VLS Announcements 84 - 22 April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

This week has been a big week for highlighting student and staff achievements. There were over 38 allocations to VLS staff in the Small grants and equipment round. Around $300,000 was distributed to the lucky recipients, congratulations to all of you. The student prize night for the School of VLS was held last night at Club Murdoch. It was a wonderful recognition of our outstanding student performances, congratulations to all of our prize recipients.  This event would not have been possible without the generous donations of sponsors and the attendance of staff, thank you!

I would like to thank Peter McGilchrist, Wayne Greene, Jane Chambers and Bob Mead, for assisting the office of External Engagement with the ‘A Day in the Life of a Murdoch University Student’ program that is being held today. They are each presenting on behalf of the areas of Animal Science, Biomedical Science, Forensic Science and Environmental Science.

VLS staff have the opportunity to meet the new Vice Chancellor, Eeva Leinonen, when she visits the School next Wednesday the 27th of April. I encourage all of you to attend.

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  Thursday

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]

  • Dr Wei Xu - Runner up for ASPIRE prize.

    One of our staff members, Dr Wei Xu was one runner-up for this year’s APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) Prize for 2016.

    084 WeiXuAspire.jpg The ASPIRE prize recognises young scientists from APEC economies who have demonstrated a commitment to both excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies. Associate Professor Lee Baumgartner from Charles Sturt University was selected as the winner and Dr Margaret Hardy from the University of Queensland was the other runner-up. The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne presented this prize in Adelaide on Friday, April 15th.

    More information can be found here:

  • VLS Safety Committee - Vacancy

    Currently the role as Chair of the VLS Safety Committee is vacant. We are calling for expressions of interest from an Academic Staff member to fill for this vacancy. The majority of current members are technical staff due to their roles as safety reps, having an academic staff member as chair provides a broader perspective on various issues.

    Please email Sarah Gillett with your EOI's.

  • Students with disability/medical conditions - message from Dr Erica Lewin, Manager | Equity and Social Inclusion

    I thought you may be interested in the attached information providing stats relating to commencing students with disability/medical conditions. It reflects our experience here this semester, as we have had a significant increase in the number of students accessing our services. I expect this will have implications for Schools, and it does reinforce the rationale for staff to be informed about disability and services available to such students at Murdoch.

    I would like to reiterate my previous correspondence advising that the Equity and Social Inclusion Office would welcome the opportunity to provide information about our services and in relation to disability more generally to professional and academic staff in Schools. Please let me know your preferred dates/times.

    Note that information for staff in working with students with disability/medical conditions is available at:

    Also note that training on Disability Services for Students on Campus is scheduled on TCMS 9 May 12noon – 1.30pm. Please encourage staff to attend.
  • Urgent Notice - Coolroom/Freezer VBS 2.049 shut down for action

    The smallish Coolroom/Freezer VBS 2.049 ( see photo attached) on the second floor of building 250 is going to be shut down for maintenance on Monday May 2nd.
    By Friday 29th April at 4 pm, all product in these rooms need to be either disposed of ( if no longer needed) or moved to the shipping containers located on the road just outside the Anatomy department. ( These containers will be empty by this stage as the Anatomy freezer will all be up and running next week)

    The container closer to the walkway is the Cool room, the next container opposite the Vet Pagola is the freezer.

    Could all supervisors please let your students know of the shut down so they can move their specimens.

    Any specimens left in the coolroom /freezer by Monday 2nd May will be automatically disposed of.

  • Morris Animal Foundation Announces Call for Large Companion Animal Proposals

    Morris Animal Foundation is now accepting proposals for Established Investigator, First Award, Fellowship Training and Pilot Study grants on topics relevant to large companion animal (horses and llamas/alpacas) health and welfare.

    Proposals are due Wednesday, July 13, 2016, by 11:59 p.m. EST. To learn more about each of these grant types and the application process for each, please visit the Researchers page of the Foundation’s website (the proposal guidelines have been recently updated).

    Please note that this call for proposals is only for Established Investigator, First Award, Fellowship Training and Pilot Studies relating to large companion animals (horses and llamas/alpacas).

    To access the online application form directions, click here

  • Honours Information Session

    An honours information session to promote honours for mid-year and end of year will be held on Friday 13th May in the Postgraduate Suite ECL 2.031 from 11.30-1.30pm.

    If you have projects opportunities for honours students and you are interested in participating please complete the attached template and bring along a poster to promote your research area on the day. Please send the completed project templates to the Honours Coordinator Jacqueline Dyer by Monday 2nd May 2016. For more information and to confirm your attendance, contact Honours Coordinator Jacqueline Dyer
  • University Charter and Guide to Services - message from Susan Ashcroft - University Librarian

    The Library has put together a draft Charter and Guide to Services document that we would make available on our website.

