VLS Announcements 81 - 1 April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to attend the Awards Ceremony for the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of our prize and scholarship recipients. This year’s award Ceremony will take place on:

Date: Wednesday 20 April 2016
Time: 6:00 pm (Registration from 5:15pm, guests to be seated by 5:45pm)
Venue: Kim E. Beazley Lecture Theatre
Dress: Business Casual

The award ceremony will run for approximately an hour and will be followed by light refreshments at Club Murdoch

It is essential that you RSVP .

RSVP20 April Award Ceremony

Our students are fortunate to have been taught, inspired and mentored by some of the best academic minds in the world. Your attendance at this award ceremony greatly enhances the Murdoch experience for our students, their family and friends.

An academic volunteer is needed for a trip to China between 9 to 12 May 2016 to assist a team briefing local recruitment agents about opportunities at Murdoch. If you have a working knowledge of the School's majors and would like to assist in this important recruitment exercise, please contact VLS's Associate Dean International, Yonglin Ren.'

Kind regards

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]

  • Heatwave surprise: Plants' response will make events more intense than thought

    Dr Jatin Kala speak has recently published a paper on Climate Change, for further information:

  • Nature-Inspired Design Challenges Students and Professionals Globally

    The Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation have launched the 2016 round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, open to both students and professionals worldwide. We are challenging people to use biomimicry – an approach to innovation that taps into nature’s time-tested designs and processes in order to solve human-scale problems – to design a better, healthier food system.

    We have just partnered with the Land Institute to offer a subprize focused on a specific soil-focused design problem - how to replace perennial crops without disrupting the soil and food web, and without releasing significant amounts of carbon dioxide.

    Students and professionals that submit a solution addressing The Land Institute’s design brief will be eligible for all Biomimicry Global Design Challenge cash prizes, including the Ray C. Anderson Foundation $100,000 “Ray of Hope” Prize.

    More details about the Land Institute subprize can be found here: More information on the entire design challenge can be found at
  • 2016 Young Tall Poppy Awards - Nominations

    NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN for the 2016 Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.

    The 2016 awards are open to residents of all states and territories, working in all fields of science, including biomedical, engineering, mathematics, technology and other applied or cross disciplinary sciences. Nominations from those working in industry or policy sectors and demonstrating an equally high level of research achievement to those in research institutions are encouraged.

    Nominees must be no more than 35 years of age and less than 10 years post-doc. Nominees should currently be working in Australia and have undertaken a significant portion of their postgraduate research in Australia, and be committed to carrying out their research/work in Australia in 2017 to allow them to participate in outreach activities.

    Find out more at:

  • Call for applications - Research Studies Program 2017 - message from David Morrison

    I would like to call for applications for the Research Studies Program for 2017.

    The following documents are attached:

    1) RSP Application (together with Leave Application Form).
    To be completed by the applicant and approved by the Dean and submitted by close of business, 30 June 2016 to Kim Culver.
    2) HR Paper Leave Application Form.
    This hard copy Leave Application form must be completed and signed off by the School Dean and submitted with the RSP Application by no later than 30 June 2016. Please note that RSP applications will not be reviewed without a Leave Application Form included with the RSP Application.
    3) RSP Report.
    To be submitted to the Dean within a month of completing RSP.
    4) Dean’s Report Template.
    To be submitted to the DVC R&D by March 2017.

    Please contact Tim Flanagan or Kim Culver of my office should you have any queries.

  • Forrest Research Foundation – Call for Applications Round 2 2016

    October 2013, Andrew and Nicola Forrest made what is believed to be the largest single philanthropic donation in Australian history: ­ $65 million to attract the best minds to Western Australia. The donation included $50 million for the establishment of the Forrest Research Foundation to fund PhD scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships across all five WA universities.

    Applications are now open for Round 2, 2016 Forrest Research Foundation Scholarships, which provide a package valued at over AUD$45,000 per annum for up to four years. This includes an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) valued at $26,288pa in 2016; an accommodation allowance valued at $19,716 p.a. in 2016; and a research travel allowance of $13,000. International students will also receive an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) or equivalent international postgraduate fee scholarship to cover the cost of tuition fees and health cover.

    Forrest scholars are selected on the basis of the following criteria:
    · Academic achievements (with a bachelor¹s degree of First Class Honours standard or higher);
    · Exceptional ability, resourcefulness and originality;
    · Potential to make a positive difference in the world; and
    · Demonstration of how the award would help build world-class innovation and research capacity in Western Australia.

