VLS Announcements 046 - 16 July 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 046 of our weekly announcements. July has been quite a successful month for the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences with the latest ARC Linkage round providing funding to the following research staff:

  • Out of the overall $1.5 million ARC Linkage grants awarded to Murdoch University, $1.16 million went to staff and their teams in the School of VLS: Prof John Howieson (Turning sand into sheep feed – Lebeckia ambigua an agricultural perennial), Prof Mike Jones (Genome editing to improve the dietary quality of potato), Dr Fiona Valesini (Balancing estuarine and societal health in a changing environments).
  • Two other staff members are involved as Chief Investigators on research projects led by other universities: Prof Giles Hardy on a project led by the University of Western Sydney; and Dr Mike van Keulen on a project led by the University of Queensland.

The recent Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) Conference in Geelong was also very positive, with Murdoch students taking out half of the prizes available for student presentations: Harriet Davies, Alicia Sutton and Shona Jennings. Frank Salleo also received the prestigious AMSA Technical Award.

As part of the 2015 National Science Week, PhD student Pawel Waryszak received a grant on behalf of the Wildflower Society of Western Australia for his project looking at the heavy metal composition in relation to soil disturbance and plant abundance at Anstey-Keane bushland.

Congratulations to our talented staff and students!


David Hampson
Dean, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Nathalie Kennedy by COB each Tuesday for publication on Friday.

Note: items that require action are 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]

  • VLS success in ARC Linkage grants

    Congratulations to our researcher on receiving the following 2015 ARC Linkage Grants...

    The following School research staff have been successful in obtaining ARC 2015 Linkage grants:

    Dr Fiona Valesini's project aims to facilitate sustainable development in a fast-growing coastal region (Peel-Harvey, south-western Australia).
    Project title: Balancing estuarine and societal health in a changing environment - Total funding: $541,405

    Prof John Howieson and his team are aiming to develop nitrogen-fixing legumes adapted to the changing climate, in particular Lebeckia ambigua, a very promising perennial legume.
    Project title: Turning sand into sheep feed – Lebeckia ambigua an agricultural perennial - Total funding: $335,834

    Prof Mike Jones and his team (with Chief Investigators: Dr Stephen Wylie and Dr Stephen Milroy) are researching how to develop healthier potatoes with a lower Glycaemic index (GI), by reducing the rate of glucose release into the bloodstream when they are eaten. 
    Project title: Genome editing to improve the dietary quality of potato – Total funding: $290,000

    2015 ARC Linkage Grants for VLS

    Prof Giles Hardy is the Chief Investigator on a project led by the University of Western Sydney, titled Do hotter and drier regions harbour adaptive variation for climate change. Total funding: $281,506

    Dr Mike Van Keulen is the Chief Investigator on a project led by the University of Queensland, titled Distribution, connectivity and sustainability species of national and international ecotourism value and conflicting international fishing pressure. Total funding: $315,236

    Congratulations to all involved!

  • Awards galore at AMSA Conference in Geelong - message from Prof Lynnath Beckley

    A great week at the Australian marine science conference was capped off last week at the gala dinner with Murdoch students taking out three of the five prizes on offer for student presentations...

    The Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA) is the peak national professional association for marine scientists and promotes marine science across all disciplines in Australia. Each year, AMSA's awards recognise outstanding contributions by individuals from a variety of sectors such as government organisations, science departments and institutes, universities and the private sector.

    Ron Kenny Award for overall best student talk at the conference: Harriet Davies ( just completed BSc Honours with Halina Kobryn and Lynnath Beckley)

    Peter Holloway Award for best student talk on oceanography: Alicia Sutton ( PhD student with Lynnath Beckley)

    Fisheries Research & Development Corporation  prize for best electronic poster on a fisheries topic: Shona Jennings (MSc coursework student with Lynnath Beckley)

    This is all in addition to Frank Salleo receiving the prestigious AMSA Technical Award and Alicia Sutton winning the AMSA Allen Award for travel to an overseas conference ($2500). Murdoch University’s name has certainly been up in lights this week in Geelong!

