VLS Announcements 67 - 11 December 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to issue 67 of our weekly announcements.

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to those of you who attended our whole of School meeting last Thursday. On behalf of myself and the School I would also like to extend thanks and gratitude to the following super-efficient and ever cheerful technical staff, Phil Good, Steve Goynich, Colin Ferguson, Ian Dapson and Mark Thiele for doing a cracking job on set up and cooking the food for the BBQ and a special thank you to Tonya Parry for her tireless effort in preparation for the event.


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]

  • School Research Day - message from Prof Giles Hardy

    I would like to thank everyone for making time to attend and contribute to the School Research Day.

    Your hard work, dedication to the cause and willingness to contribute to the next of VLS’s research journey was greatly appreciated. We came up with the following five Centre proposals: Centre for Animal and Human Health Centre for Animal Production, Health and Welfare Centre for Urban and Peri-Urban Landscapes Centre for Wildlife and Nature Conservation Awareness Centre for Crop Innovation The VLS Research Committee and myself now look forward to finishing these documents off and submitting to the University Research Committee early in the new year. This will be a great outcome indeed. All the best for the Christmas Break.

  • Trobexis Flowchart

    Do you need help determining if you need to register your travel in Trobexis? Click here to see the new Travel Registry Decision Chart.

  • David Syme Research Prize

    This is a brief reminder about applications for the David Syme Research Prize. Eligible staff are encouraged to apply. Closing date: Friday 15 January 2016 Value: approximately $7,500

    Summary details:

    The Australia-wide prize rewards a mid-career researcher who has produced the best and most important original research in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics;
    The presented research must have been produced in Australia during the past two years, ending 31 December 2015;
    Candidates for the prize must have spent a minimum of five full years out of the last seven years in Australia;
    Preference will be given to work of value to the industrial and commercial interests of Australia;

    The following are not eligible to apply: Professors or researchers outside universities who will have attained a level of seniority comparable to a university professor (LEVEL E) when applications close.

    An Application Form and Information Sheet are available by searching under ‘Syme’ at: , Awards Open for Application. Applicants are advised to refer to the Information Sheet and familiarise themselves with award details before submitting an application.

    Applicants requiring further information should contact: Linda Richardson on 8344 5949 or email:

  • Safety in Research & Teaching Committee - message from Dr Erich von Dietze

    On behalf of the chair of the Safety in Research & Teaching Committee, your advice & input please.
    On 2 April 2016 the new Defence Trade Controls Act (DTC) will ‘go live’. This means that Murdoch has until 1 April next year to sort out how to address the impact of the Act. In essence, this legislation places strict controls on supplying, publishing or brokering anything which could have military or defence implications and which is “exported” (e.g. sent or taken overseas physically, plans / information sent by email, conference presentations, some publications, information provided by phone or Skype). From April next year all relevant activities MUST be licensed through the Department of Defence.

    A simplification of the Act is that it sets out 2 levels of possible activity: i) technologies which have direct military relevance and ii) technologies which could be utilised in some way for military or WMD purposes (e.g. software or technology designed primarily for non-military purposes but able to be re-utilised militarily or e.g. microorganisms or toxins which could be utilised militarily).

    The Safety in Research & Teaching Committee has been briefed and will discuss this in more detail at their next meeting on 2 December. Chris H is also aware of this legislation. We are planning a 2 phase introduction –
    Phase 1 – a ‘heat mapping’ exercise. This is where you come in, and once we have your advice we will be establishing a small working party focused on the most impacted areas.
    Phase 2 – information and incorporation into systems.

    The DTC Act will affect us all.

    Some useful web links -,

    Perhaps most useful from our perspective are the scenarios which Defence have developed to assist us -

    At this stage we would like to ask your assistance to identify whether or not Murdoch has any grants, contracts, known projects or recent publications (last 2 years) to which the DTC would or could apply. All we need is the name of researcher, title and abstract (if there is one). The SRTC will then make an assessment of the substance and consider whether or not licensing might be required. Looking forward, we will be advocating that people use the DTC online assessment tool in the planning stages of their research

    Our search should encompass:

    · Nuclear Materials, Facilities and Equipment (including Nuclear reactors, gas centrifuges, and equipment and materials especially designed for nuclear use)
    · Materials, Chemicals, Microorganisms and Toxins (including Toxic chemicals, viruses, bacteria, protective and detection equipment, body armour, radiation shielding windows, and metal powder production equipment)
    · Materials Processing (including Crucibles, valves, robots, vibration test systems, vacuum pumps, chemical processing, and handling equipment)
    · Electronics (including microwave components, acoustic wave devices, high energy devices, switching devices, and detonators)
    · Computers (especially Radiation hardened computers, neural and optical computers, and related equipment)
    · Telecommunications and Information Security i) Telecommunications. Telecommunications systems, optical fibre cables, radio equipment, jamming equipment, and telemetry and telecontrol equipment and ii) – Information Security (Cryptography). Cryptographic equipment, and communications cables systems
    · Sensors and Lasers (including Marine acoustic systems, hydrophones, imaging cameras, optical mirrors, lasers, and magnetometers)
    · Navigation and Avionics (including Gyros, accelerometers, inertial navigation systems, and flight control systems)
    · Marine (such as Submersible vehicles, remotely controlled manipulators, underwater vision systems, noise reduction systems, and air independent power systems)
    · Aerospace and Propulsion (including Aero gas turbine engines, rocket propulsion systems, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), rocket motors, ramjet engines, sounding rockets, and acoustic vibration test equipment)

