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VLS Announcements 58 - 9th October 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 58 of our weekly announcements.

 This week has seen further staff movements and retirements as well as the return of students for the last weeks of Semester 2, 2016.

Callista has made some changes regarding grades and Poster Day is fast approaching, details are included below, so please read for further information.


David Hampson
Dean, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Emma Thorp 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]

  • Notre Dame Service Learning Conference - message from A/Prof Michael Calver for action

    Notre Dame University has kindly extended an invitation to their Service-learning Conference 2015 to be held in Fremantle on 27-28 November.

    It is great to see two Murdoch staff presenting. Please see the attached poster and schedule for more information and to RSVP.

  • Trial of Urkund Plagiarism Softwarefor action

    The university is looking for unit coordinators to volunteer to trial the plagiarism-detection software Urkund in their units.

    If suitable for adoption at Murdoch Urkund would save 80% of our costs on plagiarism detection relative to Turnitin while being easier for staff and students to use, so a trial is important. If you have a unit running in semester one 2016 and are willing to trial Urkund, please email Mike Calver with Urkund trial_unit code_unit name in the subject line. Details will be forwarded to CUTL for inclusion in the tria

  • Biosecurity and Biosafety Training Course

    This week a very successful Biosecruity and Biosafety Training Course has been run for senior Indian administrators and scientists particularly on the systems that relate to managing and trade in Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Australia and internationally.

    The course was organised by Professor Shashi Sharma with major inputs from Professors Mike Jones and Yonglin Ren, researchers Dr Steve Wylie, John Fosu-Nyarko and Manjree Agarwal, and Administrative organisation by Ms Wynette Francis . It included a mixture of lectures, labs and site visits.

    058 Mike Jones 2015-09-29 13.23.16 copy.jpg

    Participants in GM examining a GM canola crop at Cunderdin.

  • Invitation to use Moodle to transfer grades into Callista

    Unit coordinators can now transfer the final marks and grades of a unit from Moodle (Learning Management System) to Callista (Student Management System).

    In Semester 1 2015, the university conducted a successful pilot of a new integrated process to transfer the final marks and grades of a unit from Moodle to Callista.

    The system is now available for wider use and unit coordinators are invited to use this interface for grades transfer.

    The new process was piloted with around 40 units as an alternative to the usual spreadsheet method of uploading marks to Callista between January and June this year. This pilot was a success and over 5,000 student marks were transferred using this process.

    There are numerous benefits in the new Grades Transfer Process including:

    • Seamless and secure transfer of student marks and grades from Moodle to Callista
    • Elimination of the need to export component marks out of Moodle and manual compilation of final marks in one or more spreadsheet files, often resulting in data entry errors
    • Simple management of student marks especially for large class sizes

    If you are a unit coordinator of a unit running in Semester 2, 2015 and would like to use this system to transfer your grades from Moodle to Callista, please provide the code and title of your nominated unit(s) to

    You may nominate any number of your units as desired. This system can be used for units where the student grades are any of HD,D,C,P,N, SA, SX, NA and DNS.

    If you had participated in the pilot of the system earlier this year then you are more than welcome to continue to use the system for other units you are coordinating. All you will need to do is to contact us and we will give you access to the system again.

  • Forensics Fieldtrip
  • During the study break our Forensics students attended a fieldtrip at Whitby Falls, one student, Astrid Black, has shared her thoughts on the experience.

    To say I was looking forward to this trip is an understatement. We’ve learnt an array of crime scene investigation skills this semester from some incredible professionals, and this was our chance to roam free and put these new skills to the test. Whilst learning in the lecture theatre and lab is vital, getting into the field to test our abilities and knowledge in a simulated homicide crime scene was the most incredible experience of my university career.

    058 Murder Scene 1058 Murder Scene 3

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

  • Retirements
  • Ms Bee-Lay Addis, Administration Officer, WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC) has retired.

    Bee-Lay has been the AO for the SABC for the last 7 years of her 27 years service to Murdoch University, and has contributed to many aspects of University life. Her in depth knowledge of the university systems, and the quiet and efficient way in which she has undertaken her work will be missed.