    + more information

  • 'Acknowledgment of country' new guidelines for semester 2 - message from A/Prof John Bailey for action

    Find out more about the new guidelines for 'acknowledgment of country' for lectures at the start of semester...

    At the Environmental and Conservation Science Cluster meeting on the 7th July, Braden Hill from Kulbardi introduced the Reconciliation Action Plan. Braden will be attending other cluster meetings to present the Plan. During discussion, questions were asked about the acknowledgement to country that can be used in the first lecture of a unit and/or included on the LMS site/UILG.

    A link to suggested wording follows:

    A slide will be made available to all unit coordinators to use in their lectures if they wish to use it at the commencement of semester 2. The link will be provided in one of our next VLS announcements as soon as we receive it.

  • Staffing change in Research Grants Office - message from Jane Crier  

    Michelle Chen is starting in the Grants and Contracts team...

    Dear All

    I am delighted to introduce to you Michelle Chen, our newest member of the Grants and Contracts team, within the Office of Research and Development.

    Michelle has joined us as a Grants and Contracts Officer and will be providing dedicated support to staff within:

    • VLS - Molecular and Biomedical Sciences
    • Centre for Comparative Genomics
    • Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
    • Separation Science and Metabolomics Laboratory

    Please join me in extending her a warm welcome. For staff in this area, please now direct your research grant queries to Michelle.

    Michelle can be contacted via the following:

    Tel: +61 8 9360 6567

    Please could you forward this notification to any colleagues I may have missed.

    Many thanks

    Jane Crier

    Manager, Research Grants and Contract Services
    Research and Development Office

    Tel:         (+618) 9360 2970

  • Dr Sofie De Meyer needs your vote! - message from Dr Sofie De Meyer for action

    Watch Sofie's video and support her application at the Inspiring Australia Research Competition for Early to Mid-Career Researchers. Make sure you vote before 31 July...

    CRS post-doc Sofie De Meyer is participating in the Inspiring Australia Research Competition. With government funding cuts to science, success rates and job security for Australia's early to mid career researchers are at an all time low. The Australian Early to Mid-Career Researcher Forum of the Australian Academy of Science has launched an 'Inspire Australia' video research competition to showcase innovative research being performed in laboratories and universities across Australia.

    Check out Sofie’s entry and vote for her research!

    The voting period is open between July 15 - July 31.

  • PhD student Pawel Waryszak receives a National Science Week Grant for 2015 

    VLS PhD student Pawel Waryszak was successful in obtaining a National Science week 2015 grant on behalf of the Wildflower Society of Western Australia (Murdoch branch)...

    orchidsPawel's project will be looking at the heavy metal composition in relation to soil disturbance and plant abundance at Anstey-Keane bushland.

    Anstey-Keane Bush Forever Site is a jewel in the Perth Metropolitan area with an amazing range of plant and bird species. Unfortunately, as all urban bushlands Anstey-Keane bush site is exposed to a range of disturbance factors related to the ongoing urbanization.

    The “Orchid, Soil & Disturbance” is an event designed to bring all interested individuals from all walks of life to undertake a public research on environmental issues in peri-urban areas. The main focus will be at how disturbance factors affect soil properties and in turn how soil properties affect the changes in the ecosystem above ground.

    This project is collaboration between WSWA Murdoch branch, Friends of Forrestdale, Weed Society of WA and MicroBlitz. Everyone is welcome to join in on 16th of August 2015 at 11 am to enjoy this beautiful bushland and be part of citizen science! 

    More information about the project here:

  • Meeting the scientists of tomorrow at Scitech - message from Narelle Dybing, PhD Candidate

    For two days in the first week of the July school holidays, Stephanie Hing and Narelle Dybing held a “Meet the scientist at Scitech” session...

    We set up different activities to introduce children and their parents to the fascinating world of parasites. Some activities included colouring pages, connect the dots and looking at parasite lifecycles, as well as hands on activities. Children and their parents were able to look at parasites under the microscope and ask questions. We focused on internal and external parasites that can be carried by domestic animals (such as pet cats). It was amazing to see the fascination on the childrens’ faces when they saw an object under the microscope and were able to relate that back to their own lives and think about where they may encounter these parasites.

