity to get to know each other and enjoy some nibbles and drinks.

    Hope to see you all there!



    Dr Sofie de Meyer

    Post-doctoral researcher | Centre for Rhizobium studies | Murdoch University
    90 South Street, Murdoch WA 6150 | Tel +61 8 9360 2439 | Mob +61 451 505 456 | Fax +61 8 9360 6847


  • Important message about Software purchasing - Message from Finance Support Team

    This is a reminder to all VLS staff in regards to software purchases. All software purchases must be arranged through IT Services. If IT Services do provide staff with approval to purchase software independently then staff are required to provide a copy of Alan Dent's approval with their Purchasing Card acquittal paperwork.

  • New Academic in Clinical Pathology looking for temporary accommodation - Message from the College of Veterinary Medicine

    Dr Gabriele Rossi, our new academic staff member in Clinical Pathology, will be arriving mid-April 2015 from Italy. He is looking for temporary accommodation to begin with while he sources more permanent accommodation arrangements.
    If anyone is able to assist with temporary or permanent accommodation, please contact me via email.

    Margaret Setter
    Personal Assistant to Professor Peter Irwin (Principal)

  • John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowships - Message from Dr Melissa Straffon, Manager Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF)

    Dear Colleagues

    I am pleased to invite your participation in the 2016 John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Full details on the SIEF and the Program, including letter of invitation and application or you can apply at

    If you have any queries please contact the SIEF Team via

    Kind regards,

    Dr Melissa Straffon
    Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF)
    Phone: +61 3 9545 7952 | Mobile: 0408 134 581 |
    Address: Private Bag 10, Clayton Sth MDC VIC 3169 | Ian Wark Laboratory, Bayview Avenue, Clayton VIC 3168

  • Australian Academy of Science Awards 2016 now open for application and nomination - Message from Jane Crier

    Hi All,

    The Australian Academy of Science Awards offered in 2016 are now open for application and nomination. Please click on the links below for further information

    Central to the purpose of the Academy is the recognition and support of outstanding contributions to the advancement of science:

    The honorific awards were established to recognise distinguished research in three categories:

    1. awards of medals and prizes are made to Early-Career scientists up to 10 years post PhD,
    2. Mid-Career scientists 8 to 15 years post PhD, and
    3. the prestigious Career awards which are made to scientists for life-long achievement.

    The Academy supports research through the sponsorship of research conferences that focus on rapidly developing fields of research;
    the awarding of travelling fellowships for the exchange of scientific ideas; and
    provides research awards in fields such as conservation, marine, plant and soil biology, and population and environment.

    Jane Crier

    Manager, Research Grants and Contract Services
    Research and Development Office
    Tel: (+618) 9360 2970
    Mobile: 0417 415 694

  • Congratulations to Dr Aswin Beck and Dr Lucas Beierer - Message from the College of Veterinary Medicine

    Congratulations to Dr Aswin Beck on becoming a new Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons having passed all his exams.

    Congratulations also to Dr Lucas Beierer on becoming a new Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery.

    Aswin and Lucas have put in a truly outstanding effort that makes all of us in the College of Veterinary Medicine very proud.

  • VLS Event Support - request for staff to attend events - Message from Jade Castle 

    Please see below updated schedule of events requiring VLS staff support in the first half of the year.

    Any staff that are able to attend please advise Katherine Cresey –

    Date Time Event Attendance Type Attendee
    Tuesday 28th April 4:30 – 9pm Wesley/Penrhos Expo 1 VLS representative required for a presentation (general overview of courses and careers)
    Monday 11th May 11:15 – 12:00pm Careers Masterclass Presentation to teachers and careers counsellors about career opportunities in VLS Phil Nicholls
    Sat – Sun 16-17th May 8 – 4pm Careers and Education Expo 1 VLS representative each day (FSO’s are being rostered in split shifts which can make it easier)
    Wednesday 20th May 6:30 – 8pm UG Information Session 1 VLS representative for expo
    Wednesday 27th May 6:30 – 8pm Health Careers Industry Evening Representatives from:
    Biomedical Science
    Lab Med
    Forensics & Toxicology
    Wednesday 3rd June 6:30 – 8pm Law & Justice Industry Evening Representative from:
    Forensics & Toxicology
    Tuesday 16th June 5 – 7pm Penrhos Careers Carousel 1 VLS representative for expo
    Wednesday 17th June 5 – 8:30pm Scotch College Expo 1 VLS representative for expo
  • Tea and coffee supplies to all VLS Common Rooms - Message from Tonya Parry

    Tea and coffee supplies to all VLS Common Rooms

    Please be advised that as of Monday 16th March 2015 supplies of tea, coffee, sugar and milk will now be refilled on a Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon only.

    Should you require supplies outside of these times you are welcome to come to the Biological Sciences Reception (Room 2.002) to collect.

Seminars, Conferences and Workshops [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Professor Wendell Ela - Desalination Seminar Invitation "Off-Grid Inland Desalination: From First Flop to Filling Tanks" - Message from Rebecca Treloar-Cook 

    You are cordially invited to meet the newly appointed Chair of Desalination and Water Treatment at Murdoch University and Scientific Advisor to the NCEDA, Professor Wendell Ela. Professor Ela has come to Perth from the University of Arizona in the USA.

