VLS Announcements 038 - 22 May 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 038 of our weekly announcements.

I am pleased to share with you below the winners of the 2014 Veterinary and Life Science Staff Awards.

Please join me in congratulating each of these staff on their significant contributions to both the School and the University.

These awards will be presented to our staff at the University Staff Awards Ceremony, details shown below.

I encourage as many staff as possible to come along and support their colleagues on the night.

Date: Wednesday 10 June 2015
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Venue: Murdoch University Tavern

Staff need to RSVP by 2 June 2015.



Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Learning and Teaching Award - Best unit survey Dr Tim Hyndman
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Learning and Teaching Award - Best teaching survey Dr Natalie Warburton
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Learning and Teaching Award - Innovation Dr Cristy Secombe and Dr Melinda Bell
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Staff Member Mr Frank Salleo
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Staff Member Mrs Karen Olkowski
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Team Veterinary and Life Sciences Student Advisor Pod Dr Janine Rix, Mr Martin Ratcliff, Ms Sherry Fletcher and Mrs Suzanne White
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by an Academic Staff Member Professor David Macey
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by an Academic Staff Member Associate Professor John Bailey
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for research that has had significant and lasting translational impact and uptake for industry, society or environment The Centre for Rhizobium Studies - Professor John Howieson, Dr Graham O’Hara, Dr Jason Terpolilli, Dr Ravi Tiwari, Dr Wayne Reeve, Dr Julie Ardley, Dr Sofie De Meyer, Dr Rui Tian
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for interdisciplinary research Professor Lynnath Beckley
Veterinary and Life Sciences 2014 Award for innovative research by an Early Career Academic Dr Garth Maker


David Hampson

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

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]

  • Christmas Island crop success - story on Professor John Howieson's Mining to Plant Enterprises (MINTOPE) Project - Message from David Hampson

    A team from Murdoch University has spearheaded the federally-funded Mining to Plant Enterprises (MINTOPE) Project, which will hold a public field day on Saturday afternoon.

    MINTOPE aims to rehabilitate poor soils on the Indian Ocean island and ultimately provide food security for the community, which currently flies in much of its fresh produce.

    Professor of Crop Science, John Howieson, says the three-year program has seen old phosphate mining land transformed into agricultural plots with a variety of legumes and cereals.

    Link to full story is here

  • Briefing session for new unit coordinators - Message from John Bailey

    A third briefing session for new unit coordinators has been organised for 9.30-12.30 on Friday 3rd July (venue to be confirmed). An invitation has been sent to recently appointed staff but there are places available for other staff who might feel in need of a refresher session. If you would like to come please send John Bailey an email

  • Unit Coordinators - Supplementary/Deferred Exams process - Message from Peter Furzer

    To enable the Supplementary/Deferred Exams process to be administered as efficiently as possible within its many constraints, SX results will now only be accepted.

    1. When submitted before the results deadline for the teaching period in which the results are due
    2. When an original grade is changed to SX at a Board of Examiners meeting

    SX results submitted after the results deadline or not changed by a BOE, will not be accepted. The Unit Coordinator will be advised that the result will be changed to SA and they will be required to organise the supplementary assessment themselves. This can take the form of an exam, but will need to be administered by the unit coordinator/School.

  • How do YOU value the Kimberley coast? Complete a survey - Message from Jennifer Strickland-Munro

    036 -  Kimberley coast.jpg

    Researchers are exploring how people value the Kimberley coastline and marine environment. An online survey was recently launched seeking stakeholder input to help guide future management of the unique and beautiful region. The survey asks people to place markers on a Google maps interface to show where and how they value the coast, as well as what kind of management they wish to see in the future.

    The research aims to assist Government to make informed decisions about coastal management, now and into the future, and will provide spatially explicit data to inform planning and management. The survey is part of the WA government’s $30m Kimberley Marine Research Program (KMRP) administered by the WA Marine Science Institution (WAMSI).