    Our intention is that the document provides a quick snapshot of the Library’s purpose and structure, and provides a list of the services and resources we have available to our clients.

    We would welcome any comments, feedback, etc that the Schools might have on this document.

  • Veterinary and Life Sciences 2016 Small Research and Equipment Announcements

    We have been able to distribute approximately $300,000 towards funding grants for Early Career Researchers, Mid-Late Career Researchers and Equipment. Members of the School Research Committee reviewed and assessed the applications. We would like to congratulate the successful recipients and we hope that these lead to successful PhD training, research papers and grant income. Ryan Liang will set up and supply details of the account numbers to the lead recipient. Note: the lists below are not in any particular rank order.

    Early Career Grants/New Staff Member (post January 2010).

    1. K. Lear, A Gleiss, D. Morgan - Laboratory calibration of the thermal biology of Freshwater Sawfish- funding towards PhD student
    2. M. Andrew - Risks and impacts of environmental weeds to Vietnam’s forests – funding towards PhD student
    3. M. O’Dea, B. Jackson, P. Spencer - The microbiome and population genetics of WA microbats
    4. S. De Meyer, P. Wang, J. Terpolilli - Understanding the genetic instability of Lebeckia microsymbionts
    5. G. Maker and R.Trengove - In vitro toxicology assessment of herbal medicines
    6. C. Oskam - Characterisation of a novel Borrelia species in Australian wildlife ticks.
    7. C. Sharp, T. Hyndman - Investigating feline morbillivirus epidemiology in Western Australia
    8. G. Rossi - Development of a mass spectrometry assay to quantify plasma procalcitonin
    9. I. Habib - Campylobacter in poultry meat and fresh produce in the Australian retail market
    10. B. Robson - Drought responses of damselflies: consequences for species fitness.
    11. J. Kala - Bias Correction of Regional Climate Model Simulations for SWWA
    12. M. Claus, V. Vincent, A. Raisis, W. Pavey, E. Litton - Protamine on ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) Circuits
    13. M. O’Dea and A. Barnes - Identification of respiratory pathogens in feedlot sheep
    14. J. Gummer, C. Secombe, H. Abbiss - Could hepcidin be a diagnostic biomarker in the horse?

    Mid to Later Career Grants
    1. A. Raisis - Validation of biomarkers for early detection of acute kidney injury- Funding towards PhD student
    2. A. Barnes - Effect of sugar types on the outcomes of bacterial fermentations
    3. A. Currie - Developing an Improved Diagnostic Test for Early Detection of Sepsis in Dogs- Funding towards a PhD student
    4. A. Paparini, U. Ryan, P. Irwin - Next generation monitoring of water quality
    5. G. Coombs - The emergence and evolution of Enterococcus faecium Clonal Complex (CC) 17 outbreaks in Australian hospitals. Funding towards PhD project.
    6. J. Fontaine, K. Ruthrof - Interacting disturbances: consequences for forests and carbon. Funding towards PhD project
    7. J. Fosu-Nyarko- Discovering commonalities in mechanisms of attack by nematodes and aphids. Funding towards PhD projects
    8. K. Bayliss - Novel treatments for fresh produce, to control food-destroying postharvest diseases. Funding towards a PhD project.
    9. M. Jones - Delivering unprocessed dsRNA from plastids for crop pest control. Funding towards PhD project.
    10. M. van Keulen - Tropical seagrass community health.
    11. N. Moheimani- Effect of light quality and quantity on photosynthesis of Botryococcus braunii grown in biofilm.
    12. P. Stumbles, P. Drummond - Establishing RNA Flow for cellular analysis of alpha adrenergic receptors.
    13. R. Standish - Impacts of urbanisation on native plant-pollinator networks.
    14. T. Burgess - Phytophthora cinnamomi dieback on the move.
    15. T. Fleming - Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to investigate diet of the greater bilby.
    16. W. Reeve - Microsymbiont genome architecture-what are the critical symbiotic determinants?

    Equipment Grants

    1. G. Rossi, W. Greene, U. Ryan, A. Currie, S. Abraham - Bench top automated biochemical analyser.
    2. S.N. Hancock, A. Thompson – Portable Sheep Yards
    3. P. Stumbles, W. Greene, U. Ryan, A. Currie, S. Abraham- Enhanced tissue culture capacity to support single cell analysis.
    4. J. Kala – Murdoch University Meteorological Station Upgrade.
    5. M. Andrew, H. Kobryn – Computing equipment for GIS laboratory.
    6. C. Sharp, L. Smart, M. Claus, G. Hosgood, W. Pavey – ACL Elite Coagulation Analyser.
    7. T. Fleming- Reconyx Infrared Cameras.
    8. M. van Keulen, N. Moheimani – Underwater spectro radiometer for ecophysiology.

