VLS Announcements 61 - 30th October 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 61 of our weekly announcements.

As we end the semester and launch into exams and marking, one of our staff members, Dr Teresa Collins has come up with a new way to combat study stress. Her dog Rusty, a friendly seven-year-old rescue Kelpie cross, will be visiting to spread good will and positive vibes in the Library at 12 noon on Thursday 29 October.

With exams in mind, Staff are asked to please restrict noisy activities in the vicinity of exam venues during the Semester 2 exam period.


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 flagfor action.   Click on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

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

  • Non Compliant Chairs Brought into Venues - message from Peter Carter

    We’ve had a report that plastic chairs were carried into the ECL LT to increase the seating capacity for a particular function.

    Apparently the chairs were also left in there after the function. Staff are reminded that carrying extra chairs into learning venues is not acceptable.
    Most venues have a registered capacity and we have a statutory obligation not to exceed this.
    Loose chairs also block access and are a tripping hazard.
    If more seats are required it is advisable to book a bigger venue rather than carry in extra seating.

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

  •  Murdoch Forensic Link to Double Murder Investigation - message from E/Prof Bob Mead

    The remarkable revelation last week that has linked together the murder of a 2-year old child, whose discarded remains were discovered in a suitcase near Wynarka in outback South Australia several months ago, with the discovery in 2010 of the skeletal remains of a young woman in the Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales, has Murdoch forensic involvement.

    Dr Susan Hayes graduated from Murdoch with an Honours degree in Human Communication and a Graduate Diploma in Education, and subsequently trained as a facial anthropologist. She was instrumental in designing and teaching the facial approximation component of our Bachelor Degree in Forensic Biology and Toxicology. Sue wrote and published a unique high quality, laboratory manual specifically designed for our course. The manual has no equal anywhere in the world and is used extensively within the University and in our outreach programmes.

    facial picture.jpg

    After relocating to the University of Wollongong, Sue was approached by the NSW Police to assist in the identification of skeletal remains discovered by trail bike riders in the Belanglo State Forest in 2010. The remains were clearly those of a young woman and had been lying in the forest for anywhere between 6 months and 10 years. She had been wearing a pink and white T-shirt made by a company called Chain Reaction which marketed their products in NSW some 10 years earlier. The T-shirt had an “Angelic” motive on it, so the young woman was code-named “Angel” from then on. Sue spent many hours carrying out a facial approximation on the skull of the unidentified woman and even consulted a hair dresser in an attempt to predict the hair style that may have been worn by a young woman with shoulder-length hair in the 1990s.In spite of the facial approximation being circulated worldwide, no positive leads were obtained and there was nothing in the missing persons’ records in NSW to provide a clue to her identity.

    Susan hayes.jpg

    In 2011, I flew Sue back to Perth to teach our facial reconstruction course. Sue and visiting forensic anthropologist, Prof Martin Evison, both stayed at my house and we discussed the case at length. Sue sat down at my kitchen table with photographs I gave her of missing young women from WA and compared them with her facial approximation; but alas there was no match. The case of the unidentified “Angel” remained a mystery until last week.
    The horrific discovery in July this year of the bones of a baby girl in a discarded suitcase near the Karoonda highway in South Australia provided the vital clue to Angel’s identity. DNA analysis showed that Angel was the young girl’s mother and, as a consequence, both victims have now been identified.
    I tracked Sue down last week to a remote location on the island of Flores in Indonesia where she is undertaking an archaeological “dig” and told her the news. She was relieved that Angel now had a name.
    The horrible reality, though, is that the police are dealing with a double murder involving skeletal remains discovered 5 years apart in two different States.

    We hope for the sake of the family of Karlie (Angel) and Khandalyce (her daughter) that the murderer(s) is soon apprehended and that closure can be obtained for the family and all involved in the investigation of this dreadful crime.

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

  • Register for PRIMER v7 workshops (Introductory or Advanced) at Murdoch, December 2015for action

    Professor Bob Clarke (PRIMER-E Ltd /Plymouth Marine Labs, UK) will be providing two PRIMER workshops on Multivariate Analysis in Ecology at Murdoch University in December 2015. ast.