    We also provided information regarding symptoms of common parasite infections and steps they could take to prevent themselves from becoming infected with parasites. The children had many questions and were very enthusiastic to learn about the world of creepy crawlies.

    It was a very rewarding outreach program that benefitted not only the children but us as scientists and science communicators.

    Narelle Dybing and Stephanie Hing - 'Meet the scientist at Scitech' session

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

  • New Academic staff development menu - message from Mike Bryant, CUTL Associate Director 

    Check the new staff development programme organised by the Centre for University Teaching and Learning...

    Dear Colleagues,

    As you are aware, we often receive requests for information and clarification about the training that’s on offer to academic staff within Murdoch.

    At our next scheduled meeting, I will update you on work that’s on-going to develop and improve the programme.  In the meantime, feel free to circulate or make use of the attached programme within your School if it is helpful, and let me know if I can supply more information about any aspect.  I’m open to dinner invitations too, you can always hope.

    Best wishes to everyone for the upcoming teaching periods!

    Mike Bryant

    Associate Director | Centre for University Teaching and Learning | Academic Registrar's Office
    ( Phone +61 8 9360 6480 | *  Email | Mobile +61 428 939675 | Twitter @CUTLMikeB

  • Evening Lecture Series in Continuing Veterinary Education - message from Chelsea Little, CVE Coordinator

    Read on about the exciting new Evening Lecture Series program in CVE, starting on 21st July...

    Dear Staff,

    The Office of Continuing Education is excited to invite you to attend the Evening Lecture Series.  The series is sponsored by Hills Pet Nutrition and is a complimentary event for staff which will run throughout the second half of 2015.  This series will provide you with professional development and networking opportunities with like-minded individuals and industry engagement.

    The first of the series will be presented by Dr Shona Reese and will take place on Tuesday 21st July from 7pm in VCS 2.008 (4th year lecture theatre).   Please refer to the attached flyer for more information on the series.

    2015 Program





    Tue 21st July


    Dr Shona Reese


    Classic Radiographic Cases – the ones to recognise to increase your accuracy and efficiency in practice


    Wed 5th August


    Dr Corrin Boyd


    Synthetic colloids – risks and rewards


    Wed 2nd September


    Dr Gabby Musk


    Anaesthesia for geriatric patients


    Tuesday 6th October


    Dr Mary Thompson


    Trick or Treat: An update on toxicities associated with pet foods


    Wed 25th November


    Dr Tim Hyndman &
    Dr Sam Abraham


    Pharmacology FAQ’s and Super Bugs in Veterinary Practice

    Although complimentary, please register below for catering purposes and remember to bring your Murdoch Name Badge.  You can register by clicking here for the first of the 5 part series, scheduled to take place on Tuesday 21st July.  You will be invited via email to the rest of the series closer to the event dates.
    Practising veterinarians will also be in attendance at this event.

    Please note: make your way to the Vet Staff Common Room at 7pm for registration confirmation and light refreshments.
    We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 21st July. 

    Office of Continuing Education
    Phone 08 9360 6342

  • Mobile phone numbers on MyHR - message from Melissa Koh for action

    As part of the new Emergency Response Project, we are reminding everyone to check that their emergency contacts and personal contact details are up to date in the MyHR system (including your mobile number)...

    To update your information, please access MyHR and then select MyHR > My Personal Information > Personal Contacts, and then do the same for Emergency Contacts (refer screen snapshot below).

    MyHR - Emergency Contacts screenshot

    Please take a moment to log into MyHR and check that your information is up to date.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards

    Melissa Koh
    Human Resources Advisor | Advisory & Recruitment | Human Resources Office
    Phone: (08) 9360 2601 | Email:  

  • Welcome to new staff member Dr Claire Sharp - message from Prof Peter Irwin , Dr Melissa Claus and Dr Lisa Smart

    Please make welcome Dr Claire Sharp who has just joined our academic staff and the Critical Care team as a Senior Lecturer in ECC...

    046 Claire Sharp.jpgClaire is a Murdoch Uni Vet School graduate from 2002. She then spent 18 months in a GP practice over east before leaving for America to continue her veterinary training in the field of Emergency and Critical Care.