  • College of Veterinary Medicine - Administrative Staff
  • I am delighted to let you know that Lian Chan will be commencing is the College of Veterinary Medicine on Thursday, 8 October 2015.

    Lian will be working Monday, Thursday and Friday’s from 8 am until 4:30 pm.

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

  • 2015 Keith Roby Memorial Lecture “It's Time to Be Extraordinaryfor action

    Staff are invited to attend the 2015 Keith Roby Memorial Lecture “It's Time to Be Extraordinary. How ordinary people are addressing the climate crisis and how to be part of this extraordinary grassroots movement” presented by Kirsty Albion, National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition

    The climate crisis represents the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, but it's also our opportunity to create a more just and sustainable world. For decades vested interests have tried everything to slow global action on climate change - from misinformation campaigns to confuse the public, to bank-rolling politicians and corrupting public policy. In the face of this, a grassroots movement has emerged, in every corner of the globe. A grassroots movement that is leading solutions to the climate crisis. Ordinary citizens are coming together to stand up to fossil fuel projects, more than a million Australian houses have put solar on their roofs, and communities are transitioning from polluting energy sources to clean, renewable ones. This grassroots movement is not just revolutionising our energy system and reducing pollution, it's re-imagining the world we want to live in and creating a more just and sustainable future. Hear how ordinary people are creating extraordinary change.

    Event details Date: Tuesday 20 October 2015 Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm Venue: Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre, South St Campus

    RSVP: Essential by Wednesday 14 October 2015 to or on 08 9360 6176 Sustainable refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the lecture.

  • Youth Forum for People and Wildlife 2016.

    In September 2016, IFAW (with the help of funding by the Disney Conservation Foundation) will bring together 20 conservationists from around the world and convene the Youth Forum for People and Wildlife (see attached) in Johannesburg immediately prior to the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP 17 - September 24 – October 5, 2016).

    The Youth Forum participants will discuss and better understand wildlife trade issues from multiple perspectives, connect with experts, explore solutions, and build skills that will empower them to become the next generation of compassionate conservationists. In addition to the in-person gathering, IFAW is creating an online event platform that will virtually connect a larger pool of young conservationists and interested stakeholders of all ages with the delegates in South Africa. Through this online platform, we will be able to broadcast the forum proceedings and establish an online community for youth to learn, share and take action to protect wildlife before, during and beyond the 2016 Forum.

    We will publicly announce the Forum and call for delegates on 4 October through to 4 December. The selected delegates will be announced and the full online Forum event site launched on 3 March 2016, World Wildlife Day. I was wondering if Murdoch University could help promote this initiative and encourage your students to apply?

    Below are some key facts and messages on the Forum which you may find interesting:

    Who will participate in the Forum?
    1. 20 Youth Delegates Onsite
    · Ages 18 to 25
    · From Africa and other key source, transit and consumer countries in wildlife trade chain, including Asia, Europe and the Americas.
    · Proven commitment, leadership and multi-year involvement with wildlife conservation and/or sustainable community development
    · Representing a variety of perspectives and experience, from grassroots advocacy to community-based conservation to law or policy etc.

    2. Special Ambassadors, including Jane Goodall, and Experts in the field of conservation and wildlife trade (including representatives from CITES, Governments, IFAW etc.) who will attend the event as speakers, panellists, mentors and trainers.

    3. Virtual participation by online delegates, other stakeholders, and youth of all ages worldwide via online event site

    How will delegates be recruited and selected?
    · An interactive application form will be available online beginning 4 October 2015, with deadline of 4 December.
    · A simple communications toolkit to help promote the call for applications will be made available to all partners, stakeholders and youth networks.
    · IFAW will screen and shortlist applicants during December 2015
    · Final selection will take place in January 2016 by a committee of 10 people maximum comprised of IFAW staff (TBD) and representatives designated by key partners, including Disney, Jane Goodall and possibly CITES, USFWS, etc.
    · Delegates will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to wildlife, conservation, the environment and/or sustainable communities. Successful applicants will show how they can make a positive contribution to the Forum and use this experience to make an impact afterward professionally or in their community. Selected delegates will also reflect the Forum’s emphasis on diversity, from geographic, demographic and expertise perspectives.