    As you can imagine, capturing this information across the University will be a challenging process. We thought the best place to start would be to ask for your help to gather the information on current research activity to work out whether we have any potentially controlled activities and if so, have we published, presented at international conferences, or exported any? Clearly, VLS and EIT should be the first search areas. I have attached 2 documents which might provide some help – a method and a search by FOR code which Curtin conducted.

    We hope to have this first pass of information completed by end of the year or mid-January at the latest in order that we can then focus the committee on the tasks which follow, such that the entire implementation will be completed in time for April 2016.

    If your office is able to gather the data, members of the SRTC will then assess any potential projects for licensing requirements.

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

  • New School accounts on Twitter and Facebook – share, post, like and tweet

    Great news on the social media front, we now have our own social media presence with School-specific accounts on Facebook and Twitter: MurdochVetLifeSciences Facebook and  VetLifeScience Twitter (links also available on the footer of our VLS Home page)
    Feel free to follow, post, share and tweet if you have any interesting items you want to communicate to the external world about your latest exciting research developments/findings, teaching news or any good news relevant to your discipline, group or centre.

    As a guideline for your items, the Facebook platform will be more specifically targeted towards student audiences (prospective and current – undergrad and postgrad), or anyone interested in following our Facebook account of course, and will be a great tool to promote teaching/research news, relevant to student audiences.
    Most major organisations use Twitter to keep informed on the latest developments in their relevant area of expertise or to promote their news and events.  Twitter will be a great tool to promote our research and teaching news or any newsworthy items to external organisations, media institutions, potential collaborators or other scientists on Twitter as well as current or prospective postgrad students following our Twitter account. (note: the limit for a tweet is under 140 characters – incl. space -, can include a picture and link to any online content to expand on your tweet.)
    It is early days on both our new social media platforms, so do not hesitate to promote and share so we develop a stronger and wider following as both platforms offer great promotional opportunities for your newsworthy stories.

    Feel free to insert the Twitter and Facebook icons & hyperlinks below to your email signature :

    logo twitter

    logo Facebook

    Instructions to create a new email signature for PC users
    In Outlook, click on File tab – Options – Mail – Signatures – New (or Edit if you already have one) – copy the Twitter and Facebook icons above.
    Select one of the icons, click on Hyperlink icon – paste hyperlink above

    Instructions to create a new email signature for MAC users:
    Available on the Development and Communications Office website:
    Note: MAC Outlook does not allow to link a picture with a hyperlink. In this case, you can just insert the hyperlink below the pasted icon.
    For any queries, do not hesitate to contact Nathalie Kennedy on x 2784 or

  • Windows XP Devices - Message from Marilyn Davies

    “Please contact IT Service Desk to check if your computer is currently operating on Windows XP software. If so, please request them to upgrade it to Windows7 to avoid inconvenience.”

    ITS is committed to keeping our Murdoch Computing environment safe and secure. As per our recent announcement we are now focusing on known high risk security vulnerabilities, like malware and unsupported operating systems. This will be a challenging activity for us all and we will need to work together if we are going to achieve a safe and secure environment. Our goal is to initially tighten the existing security and protection on Murdoch University Windows XP computing devices and then retire all Windows XP from our environment.
    Our monitoring systems inform us that you are the primary user of a computer currently operating with Windows XP, so there are a few things that you will need to do and be aware of to help us achieve our goal.
    What you need to know:

    1) On the 13th May 2016 all Murdoch University computing devices using the Windows XP operating system will be BLOCKED from connecting to Murdoch University networks and systems.
    2) On the 28th October 2015 all Murdoch University computing devices using the Windows XP operating system will be configured with more aggressive and robust local (on computer) malware and threat detection. This may impact the performance of Windows XP computers (especially on older hardware) by slowing down operations or even restricting access to some resources on the computer or other locations.
    3) You need to act soon to ensure that if you are currently using a Windows XP Murdoch University computing device, you have plans in place to cater for the impact and move to a supported configuration of Hardware and Software.
    4) ITS can help you plan and move.
    5) There may be costs associated with moving to a supported configuration which will be your or your manager’s, school’s or operational area’s responsibility to cover.
    6) There will be some operational exceptions to this condition which will only be approved under extraordinary circumstances by the Director ITS where there are no alternative options. (see end of email for example)

    What you need to do:

    1) If you are not the owner or custodian of the computer you use, you will need to make sure that you inform the appropriate person who is of this information (contained within this email).
    2) Contact our IT Security team or 9360 2825 if you need more information.
    3) Begin plans to replace your current computer with new hardware approved by ITS.
    4) Take responsibility for ensuring you are not left without the ability to use your computer effectively come 13th May 2016.
    5) If you are not sure of your options, refer to the recommended actions below first for guidance, then contact IT Security for an assessment of your situation and advice on your options if desired.