    We want to hear from as many different people as possible through the survey. Every voice counts! Just click on the link:

    The survey will take around 25-30 minutes and all information given is anonymous. There is also a small thank you gift once you finish the survey but these are limited so get in quick.

    Have your say about how you would like to see the Kimberley coast managed in the future.

    Please contact Jennifer Strickland-Munro ( if you would like any more information.

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

  • Welcome Dr Gabriele Rossi - Message from Peter Irwin

    Hello everyone,

    I’m delighted to welcome Dr Gabriele Rossi to the College and to Murdoch, as Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Pathology. Gabriele started on Monday 11th May and is located in the office previously occupied by Tibor Gaal. Gabriele comes to us from Italy (Milan) where he has been working for the last few years. He holds a PhD (Identification of new biomarkers and innovative analytical methods in veterinary clinical pathology) and is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Clinical Pathology. Gabriele will be teaching clinical pathology (obviously!) He has come to Australia with his wife and baby girl and will be living in the Fremantle area. Please drop in to say hi and make him feel welcome.



    Peter J. Irwin, BVetMed, PhD, FANZCVS, MRCVS | Professor
    PRINCIPAL | College of Veterinary Medicine
    School of Veterinary and Life Sciences

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

    Dear early career researchers,

    Our Post Doc After Work drinks will happen each month on the last Friday in the BSB common room (building 240, room 2.020) starting at 4pm. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other and enjoy some nibbles and drinks for a very economic price. The next happy Fridays are listed below so pencil them in your diary!

    - 29/05/2015
    - 26/06/2015
    - 31/07/2015
    - 28/08/2015

    Hope to see you all there!



  • Honours Poster Session: Monday 25 June 2-4 pm - Message from Joe Fontaine 

    Dear Colleagues,

    Please come along to the annual Research Methods unit poster session this coming Monday, May 25th from 2-4 pm at the Vet School Pergola. Honours students (and MSc and 4th Year) will be presenting their posters summarising their project findings and proposals. The session is meant to emulate a conference poster session and therefore will be informal and nibbles will be available (sorry I don’t have that big of a budget for drinks). Come and go as your schedule permits.

    This is the first year we have done it across all of VLS and I know the students (and myself) would really appreciate it if you came along for a bit. Faculty, please encourage your PhD and other students to come along (i.e. if you have 3rd year classes or students you are targeting for honours). The more the merrier. This is a really exciting opportunity for us to see the amazing diversity of research going on across the school in one place.

    While at the poster session, I would really appreciate it if you could grab a few marking sheets and mark a modest number of posters (~5 or more). This will assist me greatly in giving the students good, diverse feedback. There also will be the opportunity to vote for the best posters.

    Best wishes and hope to see you there,

    Joe Fontaine, Lecturer
    Veterinary and Life Sciences
    Murdoch University, Western Australia

  • Bec and Sam Abraham have a new baby boy - Message from Fiona Feist

    038 - IMG_3122.jpg 038 - 20150520_165654.jpg  Bec and I were blessed with a baby boy last night. Mom and bub are well. He is healthy and weighs 3.3kg. We have named him Issac Samuel Abraham. 

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

  • InSPiRE for Supervisors - Tuesday 30 June 2015, University of Notre Dame - Message from Ashleigh Roberts, Graduate Research & Projects Officer and InSPiRE Co-ordinator, Research and Development

    Hello Research Degree Supervisors

    The five WA universities are collaborating again to host a week-long summer school to provide expert research training for research degree students. I sent the first attachment out to all Murdoch research students last week so if you could please encourage your student/s to attend that would be great. They should be able to claim the registration fee out of their maintenance account.

    There will also be a day (incorporated into the Notre Dame program on 30 June) for supervisors from the five universities to network and share ideas on how to improve supervisor practice. The event will be fully catered and includes entry to the closing sundowner at Curtin on Friday 2 July.

    Supervisors can register now for only $40 (plus GST) at

    Please see here for poster and information sheet.

    Hope to see you there!