    Please note that these scholarships are available for commencing PhD students only. Applicants must not have already enrolled, or previously undertaken research towards a PhD or other research doctorate.

    Applicants must apply directly to the Forrest Research Foundation website ( as well as to Murdoch University for admission and scholarship. Domestic applicants should contact Ashleigh Roberts about applying to Murdoch ( and international candidates should contact Dale Banks (

    Graduate Research has APA scholarships available for any domestic applicants who are successful, and will offer a full scholarship (tuition fees, stipend and OSHC) to any successful international applicants.

    Forrest Research Foundation Applications close at midnight WST on Friday 15 April 2016.

  • 2016 April CareerConnect Newsletter - Murdoch Careers and Employment Centre

    The April Issue of the Careers and Employment Centre Newsletter is out now!

  • Visit from NWAFU 22 July to 19 August

    VLS is hosting a four-week study program for the Chinese Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) again this year between 22 July and 19 August. There are 29 students and two academic staff in the group. Most of the students have passed their University English Level 4 (IELTS 5.5) or Level 6 (IELTS 6.0).Most have a biology (plant protection, biotechnology, food science….) background. They are very interested to attend some of our units in Semester 2 experience the Murdoch/Australian teaching style. If you are willing for these students to sit in on a lecture in your unit, please notify Wei Xu

  • Summer rain brings locust swarms to Kimberley

    Researchers from Murdoch were recently called for comment regarding locust swarms in the Kimberley. Dr Wei Xu has been developing a product to lure the locust away from crops by using its own odour, allowing the swarms to be trapped and then destroyed, to see the full article - click here:

  • Nominations open for recognition of science support staff

    Please note that nominations are now open (closing May 1st) as a part of this year’s National Science week to recognise the “technical and support staff who keep science moving. The people who slice the specimens, run the machines, collect the data, grow the crops, sterilise the equipment and mix the chemicals”

  • Animal Ethics Module in IRMA for action

    Message to VLS and All investigators In March 2016, the Animal Ethics module in IRMA will ‘go live’. What this means for you: All Animal Ethics applications and approvals will be submitted and managed online at from 14th March 2016. For a very limited time current (paper) applications already under preparation can still be accepted, contact

    Training and Awareness for “Go Live” Workshops to assist with access and use of the system are scheduled every Tuesday in March and April. Each workshops is in two sections:

    Session 1 - 20 min (11-11:30 am at Wooller room BS 3.043) How to commence a new Animal Ethics application in IRMA.

    Session 2 - 1 hour Computer lab (1-2 pm at VBSEC2.109) A hands-on session in the computer lab to assist individuals with applications. Please bring material relevant to your application (including any supporting materials) e.g. on a USB Stick. We will guide you in detail how to complete the application online.

    Please register here for the sessions. Any issues, use the following link:

    Additional training materials will include a self-help user guide, questionnaire guide, and drop-in sessions. Ongoing feedback from users will be invited in order to continually refine and update the module. For queries please contact: IRMA Business Change Officer, Dr Rui Tian (Tina) Mon-Wed 7279 IRMA Systems Administrator, Adrian Cheng ext 2954. Animal Ethics advice, Moira Desport

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

  • Cricket in April - message from Prof Peter Irwin

    A gauntlet has been thrown down… The combined third years (BVMS and DVM) – our dreaded ‘double cohort’ – have combined forces and challenged the staff of CVM/VLS to a limited overs cricket match. The venue is the John Connell Reserve in Leeming, on Saturday 16th April. There will be a BBQ and ‘refreshments’ (a liquor license has been applied for). This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the students in the two years and for us to have some social time together. I hope we can muster a half way decent team – please let Carolyn know if you are available. More details about timing to follow, but probably a late morning start, lunch break and finish mid to late afternoon.

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

  • PhD project available at the University of Melbourne’s School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences

    Wetland forest restoration: integrating ecological theory and restoration practice - A PhD project is available at the University of Melbourne’s School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences to work with A/Prof Chris Walsh, Dr Jane Catford and Dr Joe Greet.

