VLS Announcements 82 - 8 April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your overwhelming response to the 'Academic Staff member Positions' that are currently vacant on the Veterinary and Life Sciences School Board, it is great to see so many of you interested in participating in a School Committee such as the Board.

One of our staff members, Dr Wei Xu has been has been shortlisted as one of the top three proposals for the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) Prize for 2016. The winner will be announced in Adelaide on Friday 15 April with the prize being present by Minister Christopher Pyne.

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]

  • Reminder - Awards Ceremony for the School of Veterinary and Life Sciencesfor action

    This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all of our prize and scholarship recipients. This year’s award Ceremony will take place on:

    Event: Award Ceremony for School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
    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.

  • 4WD Vehicle Trainingfor action

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  • New Colombo Plan 2017 - Applications now open - message from Jeannette Geesmann

    The 2017 New Colombo Plan (NCP) round is now open for applications.

    Please find attached:

    a) Application form, to be submitted to me via email before Friday 13th May COB
    b) Advice to Applicants, provided by DFAT
    c) School-led Study Tours and programs - Checklist for Schools, provided by Murdoch University
    d) NCP presentation, provided by Murdoch University

    Some key points to remember:

    · Eligible students are: Australian citizens (no dual citizenship with host location!), Undergraduate Murdoch student, 70% of the students have to be between 18 and 28 years at program commencement (e.g. 3 of 10 students in one project, 4 of 15)
    Multi-year funding is available. DAFT prefers that we apply for multi-year funding for new created programs as opposed to long established programs, however you can still try and get multi-year funding if you have a program that has been running for some time. This funding shall encourage Schools to create new programs, with the goal to be sustainable. You can tick a box that you will also accept single-year funding, in case multi-year is not available
    DFAT encourages in-country language study, practicums and private sector collaboration and sponsorship

    Please return the application form to me by 13th May 2015 COB. Thank you and good luck with your submissions.

  • New Colombo Plan 2017 - Invitation to DFAT Q&A session Monday 11th April 2.30pm - message from Jeannette Geesmann

    The Head of the DFAT NCP Secretariat, Lynda Worthaisong and other colleagues will be doing university consultations next week. They will be in Perth, visiting all WA universities, as part of a New Colombo Plan network and alumni event on Monday 11th April.

    I would like to invite you and your colleagues to a presentation, followed by a Q&A session:

    Monday 11th April
    2.30 – 3.30pm
    Hill Lecture Theatre

    Please pass this information on as well, this will give you and your colleagues a great opportunity to touch base with DFAT and to ask some specific questions.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. There is no need to RSVP, the room as been confirmed

  • Buzz on Nicotine

    Paolo Magni’s research - which uses blow flies to detect death from nicotine poisoning - was referenced in Inside Cover of The West as well as on the Science Network WA pages

  • Form for scanningfor action

    Centre for University Teaching and Learning had an audit review on the scanning process of MCQs and you now are required to fill in the attached form for every unit you require scanning only to be filled out when they bring a batch of MCQs to Karyn Barenberg for scanning.

  • 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 ext 7279 IRMA Systems Administrator, Adrian Cheng ext 2954. Animal Ethics advice, Moira Desport

  • Assignment Collection from Biological Sciences reception for action

    In order to better facilitate student assignment returns, we are changing the times that students can pick up assignments from Biological Sciences Reception.

    Times for assignment collection are as follows:

    Monday to Friday


    3:00pm - 4:00pm

    Students may request pick up outside of these hours, but must do so in advance by contacting Kiara ( or Emma (

    We would be grateful if Unit Coordinators could please pass this information on to students.

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

  • School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Staff Awards

    Dear Colleagues, I am pleased to announce below the winners of the 2015 Veterinary and Life Sciences Staff Awards. It is a wonderful achievement to be nominated for these awards and I would like to congratulate each of the winners on their success. It is great to see our staff recognised and rewarded for their dedication and hard work and also to see the support and praise from colleagues coming through on the nomination forms.

    I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the staff that were nominated; it was a competitive field this year, and being nominated is in itself a great achievement.

    Please see below the list of winners and nominated staff for each of the award categories.