    Professor Ela recognises the importance of water security to the world and has a passion for desalination in remote areas using renewable energy. He has a deep commitment to the developing world and in 2014 was a Fullbright Scholar at the Zimbabwe National University of Science and Technology.
    His teaching and research focuses on water and wastewater treatment processes with particular emphasis on desalination technology development and implementation, decentralised and off-grid water treatment systems, and integrated water/renewable energy solutions for rural communities and agriculture.

    Professor Ela will discuss his experience with off-grid desalination in the USA and outline his plans for his new role at Murdoch University and the NCEDA.

    Date: Thursday 19 March 2015
    Time: 10.30am – 11.30am
    McCusker Conference Centre (Nearest Car Park No. 7)
    Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (IIID) Building

    Murdoch University, South Street Campus

    Morning tea will be served after the presentation.
    For catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday 14 March 2015.

  • Marine Science Seminar - Message from Lynnath Beckley

    Our first marine science seminar of the year is being held on the 17th March at 12:30-13:20. It is about the turtle monitoring at Gnaraloo at the southern end of Ningaloo Reef. Many of our Murdoch students volunteer there in the summer holidays and contribute to running the program. Please come along and bring your friends.


    The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program

    Melissa Tan and others
    12h30 - 13h20 Tuesday 17th March 2015

    Room AMEN 2.021, Murdoch University

    The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program and Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program were initiated in 2008. Both programs are supported by the Gnaraloo Station Trust, and are conducted on-ground at the working pastoral station and wilderness tourism business located on the Ningaloo Coast, 150 km north of Carnarvon, WA. The program aim to identify, monitor and protect key coastal nesting rookeries of endangered sea turtles. Beach surveys in the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery are conducted for 120 consecutive days between 1 November and 28 February every season, and the Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery is surveyed for a two week period during peak nesting season (late December to early January). The rookeries are known to support three species of sea turtle, predominantly loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) as well as small numbers of green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). This season’s results recorded 539 total nesting activities, which included 332 nests within the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery; 100% of nesting activities were by loggerhead sea turtles. For the fifth consecutive season, no predation or disturbance by feral animals (specifically foxes, wild dogs and feral cats) was observed within the rookeries as a result of the feral animal control program.

  • Presentation by Professor Gifford Miller - Message from the State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre

    Please see flyer for this Presentation by Professor Gifford Miller on behalf of the Royal Society of Western Australia.

  • Presentation by Dr Julian Heng - 'Harnessing human genetics to discover novel molecular pathways involved in brain development'

    Please see here for flyer on upcoming presentation by Julian Heng, PhD Group Leader, The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research Associate Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia on ‘Harnessing human genetics to discover novel molecular pathways involved in brain development’

    Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 11.00 am.
    McCusker Conference room (IIID building)

  • Third International Congress on Pathogens at the Human-Animal Interface 

    Third International Congress on Pathogens at the Human-Animal Interface (ICOPHAI): One Health for Sustainable Development

    ICOPHAI 2015 will be held August 6-8, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
    NEW in 2015: Special Session: Ebola, MERS and other emerging viral diseases of zoonotic significance For further details, registration, or abstract submission, please visit
    Dear Scientists, Policy-makers and all prospective ICOPHAI 2015 participants:
    Although significant improvements in environmental and medical surveillance, clinical diagnostic methods, and clinical practices have been achieved in the recent years, zoonotic emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) remain a major global concern and such threats are expanding, especially in less developed regions. The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a stark reminder of the role animal reservoirs play in public health and reinforces the urgent need for operationalizing One Health approach globally. The complex nature of zoonotic diseases and the limited resources in developing countries are reminders that the need for implementation of Global One Health in low-resource settings is a crucial component of global health. The Veterinary Public Health and Biotechnology (VPH-Biotec) Global Consortium launched the International Congress on Pathogens at the Human-Animal Interface (ICOPHAI) in order to address important challenges and needs for capacity building. The 3rd ICOPHAI congress is scheduled to be held at the heart of the South-eastern Asia in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a region known to be a hot spot for emerging zoonoses. We would like to invite you to join us on this important global knowledge sharing platform.

    Who should attend this congress? Scientists and policy-makers committed to make a difference in global health mainly on infectious diseases at the interface of human, animal and ecosystem. Professionals including physicians, public health experts; veterinarians, ecologists, behavioralists, basic scientists, microbiologists, pharmacologists and pharmaceutical medicine, nurses, sociologists, animal scientists, wild-life conservationists and others working in relevant field and capacity building efforts are welcome.

    What geographic regions are included? ICOPHAI is open to all global partners. While the major emphasis is on science and policy-makers in developing regions including Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the dialogue between developing and developed regions is crucial. Presentations from diverse scientists, development partners and policy-makers from all geographic regions are welcome.

Jobs and Volunteering Opportunities [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Register of Requests for Casual or Volunteering work in the school 

    Register available here listing people who have contacted the School to express an interest in casual work or volunteering in the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. Staff are free to consult the register if they are looking for casual people for lab work, tutoring work, volunteering or work experience in their area.

VLS Announcements No. 028