    These include an Introductory Training Workshop (7-11 December) and a more advanced PRIMER v6 to v7 ‘Conversion’ Workshop (14-16 December). See the attached flyers and information for further details on registering. Places limited and filling fast.

  • The 12th International Mammalogical Congress (IMC12)

    Call for symposium and workshop proposals. Deadline: 31st January 2016. The 12th International Mammalogical Congress (IMC12) will be held in Perth, Western Australia, from 9th – 14th July 2017.

    The Organising Committee is now inviting proposals for Symposia and Workshops for inclusion in the program. The theme of the Congress is “Advances in Mammalogy in a Changing World”. Symposia and Workshop titles with relevance to this theme are encouraged. The organisation of symposia in particular will follow the successful open session model used at IMC11 in Belfast. Symposia will be listed on the abstract submission form and Congress participants submitting abstracts will be able to nominate a symposium with which they feel their contribution is compatible. The Program Subcommittee will negotiate with the symposium organiser on the inclusion of presentations from open submission.

    Symposium proposals should comprise at least four presentations, and we encourage inclusion of a diversity of views and perspectives. If accepted, each symposium will be allocated a session. Sessions of five and six time slots will be available but symposia may include additional sessions if demand through open submission is high. Potential symposium and workshop organisers are required to provide email confirmation from the proposed speakers when submitting their proposal. Workshops will generally be held in afternoon sessions and will allow more focus on methodologies and structured meetings of groups such as the IUCN SSC specialist groups.

    Proposals should be submitted by email to by 31st January 2016.

  • CareerConnect newsletter

    The latest CareerConnect newsletter from the Murdoch Careers and Employment team is out now!

    Our CareerConnect November issue features:

    Success Stories:
    1) Seeking advice on how to interview well pays off for Murdoch Law student.
    2) Meet a 100 Women advisory committee member and Murdoch post-graduate student.

    Up-coming Career Events:
    1) PwC on campus presentation - How to create a successful personal brand in a competitive job market (set yourself apart). All Business, IT, Engineering and Science students welcome (next week!)
    2) KPMG Student Team Competition (Team registrations close Oct 30., State heats Dec. 3- 4)

    Current Student and Graduate Jobs:
    Including 2016 (multi-discipline) Graduate roles with WA Dept. of Sport and Rec. and WA Police as well as student volunteer and paid opportunities.

  • Environmental Science Workshop.

    Professor Adrian Bowman from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, is offering a workshop aimed towards environmental scientists and postgrads.

    Professor Adrian Bowman from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, is coming to Western Australia as a Visiting Murdoch University Fellow and funded on a Frank-Hansford-Miller Fellowship that is sponsored by the WA Branch of the Statistics Society of Australia Incorporated. Adrian is offering a workshop aimed towards environmental scientists and postgrads. There is a hands on tutorial in the R package the day before the Workshop and of course the day of the Workshop, both of which are at DAFWA. Places are limited, so register early.

    Adrian is also visiting Murdoch between 16th-27th November. Contact Brenton Clarke in EIT should you like to arrange a meeting.

  • Science Seminar - Conservation and evolution of mid-west Western Australian Acacia species using whole-chloroplast DNA sequencing
  • Abstract: The mid-west of Western Australia is a hotspot for plant species biodiversity, with many rare or short range endemic species. It is also heavily impacted by mining activities, which combined make conservation a priority.

    This project assesses the potential of high-throughput sequencing of chloroplast genomes to underpin the conservation genetics of the highly diverse and speciose genus Acacia (Fabaceae). Key outcomes addressed include establishing the first fully sequenced chloroplast genome for the Acacia genus, using chloroplast genomes to improve phylogenetic support across Acacia and testing whether increased data improves our ability to genetically distinguish between species.

    Presenter: Anna Williams completed a Bachelor of Science at UWA, majoring in Botany and Genetics. Combining these interests led her to an honours project which assessed the phylogeography of the mid-west endemic Acacia karina. This honours project expanded her interest in the conservation genetics of mid-west acacias, which resulted in her current PhD project.