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for Outstanding Service by an Academic Staff Member

    Awarded to: Dr Jane Chambers

    The following staff were also nominated for this award:

    Dr Jennifer Chaplin
    Dr Trish Fleming
    Dr Garth Maker
    Professor Ian Robertson
    Professor Wujun Ma
    Dr Steve Wylie

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for research that has had significant and lasting translational impact and uptake for industry, society or environment’

    Awarded to: Associate Professor Graham Gardner

    The following staff were also nominated for this award:

    Dr Navid Moheimani
    Dr Wayne Reeve
    Dr Andrew Thompson

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for interdisciplinary research‘

    Awarded to: Dr Navid Moheimani

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for innovative research by an Early Career Academic’

    Awarded to: Dr Jason Terpolilli

    The following staff were also nominated for this award:
    Dr Julie Ardley
    Ms Sofie de Meyer
    Dr Stephanie Godfrey
    Dr Garth Maker
    Dr Peter McGilchrist

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Learning and Teaching Award – Innovation’

    Awarded to:Associate Professor Martin Cake

    Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Learning and Teaching Award - Best unit survey’

    Awarded to: Dr Tim Hyndman

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Learning and Teaching Award - Best teaching survey’

    Awarded to: Dr Barbara Bowen

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Staff Member '

    Awarded to both: Warren Timpson Sarah Gillett

    The following staff were also nominated for this award:

    Emma Thorp
    Janet Ryan
    Jennifer Bytheway
    Romy Duits
    Jade Durbin
    Nathalie Kennedy
    Claire McNaughton
    Diana Nottle
    Shiromi Piyasena
    Mike Slaven
    Gordon Thompson

    ‘Veterinary and Life Sciences 2015 Award for Outstanding Service by a Professional Team

    Awarded to: Farm staff - Kim Thomas, Bob Fawcett, Tony Eustace, Ralph Lyster

    The following teams were also nominated for this award:
    Anatomy Team
    Diagnostic Imaging Support and Nursing Team
    Equine Team
    General and Animal Biological Technical Team

  • Welcoming Ruth Abbott - message from Marilyn Davies

    We are very pleased to welcome our new colleague, Ruth Abbott, who commenced Monday 4th April and sits within the operational team in the Dean’s office.

    Ruth will be providing administrative support to the Western Barley Genetics Alliance, working on Mondays, Tuesdays and (half day) Thursdays.
    Ruth is residing in Loneragan Building Room 3.036, Welcome to Murdoch!

  • New Staff to the College

    Dear Colleagues, It gives me great pleasure to welcome three new academic staff members to the College.

    Associate Professor Pete Irons starts today as our Veterinary Program Director. This is a new appointment to the College, originally recommended by the Review of Clinical Training that was conducted in May 2014. He comes to us from South Africa with his wife and children and is settling in to the local area. Pete will be responsible for as multitude of activities pertaining to curriculum management and design, course mapping, student welfare, the accreditation process, etc. Pete will occupy the office next to Anthea for the time being until a permanent office is allocated nearby.

    It also gives me very great pleasure to announce that Dr Mandy Burrows has accepted an Associate Professor academic position as part of the medicine faculty and will start this role at the end of July 2016. This will be a part-time position, bringing support the medicine academic team in the structural organisation and delivery of the teaching in both medicine and dermatology, as well as develop other opportunities for Murdoch with regard to teaching, assessment and industry involvement, and a research profile. Mandy needs no introduction, but has long been a valued colleague and dedicated supporter of the veterinary program at Murdoch, so it is wonderful to be able to welcome her to this academic position. Mandy will continue to work part-time for ADC as a specialist dermatologist.

    Please also give a very warm welcome to Dr Rebecca Vaughan-Higgins, who starts today as Associate Lecturer in Wildlife Medicine and Conservation. As I expect many will remember, Bec is a Murdoch graduate (2002), was the first John Howell resident in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine at Perth Zoo, and completed her PhD in 2008 on the health and disease status of the Gilbert’s potoroo. Her areas of expertise are in the principles, methods and practices of zoo and wildlife veterinary medicine and epidemiology, disease risk analysis and disease risk management for international species translocations.

    Please make our new colleagues welcome!

  • Introducing Professor Simon McKirdy -message from Prof Giles Hardy 

    Professor Simon McKirdy started with the School this week, Chevron is supporting Simon’s move to Murdoch University where he will take up leadership of establishing Murdoch’s ‘Sustainability Institute’ as well as managing a range of Chevron related projects.

    Professor Simon McKirdy obtained his PhD in Plant Pathology as a virologist. He then worked at the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia before moving to Plant Health Australia. He then spent eight years as the CEO of the CRC Plant Biosecurity, before moving to Chevron for three years as their Biosecurity Science and Risk Manager Gorgon Project.  He also sits on the WA Biosecurity Council.    Simon will also manage two Biosecurity Research Officers who will be based at Murdoch but working on biosecurity surveillance on Barrow Island.  Their roles will also include establishing research projects with Murdoch researchers and HDR students.  Simon brings with him a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the ‘biosecurity space’ and is keen to assist researchers on a range of research and teaching initiatives.  Once he has settled in, he is keen to talk to people about research opportunities and about ideas associated with the Sustainability Institute.