    She has spent the past 6 years at Tufts University in Boston, MA as an Assistant Professor in ECC before coming full circle to be back where she started at Murdoch Uni.

    We are thrilled to have her join us, and know she will be a great asset to our team!

  • 2015 Staff Awards photos - now available online

    If you were unable to attend the 2015 Murdoch University Staff Awards on Wednesday 10 June, you can now view the photos of the prize recipients...

    The awards took place at the Guild Tavern and recognised the contributions of 64 staff award winners. These annual Staff Awards are an opportunity to formally reward commitment and dedication in teaching, research and professional services within the schools as well as recognise long serving staff members.

  • Study Abroad and Exchange Program (outbound) on social media 

    Follow the Study Abroad and Exchange Programs via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram...

    Dear Colleagues,

    Most of you might are aware of our Facebook page ‘Murdoch University Study Abroad and Exchange’, but we are now also on Twitter and Instagram. I would like to encourage your School to follow @murdochoutbound and like our Facebook page to share and connect with our Study Abroad and Exchange opportunities at Murdoch.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards,
    Jeannette Geesmann
    Student Mobility Officer (Outbound) | External Engagement | Academic Registrar's Office
    ( Phone +61 8 9360 7836 | * Email | :

  • Dog N Jog Fun Run  - message from Margo Darbyshire, Executive Officer Veterinary Trust

    This year's Dog N Jog Fun Run will start at 8 am on 16th August - registrations close on 14th August 2015...

    The Murdoch University Dog n Jog Fun Run is on again for our 5th year. The event is a 4km or 8km fun run AND you can bring along your best friend - your dog (dog is optional). This is a FREE community event and anyone can register.

    This year, the event is being supported by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Trust and we will now be starting/finishing the run from the Vet hospital on campus.
    The course is all on campus and run along the internal ring road of the University. Participants can run or walk the course.

    You can register for this FREE event -

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

  • Presentations by Prof Timothy Walsh from Cardiff University - message from Dr Sam Abraham

    Professor Timothy Walsh will be presenting two events: 1) a workshop on maximising research publishing and career opportunities for scientists; 2) a public lecture on Global Antimicrobial Resistance: when two worlds collide...

    Dear all

    We are organising two events with Prof. Timothy Walsh from Cardiff University. Tim is known for the discovery of pandemic NDM-1 superbug that originated from Indian Sub-continent and spread across the world. This which is one of the recent pan-drug resistant bacteria which is major concern in hospitals. It would be a great opportunity for you and your students to meet Tim and know about his recent research.

    Organised events are as follows:

    1) Publishing and Career Development Workshop. Please see attached flyer. If you could encourage your postdocs and research students to come along that would be great.
    Friday 24th July - 2pm to 4.15 pm in BSLT

    2) Public Lecture: "Global Antimicrobial Resistance: When two worlds collide" . Please see attached flyer for further details on the public lecture.
    Monday 27th of July at Fiona Stanley Hospital - 5:00 pm for refreshments, talk at 5.30 pm

    This will be a great opportunity to meet Tim and also meet fellow W.A researchers in this area.

    If you could pass this on to your colleagues who would be interested that would be great.


    Dr. Sam Abraham BSc, MSc, PhD
    Lecturer in Veterinary & Medical Infectious Disease
    School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
    Ph: +61 8 93602054 Email:

  • Presentation at IIID by A/Prof Chris Peacock on 22 July - message from Deborah Robertson, IIID Practice Manager 

    A/Prof Peacock's presentation will be on "The influence of the microbiome on acute otitis media"...

    I am delighted to announce our next presentation will be by Associate Professor Chris Peacock, School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UWA, on Wednesday 22 July at 11am.  A/Prof Peacock’s talk is entitled “The influence of the microbiome on acute otitis media”. 

    Please see attached flyer.


    Deborah Robertson
    Practice Manager
    Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases|Murdoch University
    IIID, Building 390, Discovery Way Murdoch University,
    Tel: + 618 9360 1334

VLS Announcements No. 046