VLS Announcements 65 - 27 November 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 65 of our weekly announcements.

Next week we will be holding the  final whole of School meeting for 2015 on Thursday 3 December. This will provide a chance to update our staff on important matters happening both in and around our school and will include a presentation on the Voice Survey results. Following on from the meeting we will be holding a BBQ with refreshments at the Vet pergola to help celebrate the end of Semester. (Please  RSVP by COB Monday 30 November 2015 for catering purposes). I hope you can join us there.

The Workload model metrics for 2016 have been approved and the School is now ready for you to confirm your details with Emma Thorp from next Monday (30 November). Please ensure that all data is confirmed by 18 December at the latest.

The link to the 2016 mode and the metrics is available on the Veterinary and Life Sciences Website.

Dont forget, that in line with the rest of the University, the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences (excluding the Veterinary Hospital) will be closed from Friday, 18th December 2015.

The University is committed to ensuring our staff are able to maximise their health and wellbeing. An important component of this is staff being able to take adequate leave from work on a regular basis in order to ‘rest and recharge’. In taking these two days leave, this will allow most staff to take advantage of a complete two week rest period.

All VLS staff (except those working in the Veterinary Hospital) will be expected to take annual leave on both Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December 2015. Leave applications should be submitted online via MyHR accessed through the Murdoch Staff page.

If any staff are unable to take annual leave for these two days you will be required to provide an explanation, in writing, before Friday, 4 December 2015 as follows:

· Academic Staff to David Hampson (copied to Sarah Gillett -
· Professional staff to Fiona Feist  (copied to Sarah Gillett  -


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]

  • Australian Wool Innovation : AWI investment boost

    The sheep production group within Animal Science, led by Assoc. Professor Andrew Thompson, have in recent months attracted nearly $1M in new external funding.

    Murdoch has been successful in its application to host one of four sites for the Merino Ewe Lifetime Productivity Project, which is a partnership between Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA). The Lifetime Productivity Project involves a $3.3 million, 9-year investment from AWI and value-adds to current commercially funded sire evaluation work. The funding to Murdoch will be $637K over this period. The project addresses a weakness of current Merino genetic improvement systems which is a lack of whole of lifetime production data. More than 2,500 Merino ewes will be artificially inseminated over two years at ‘Ridgefield’, which is the UWA research farm near Pingelly.  A comprehensive array of fleece, body and reproduction traits will be measured on the ewe progeny for up to 7 years. The project will provide information to enable greater confidence in selecting animals at a younger age that are going to generate greater income over their lifetime. Dr Thompson said that securing the project should provide the foundation for other industry, postgraduate and undergraduate research projects and animal science teaching opportunities over the next 5-10 years.

    A second new project will focus on quantifying the effects of lambing density, stocking rate and flock size on lamb survival.  Improving survival of twin lambs is a high priority for AWI and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), as 25-30% of lambs die during the first 72 hours of life. There is little or no credible evidence to support current recommendations on flock size or stocking rate being promoted to the sheep industry.  The project will be jointly managed by Murdoch University and involves partners in Victoria and NSW.  It will involve a large network of 70 research sites on commercial farms over two years to quantify the effects of lambing density on lamb survival and how this response is influenced by other animal, management and environmental factors.  The project is co-funded by AWI and MLA and the funding to Murdoch will be $213K over 3 years. A PhD student, Amy Lockwood, will play a key role in the research sites in WA and the analysis of data from across all sites.  Amy was also recently awarded a $22K grant in the 2016 Science and Innovations Awards to test the feasibility of using drones to monitor ewe and lamb behaviours remotely and how these are affected by lamb density and related to lamb survival.
    Andrew Thompson has also been contracted by AWI to develop and then manage their reproduction program, which has an RD&E budget of $8.5M over 4 years.  The funding to Murdoch is initially $140K for 15/16, with the possibility of a 3 year contract extension.

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

  • Replacement vehicle for VLS pool - message from Mike Taylor

    The manual Prado 1EJE-963 has been replaced with an Auto Prado 1EXF-229. This is a direct replacement all other details regarding bookings, key location, maintenance contact etc remain the same.

    For details on VLS vehicles visit the vehicle website

    Key box access – Some individuals are using other peoples staff cards to access the vehicle box or getting office staff to collect and return keys for them, this is to be discouraged. If you need access to the VLS pool vehicles you should get your staff card authorised for this use by contacting VLS Operations

    When Booking a vehicle ensure you provide all your details FULL NAME, PHONE EXTN & MOBILE # at a minimum

  • Old Chemicals

    A range of old dry chemicals, which are no longer required, are displayed on the bench in Biological Sciences building 240, Level 2 Room 2.049. If any of these can be used by your group, please feel free to remove them.

    "Please note, any chemicals remaining by Monday, 7h December 2015 will be discarded.”

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

VLS Announcements No. 65