    Ashleigh Roberts
    Graduate Research & Projects Officer and InSPiRE Co-ordinator| Research and Development | Murdoch University
    Phone 08 9360 2452 (Tues, Thurs & Fri) 08 9360 7115 (Mon & Wed) -  Email

  • Fresh Science: correction of dates - Message from David Morrison

    Dear David,

    Thank you for your support of Fresh Science 2015.

    I’m writing to let you know that we will open the call for nominations this week. We’ll reach out to all our science and university networks and it would be great if we can get it circulated within Murdoch University. Who is the best person to liaise with regarding that?

    The Fresh Science website<> has information about eligibility<> and how to nominate<>. Shortly we will open up the nomination form<>. You’ll see we have included Murdoch University’s logo on the front page of the Fresh Science website as well as on the Western Australia Events page. We’ve also linked it through to Murdoch University’s website.

    Fresh Science will run in:

    • Victoria 28 and 29 July

    • North Queensland 3 August

    • South Queensland August (date TBC)

    • (New dates) Western Australia 19 or 20 August (TBC)

    And we’re hoping to add South Australia and New South Wales to the list soon.

    I’ve cc’d my colleague Errol Hunt who is coordinating Fresh Science this year. If you have any questions please feel free to give either myself or Errol a call or drop us an email (

    Kind regards,

    Sarah Brooker
    Director, Science in Public
    82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood, VIC 3018
    (03) 9398 1416

  • Public Lecture – Marlene Zuk - Message from Alan Lymbery

    Marlene Zuk, the famous evolutionary biologist, is giving a public lecture at the University of Western Australia on Wednesday 17th June, centred around her new book Paleofantasy (see attached flyer).

    RSVP is necessary at:

  • Pawsey Supercomputing Centre - June training sessions - Message from Dr Valerie Maxville, User Support Manager, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

    In June, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is offering a range of free short courses on supercomputing topics. On 8-9 June, the sessions are aimed at those new to supercomputing (8th), and those wanting to understand more about using our systems (9th). Later that week, we offer two days targeting those developing research code – focusing on optimising and parallelising code. Descriptions of the courses are available at

    Introductory and intermediate sessions:

    • Introduction to Pawsey: 9:30 – 10:30am Mon 8th June
    • Introduction to Linux: 10:45 – 12:00pm Mon 8th June
    • Introductory Supercomputing: 1:00 – 4:00pm Mon 8th June
    • Introduction to Supercomputing Technology: 9:30am – 12:00pm Tues 9th June
    • Intermediate Supercomputing: 1:00pm – 4:00pm Tues 9th June
    • Registration:

    Developer courses, aimed at experienced programmers:

    • Optimising Serial Code: 9:00am – 12:00pm Thurs 11th June
    • Parallelising your Code (Part 1): 1:00pm – 4:00pm Thurs 11th June
    • Parallelising your Code (Part 2): 10:00am – 4:00pm Fri 12th June

    Courses are delivered in a face to face classroom style. Attendees are expected to bring and work on their own laptops. Staff from the Supercomputing Team will be facilitating so you can meet and chat with them.


    • Pod B, 20 Dick Perry Ave, Kensington (next door to the ARRC building).
    • Free parking available on-site.

    Additional Information

    • Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops for the sessions.
    • Courses are free of charge and open to all, however places are limited.
    • Light refreshments will be provided on each day.
    • Lunch can be purchased at near by cafeterias.

    If you have any queries, please contact Dr Valerie Maxville at
    Dr Valerie Maxville
    User Support Manager

    Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
    ARRC Building, 26 Dick Perry Ave
    Kensington WA 6151

    Tel +61 8 6436 8633

  • Lunch Seminar Dr Debbie Eagles - “Henipavirus Outbreak Investigation in the Philippines: Perspectives from the Field and the Laboratory” - Message from Dr Ihab Habib, Lecturer, Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety

    See flyer here for further information.

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

  • Science Advisor Position with the PHCC - seeking applicants - Message from Dr Fiona Valesini, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research

    Please see link for advertisement for a Science Advisor position with the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council

    The link is:

VLS Announcements No. 038