    We are seeking a highly motivated candidate interested in developing understanding to overcome constraints to wetland forest restoration. Working with our partners Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria and Greening Australia, the project would aim to quantify the interactive effects of flood regime, propagule availability, and competition for restoring degraded wetland forests. Grounded in ecological theory, and using landscape-scale surveys and an innovative field experiments, the project would aim to: determine the key constraints to restoring wetland forests; test and advance restoration theory; and inform management plans for restoring habitat for the endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater's Possum. The student would also be encouraged to develop innovative lines of enquiry that complement the project aims.

    The candidate should have a solid work ethic, a deep curiosity about vegetation ecology, proven ability to work independently and in a team and strong communication skills. Preference will be given to candidates with strong analytical and quantitative skills, and field experience conducting vegetation surveys and identifying plant species.


    Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree with first-class Honours or Masters in ecology or related discipline. The candidate would need to successfully apply for a scholarship through the University of Melbourne (APA or MRS), which provides a tax-free annual stipend worth $25,849. With the support of our project partners, we will provide an additional $6000 p.a. top-up scholarship and funds to cover other research costs.

    To apply, please send a CV, academic transcript, contact details for two academic references, and a brief cover letter outlining your research interests and motivations for applying to Informal inquiries are also welcome. Review of applications will begin immediately, and short-listed candidates will be contacted to set up an interview. Ideally, the candidate would start mid-2016.

    Research group

    The successful applicant will be hosted within the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group (WERG), which currently comprises 9 postdoctoral fellows, 3 research assistants and 4 postgraduate students, and offers a friendly and stimulating research environment. The WERG are based within the lovely surrounds of the Burnley Campus, UoM.

  • Presentation at IIID Wednesday 6 April 2016 by Dr Connie Jackaman

    Dr Connie Jackaman, Early Career Development Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, CHIRI Biosciences Research Precinct, Curtin University, will be presenting a talk on Wednesday 6 April at 11am at the Institute for Immunology & Infectious Diseases. Dr Jackaman’s talk is titled “Reprogramming macrophages in the elderly to rescue age-related decline in immunity”. Please see attached flyer.

  • The High Court says ŒNo¹ to Gene Patents Context ­ Analyses ­ Consequences - D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35

    The High Court says ‘No’ to Gene Patents Context – Analyses – Consequences - D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35

    Date: Wednesday, 6 April 2016 Time: 5:00 (for 5:30 pm start) – 7:30 pm Venue: Herbert Smith Freehills Lecture Theatre

    RSVP: by 1 April

  • Shocking science: the natural history of animal electroreception

    Professor Shaun Collin will demystify the amazing, but little known, ability of animals to sense weak electric fields. Used by a range of different animals (both aquatic and terrestrial), this sensitive sensory modality is typically used to locate food in the absence of all other senses but can be also used for a number of other important functions. Particular attention will be paid to how sharks and their relatives use electroreception and translating this knowledge into ways of reducing the risk of shark attack.

    DATE: Wednesday, 13 April at 7.30pm VENUE: Ross Lecture Theatre, UWA. COST: $20 Enquiries: 9389 8289 For more information to go .

  • Seminar series "From Snot to Tissue : Development, geometry & function of soft & biological matter"

    Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk, SEIT, Maths&Stat and Prof Bruce Gardiner, SEIT, Physics, would like to draw your attention to a seminar series "From Snot to Tissue : Development, geometry & function of soft & biological matter", run by the School of Engineering and IT. See as many of the talks may be of interest to VLS staff and students

    We certainly welcome you all to attend, regularly or once off. The next talk is by Professor Paul Dalton on "3D Printing of High Fidelity Tissue Engineering Scaffolds" this Thursday, at 3pm in ECL1.031 See for future talks, or sign up to our email list here:

  • Kings Park Seminars

    Kings Park offers an ongoing seminar series, please see below for further information.

    Thursday, 31 March 2016 - Terry Houston (WA Museum) Anecdotes from a wasp-watcher’s notebook ~~~

    Tuesday, 12 April 2016 (Changed from 14th April)- Ryan Phillips (ANU/ Kings Park) The beguiling and the warty: the ecology and evolution of sexually deceptive orchids ~~~

    Thursday, 28 April 2016 - Sean Tomlinson (Kings Park / UWA) The buzz on Honeybee energetics: Novel radio-isotopic techniques find that Honeybees match their field metabolic rate to their ecosystem ~~~

    Thursday, 12 May 2016 - Ben Miller (Kings Park) Challenges and solutions in Saudi Arabian biodiversity and landscape conservation – Kings Park’s ADA Conservation Strategy Plan project