  • Multi-Culti lunch in the SABC

    To celebrate our multi-cultural research community, researchers in the SABC held a very successful lunch ‘Multi-Culti’ lunch on the Thursday before Easter

    Amongst others, dishes included delicious curries, savouries and puddings from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh; marinaded beef from China, and meat pies, marron and kangaroo from Australia (and some Greek fetta). The people’s choice went to a lamb curry from Bangladesh, courtesy of Dasgoteer, and the proceedings were all the more colourful with many of the participants in their finest national dress.

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  • Research Grants Office staffing notice - message from Jane Crier

    I am delighted to introduce to you Jessica Derrett, our newest member of the Grants and Contracts team, within the Office of Research and Innovation. Valerie Findlay has completed her secondment with our team and has returned to Finance Support. Jessica has joined us as a Grants and Contracts Officer and will be providing dedicated support to staff within the College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Law, School of Arts, School of Management and Governance, School of Education. Please join me in extending her a warm welcome. For staff in this area, please now direct your research grant queries to Jessica. Jessica can be contacted via the following: Tel: +61 8 9360 2484 Email:

  • Arabian Horse Society Award

    One of our staff members - Dr Kirsty Bayliss, recent082 Kirsty IMG_2624.jpegly received an award by the Arabian Horse Society of Australia, for long term commitment (10+ years) to the Arabian horse through volunteer work with the WA Arabian Horse Association and the Royal Agricultural Society.

    Congratulations Kirsty!
  • Research Projects Financial Support (from FST) for the period 11 April to 01 July 2016

    Melinda Ellis, the Agricultural Sciences Research Support Officer (RSO) in the Finance Support Team is taking LSL for the period from next Monday 11 April to 01 July 2016 inclusive. During this period Valerie Findlay will be supporting Agricultural Sciences research financial activities, would you please direct your queries or information requests to Valerie over this time.

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

  • The Royal Society of Western Australia proudly presents its next Monthly talk by ARC DECRA fellow Dr Wei Xu

    How do Insects Smell and Taste? Insects live in a world of chemistry. They rely upon smell (the olfactory system) to detect mates, food and oviposition sites.

    They also rely upon taste (the gustatory system) to evaluate which foods to feed on and which foods to avoid. In this presentation, I will talk about my research projects on insect olfactory and taste systems at the molecular level. I will also dissect how these insects have fine-tuned their chemical sensory systems to sense their environment and regulate their behaviours. Understanding the molecular basis of these mechanisms will provide a vital tool for assessing crucial natural interactions of hosts and insects, as well as allowing us to develop new strategies for insect control through disruption of chemosensory mechanisms. Monday, 18th April 2016 7.00 pm Kings Park Administration Building, Fraser Ave Tickets are free but please register at:

  • 2016 Farrer Memorial Trust Travelling Scholarships

    The Farrer Memorial Travelling Scholarships are designed to support overseas travel to include attendance at an international conference at which a paper or poster is being presented.

    As a guide, travelling scholarships will normally be awarded up to the value $5,000.

    Applications are now open, closing Friday 3 June 2016.

  • Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme

    The Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme is a joint initiative of Universities Australia (UA) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany's national agency for the support of international academic cooperation. It aims to foster research collaboration of the highest quality between Australian researchers from Universities Australia member universities and German researchers from German universities and research institutes.

    The scheme is open to all academic fields involved in a collaborative project with German research partners. Researchers from the Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to apply.
    Click here to see a list of the projects funded for 2016-17.

    The scheme will support exchanges for Australian researchers to spend time at partner institutions in Germany and for collaborating German researchers to spend time at Australian universities. Researchers must be working on a joint research project with their German counterparts, rather than simply furthering their own individual research in Germany. The support of early career researchers and junior scholars is a significant focus of this scheme.
    For applications to be considered by UA/DAAD, Project Leaders must ensure their German Partner submits an application with the same project title by the DAAD deadline.

    Each application is assessed on quality and feasibility of the project, qualifications of both research groups (Australian and German) and the inclusion of early career researchers. In addition, knowledge transfer and lasting impact of the research will contribute towards the assessment.

    Murdoch University will support up to four applicants with an award up to $AUD 25,000 from the University for travel and living costs to be incurred over two years, or a maximum of $A12,500 per project per year. German applicants can likewise request up to $AUD 25,000 from the DAAD. Please note it is a requirement that all applications submitted to this scheme are required to undergo an internal ranking process as required by UA and DAAD. Only one application may be submitted per Project Leader.

    Funding will cover the costs of:
    Return economy airfares from Australia to Germany
    A per diem of either $A250 per day or a maximum of $A3,500 per month per person for each day spent at the host German institution, or at other locations in Germany necessary for the project activity.

    The University may nominate its own level of financial contribution and may choose to fund projects at a lower value. You should apply for the amount of funding that you feel is necessary; a budget justification will be required.