    Duration: The presentation will run from 4.00pm for approximately 30-40 minutes, followed by question time.

    Where: Biodiversity Conservation Centre - Kings Park, West Perth Venue map

  • Animal Welfare concerns us all – Veterinarians take the lead. - WELFARE & ETHICS SYMPOSIUM

    To be held on Wednesday 2 December, 2015, Prof John Webster, the vet credited with the ‘Five Freedoms’ approach to animal welfare, is leading this symposium comprised of distinguished leaders and teachers in animal ethics.

    They will show how veterinarians are taking leadership roles in the ever-growing animal welfare debate and discuss how the next generation of the veterinary profession is being trained to think about the ethics of animal use and the science of animal welfare.
    This is a subject that concerns everyone in the veterinary profession, particularly those of us involved in educating the next generation of veterinarians. Therefore, the CVE is offering FREE registration to all veterinary professionals working in Australian universities as we believe it is crucial that educators incorporate animal welfare into all veterinary subjects.
    Please register to participate in this important debate by contacting Tiffany Brittain either by email at: or call (02) 9351 7979

  • Kirkbride Melanoma Symposium

    The Harry Perkins Institute is offering a free one-day scientific symposium

    Learn about advances in melanoma research and treatments with Keynote speaker - Professor Grant McArthur from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

    Date: Thursday 3 December 2015 Time: 8.30am - 5pm followed by networking drinks Venue: Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research 6 Verdun Street, Nedlands

    Enquiries: Please register for catering by Monday 30 November 2015 at

  • Raine Visiting Professor Lecture Series

    Professor Bill Cookson Faculty of Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute Imperial College London will present a Raine Lecture entitled: Asthma: Genes versus the microbiome at the airway barrier

    Wednesday, 4 November 2015: 12 noon – 1.00pm in the McCusker Auditorium Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research QEII Medical Centre For further information - see the attached flyer

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

  • PhD scholarship in estuarine ecological health

  • This PhD project will assess linkages between estuarine fauna (fish and benthic invertebrates) and ecosystem health in the iconic Peel-Harvey Estuary, Western Australia.

    It is part of a large, inter-disciplinary study aimed at linking key catchment and climate drivers to estuarine health response and testing resilience across the human-natural system. The successful student will be working as part of a broader team encompassing ecological, hydrological, biogeochemical, modelling and socio-economic expertise. They will also be working closely with key management and community groups in the Peel region.
    The successful applicant will have a First Class Honours (or equivalent) in marine/estuarine ecology or a related field, and be an Australian or New Zealand citizen. Preference will be given to those applicants with previous experience in fish or benthic invertebrate fauna and/or strong statistical skills. Journal publications in these fields are desirable but not essential.
    The student will be based in the Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research ( at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

    Funding: Stipend ($25,849 pa, tax exempt). Field and laboratory expenses will also be supported by the broader project.
    Contact: Interested applicants should send their CV, academic transcript and a short (max. 1 page) letter outlining their suitability and interest in the project to Dr Fiona Valesini (
    Closing date: November 16th 2015.
    Project starting date: Preferably February 2016.

  • Tasmanian Devil Volunteering Opportunity
  • Volunteers are being sought to assist with a Devil Facial Disease Project in December, please see the link for further information.

  • Australia Awards in Indonesia - Short Term Award RFT: Malaria Prevention and Treatment for Infants, Children and Pregnant Women in Eastern Indonesia

    The Australia Awards scholarship program has invited Australian providers to submit a tender for a short course in Malaria Prevention and Treatment for Infants, Children and Pregnant Women in Eastern Indonesia.

    Additional details are attached here and here and please be mindful of the below applicable dates:

    Activity Date Request for tender released Monday 19 October 2015

    Closing date for Registration of Intent to submit a tender Monday 2 November 2015

    Closing date for queries Monday 16 November 2015

    Closing date for tenders Wednesday 25 November 2015

VLS Announcements No. 58