    What ITS can help you with:

    1) We can assess your current situation and advise you of the available options.
    2) We can assist you with the procurement process to replace your equipment with current supported configurations.
    3) We can assist with the deployment and change-over of your new hardware / software to make the transition is as smooth as possible.

    This activity is being coordinated by the ITS Security Team so you may receive more direct communications form members of that team in the near future in regards to how we can help you plan and prepare. Rojesh and Sean on or 9360 2825. Exceptions will only be approved under extraordinary circumstances, an example of one is below.

    Example of an Approved Exception: If there is a mission critical application which is only certified to run on Windows XP and the vendor does not have an upgrade path or Windows 7 certified solution and there is also no competitor or comparable products that could replace the application, then consideration may be given to continuing operation with Windows XP. But this will only be approved after all possible migration avenues have been exhausted.

  • 2015 Salvation Army Christmas Appeal


    Once again, Murdoch University is proud to support the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal.

    The Appeal is an annual event which enables those in need to enjoy a Festive Christmas and the sharing of gifts with their families. It also gives people who live on their own the ability to celebrate Christmas with a sense of hope for the future.

    067 Salvation army logo If you are able to support this worthwhile cause, please leave your donations in the box/boxes provided.  Due to health and safety regulations, the Salvation Army cannot accept food that has been opened or is out-of-datePlease ensure you only leave unopened, non-perishable food items that have a long expiry date on them, and only brand new, unwrapped gifts/toys.

    Boxes are located in the following areas:

    • Library Loans Desk
    • Level 2 Chancellery Building – Kitchen
    • Level 4 Chancellery Building – Development Office
    • Careers Office
    • Vet & Life Sciences – Vet Surgical Centre

      Your donations will be greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army and all of the people that they are able to assist with them.  Please place donations in the boxes by Thursday 17 December 2015, ready for collection by the Salvation Army on 18 December 2015.

      If you have any queries, please contact Sarah Hammond on 9360 7252.

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

  • Kings Park Science have 2 seminars planned before Christmas

    You are invited to attend the next Kings Park Science seminars.

    When: 2.30pm Thursday 10 December 2015
    Where: Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Kings Park
    Venue map:

    Snottygobble (Persoonia longifolia) germination biology: Solving a restoration challenge

    Abstract: Persoonia longifolia (or the snottygobble as it is commonly known) is a common and iconic tree species found in the jarrah forest of Western Australia. There is much interest in being able to reproduce this species for restoration, horticulture and floriculture, however successful attempts to germinate this species have been limited. Six years of investigations into the phenology and germination biology have uncovered the key drivers of dormancy loss and improved germination for use in restoration. Results from phenology, germination and restoration trials will be discussed.

    Presenter: Kerryn Chia developed an interest in Persoonia longifolia after trying to grow one in her country garden. Previous experience as an environmental consultant, and the mining industry’s interest in this particular species, meant that an ideal opportunity was presented to undertake a PhD study on snottygobbles. Studying remotely on a part time basis has resulted in a six year study with some exciting results.

    Duration: The presentation will run from 2.30pm for approximately 40 minutes, followed by question time.

    Our speaker is Emma Dalziell who will give her PhD exit seminar entitled - Seed biology and ex situ storage behaviour of Australian Nymphaea (water lilies): Implications for conservation

    When: 4.00pm Monday 21 December 2015
    Where: Biodiversity Conservation Centre, Kings Park
    Venue map:

    Our speaker is Emma Dalziell who will give her PhD exit seminar entitled - Seed biology and ex situ storage behaviour of Australian Nymphaea (water lilies): Implications for conservation

    Abstract: The iconic, basal angiosperm genus Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae) occupy many of the world’s freshwater wetlands, with 18 species occurring in northern Australia. While freshwater ecosystems in Australian remain relatively pristine and intact, increasing development, introduced weeds and the potential impact of climate change (through altered hydrologic regimes and saltwater intrusion) may prove detrimental to Nymphaea and the ecosystems they inhabit. Generally, our knowledge of wetland plant species is limited, and even more so for species occurring the in monsoonally driven wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. In order to guide the management and conservation of Nymphaea in Australia, my PhD has sought to improve our understanding of these charismatic plants, and presents the first detailed investigation into the seed biology of the genus.
    For more information please see attached, and come to Emma’s seminar.

    Presenter: Emma Dalziell combined her passion for the aquatic environment, conservation and seed biology, when she then commenced her PhD research on the seed biology and ex situ storage behaviour of Australian Nymphaea (water lilies). During her PhD she worked in some of the most remote parts of Australia - including the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and far-north Queensland.


VLS Announcements No. 67