    The eligibility requirements for this scheme are as follows:
    Applicants must be employed as continuing or contracted academic staff at Murdoch at the time of application and for the duration of the project. Honorary and adjunct academic staff are not eligible to apply.
    PhD students enrolled at the University are eligible to receive funding through this scheme but an eligible Murdoch staff member must be the Lead Applicant.
    All applications must involve an Early Career Researcher (ECR). ECRs are either PhD students enrolled at Murdoch a researcher who has been awarded their Research Masters or PhD within five years from the date of their application, or a researcher who received his or her award more than five years before the date of the application.

    Applications open on 4th April 2016. Please contact me by the 15th April to register your intent to submit an application. The internal closing date for the full application will be the 16th May 2016 (date subject to change). The application form is available here.

    Please note that the German collaborating partner must submit a corresponding application with the same project title to the DAAD in Germany by the closing date.
    Applicants will be informed of the outcomes in writing in November 2016. Project funding will commence in 2017.

    Further information
    The full terms and conditions of the scheme are available here and must be read before applying.
    A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions can be downloaded here.

  • Crawford Fund Opportunity

    Crawford Fund Scholarships are available for young scientists in the Agricultural area, please see the attached flyer and information sheet for further details.

  • Mid Year APA Scholarship Round Announcement

    The Graduate Research Office is pleased to announce that the 2016 mid-year scholarship round for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) is now open.

    Scholarships are awarded on academic merit, research experience and/or potential. Applicants must be enrolled in, or applying for admission for, candidature for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD) and possess a 1st Class Honours degree (or equivalent).

    Scholarships are open to Australian or New Zealand Citizens and to Australian permanent residents and scholarship recipients must be enrolled full-time on an internal basis.

    The 2016 APA scholarship provides a tax exempt living allowance of AUD$ 26,288 per annum.

    Closing date – 4.30pm, Friday 29 April 2016

    Please contact Ashleigh Roberts for more information or visit the following website -

  • Presentation from Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program - Thursday April 21, 12.30-1.30 in VBS 3.023

    A brief overview of the presentation is not about seeking volunteers but educational and general exposure for anyone studying in broad environmental fields and provides an insight to post degree career direction. It will give you an opportunity to ask questions of field scientists working on a real project. The presentation lasts 40 to 45 minutes with question time afterwards.

    The Gnaraloo Wilderness Foundation
    Visit for more information about their activities

    Turtle monitoring and conservation
    Our annual program collects scientific data on sea turtle nesting activities to promote their long-term survival. The methodology is based on the Ningaloo Turtle Program in Exmouth run by the Department of Parks and Wildlife(WA). By identifying nesting trends and monitoring feral disturbance and predation, our scientists gather information to inform responsible management and protection of these endangered sea turtles and their critical coastal nesting habitat.

    Feral animal monitoring and control
    Since 2008, the Foundation has been collecting important baseline data on the sea turtles of Gnaraloo, an area that previously had very little scientifically verified data. Surveys revealed that most turtle nests were disturbed and predated by feral animals. In 2008, the Foundation introduced the highly successful Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program, which has seen nest predation by feral animals fall to 0% during 2010/11 – 2014/15, saving
    over 200,000 eggs in total at the Gnaraloo Bay Rookery during this period. This program also helped protect other biodiversity values at Gnaraloo and the adjacent significant Lake MacLeod wetland system, which were also being hunted by foxes, feral cats and wild dogs.

    Scientific training
    The Foundation also trains graduates from Australia and overseas under its seasonal Scientific Internship Program. We also share our data with the scientific community worldwide to support research and conservation efforts globally.

    Community and school engagement
    We work with the community and schools to increase awareness of the Gnaraloo sea turtle rookeries and their need for protection.

  • AMSI Winter School Series

    Registrations are now open for the AMSI Winter School Series.

    AMSI Director, Geoff Prince and Winter School Director, Phil Isaac are asking you to mark your calendar as busy from 4-15 July: these are the dates for the AMSI Winter School, and this year’s theme is Biological & Environmental Modelling.

    In the twenty-first century, modelling is a crucial research tool for studying complex phenomena and processes. Our impressive line up of speakers will build your knowledge of models, algorithms, and theoretical analysis tools, and bring you up to speed on a range of topical applications, from molecular biology through to ecosystems analysis.

    Who should attend?

    Hosted by the University of Queensland, the School is designed for postgraduate students and ECRs in the mathematical sciences and cognate disciplines. Students and ECRs working specifically in biological or environmental modelling are of course encouraged to attend: however, the school is a great opportunity for those working in other areas of the mathematical sciences to strengthen their mathematical tool-kit.

    For further information see our website

  • Kings Park Seminars

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

    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