    What will delegates do during the Forum?
    The core Forum curriculum and experience, from pre-work and in-person experiences to post-work, include addressing:
    · Expanding knowledge of key issues
    · Fostering integration of animal welfare and conservation;
    · Critical communication and problem-solving skills;
    · Building a network to share and collaborate;
    · Expanding cross-cultural perspectives on multiple issues;
    · Leadership development;
    · Empowering engagement in conservation;
    · CITES impact (e.g. place for youth voice);
    · IFAW specific needs (e.g. expand public profile);

  • Livestock Nutrition 2016

    Livestock nutriton 2016 will be held in Brisbane in July 2016.

    For further information please see the website -

  • National Fertiliser-2015 Conference

    Professor Mike Jones gave an invited lecture at the National Fertilizer Conference.

    Held on October 1st in Mandurah on ‘50 Shades of GMOs’

  • IIID Presentation - Assoicate Professor Allison Imrie
  • Next Wednesday 14 October IIID is holding a presentation by Associate Professor Allison Imrie. Her talk is entitled “Dengue Studies in Travellers and in the Asia-Pacific Region”

    For further information, please see the attached flyer.
  • Society of Australian Systematic Biologists Biennial Conference combined with the 11th Invertebrate Biodiversity & Conservation Conference.
  • The Organising Committee is pleased to invite you to the upcoming Society of Australian Systematic Biologists Biennial Conference combined with the 11th Invertebrate Biodiversity & Conservation Conference. It will be held on the 6-9 of December at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia.

    The conference is the national forum to discuss research on systematic biology and invertebrate biodiversity conservation, which have formed a productive and passionate scientific community. This year's theme is Next Generation | New Generation, which embraces the upcoming new generation of gifted young scientists plying their trade in conservation, biodiversity and systematics, and ushers in the integration of modern next generation sequencing projects that are starting to revolutionise our understanding of evolutionary processes. We have three great keynote speakers with Jan Strugnell (La Trobe University), Mike Rix (University of Adelaide/WAM/QM), and Melinda Moir (CEED). We encourage you to visit the website and subscribe to the SASB 2015 Mailing List.

    We hope to see you at the upcoming SASB & IBC 2015 combined event. Closing date for Abstract submissions is 13 October.

  • Research Skills Seminar Series - Part of the Research Education Program - Department of Clinical Research and Education
  • This seminar celebrates World Statistics Day. Based on the 2013 Nature paper by Sutherland et al, this seminar will use examples from the medical literature to “help non-scientists interrogate advisers and grasp the limitations of evidence”

    These tips are just as relevant for health researchers who may be looking for a refresher course in statistical literacy or early career researchers struggling to understand the seemingly unlimited sources of bias and confounding. Bio: Julie Marsh is an experienced statistical consultant who worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years before returning to academia. She now teaches statistics at UWA and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute. She believes that it is vital for everyone to expand their statistical toolbox to avoid being overwhelmed in this era of Big Data.

    When: Friday 16 October 2015, 12.30-1.30pm

    Where: MacDonald Lecture Theatre, Admin Building, PMH

    Please RSVP to no later than noon on Wed 14 Oct

HDR Opportunities and Scholarships [Expand All] | [Collapse Al

  • Poster Day 2015
  • The School of Veterinary & Life Sciences Annual Postgraduate Poster Day will be held on Friday 6th November starting at 2pm.

    Poster day is an opportunity for you to present your work to the School via a poster and socially mix with invited guests from the university and external collaborative organisations. Additionally, there will be prizes on offer for best presentations in each cluster. In addition to the financial bonus, winning a prize looks fantastic on your CV!

    If you have been enrolled for >6 months then you can submit a poster. If you are in your third/final year it is compulsory for you to participate.

    You will be required to send a PDF of your poster by the 30th of October to

    This is to enable assessors to look at the posters in advance of poster day.

    Further information regarding the day will be advertised in the VLS announcements and on the Poster Day webpage -

VLS Announcements No. 58