  • 2016 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science - Nomination Round NOW OPEN!

    First stage of nominations closes on 28 April 2016 5.00 pm Canberra Local Time

    The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science  are Australia’s most pre-eminent annual science, innovation and science teaching awards:

    The Prime Minister's Prize for Science;
    The Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation;
    The Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year;

    The Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year;
    Prize for New Innovators (new award for 2016);
    The Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools; and
    The Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools

    In addition to a total pool of $750,000 in prize monies, each recipient will receive an embossed medallion with lapel pin. Contact Us:

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

  • XP Software - message from Marilyn Daviesfor action
  • URGENT REMINDER – 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. As a follow up to the original communication in October last year, 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.

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

  • International Humanitarian Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam, August 2016

    We bring to your attention the 7th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS), a week-long international conference geared towards leadership development and social change. Humanitarian Affairs UK would like to give the opportunity for your prestigious institution of higher learning to select 5 t0 7 internationally minded students to attend the 7th USLS from August 1st to the 7th, 2016, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    The information about USLS could be found on United Nations Relief Web , a specialized digital service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA ).

    Please find below more details about the Hanoi Symposium:

    Who Are We?
    Humanitarian Affairs UK is a member of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (WANGO), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Alliance for Citizens Participation and the International Association for Volunteer Effort. We strive to make young leaders understand the importance of using their distinctive skills and knowledge for the betterment of society. For more information, visit our Website.

    Why USLS?

    “Attending USLS has prompted me to rethink my view of the world and think on how I can serve the community. I have been encouraged to grow in compassion and determination as a young leader. There are so many different takeaways that I have gained from this symposium, and I honestly could not be more grateful for having been a part of the 6th USLS 2015 in Hong Kong.” - Jacqueline Michelle Bong of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    “I think Humanitarian Affairs UK has created such a wonderful platform for you to gather together to discuss leadership, to discuss your own actions, and to deal with humanitarian and development challenges that the world faces.” -Mr. Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations New York

    What is the USLS?
    The USLS is week-long international leadership conference in social change. Over 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries will collaborate and learn from humanitarian experts, participate in workshops organized by UN agencies and do fieldwork in an emerging ASEAN country. The USLS will not only expose delegates to global issues but motivate them to search for solutions.

    How do Students Benefit?
    This program will give students the opportunity to develop their global network to include like-minded young leaders from over 200 universities and many inspiring public figures. The connections they make will expand their worldviews and encourage them to become globally-minded leaders and thinkers. They will see the importance in applying their education to a globalizing world. The USLS will give students hands-on humanitarian experience, setting them apart from their peers.

    How to Get Involved?
    Please contact us at if interested in the USLS by 30th April, 2016. For more information about the fees, testimonials, speakers and highlights, please visit our program Website and our E-brochure: English Version and Chinese Version

  • Kings Park Seminars

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

    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

  • Tree Die-off from Hot Drought: Reinforcing and Resolving the Risks

    Professor David Breshears is visiting Western Australia again as part of Murdoch University's Distinguished Collaborator Program. He will be giving a public lecture:

    The importance of future tree die-off events from hotter drought remains debated within the research community. Advances in the past year on tree die-off reinforce that future risk is substantial. These include identification of six high confidence factors that all point to greater vulnerability to future tree die-off events. In addition, a suite of analyses that include empirical assessment, regional scale modeling, and use of dynamic global vegetation models all point to elevated risks. Streamflow following tree die-off has not shown increases that might be expected based on prior studies where tree cover was reduced, highlighting the complex impacts of hotter drought. Given the potential for large die-off events, assessments are underway to look at how tree loss from more than one region at a time could affect other regions through ecoclimate teleconnections and the mechanisms driving ecological responses in impacted regions. Collectively, evidence continues to grow that tree die-off from hotter drought will pose a major challenge for managing natural resources under climate change.

    Professor Breshears is from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Joint with Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Arizona, where his group aims to develop new ways of measuring, understanding, and predicting ecological and hydrological processes and responses in water-limited ecosystems. Much of his work focuses on ecohydrological dynamics, vegetation gradients and microclimate spanning grassland through forest, relative roles of wind- and water-driven sediment transport and erosion, and rapid forest die-off following hot drought as related to climate change. His group seeks to enable improved decision making and management regarding issues of land use, pollution and global change.

    DATE: 21.04.16
    TIME: 16:00-17:00
    LOCATION: Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre (BSLT), Murdoch University

    A get-together will follow the lecture. Please email to RSVP.

  • Call for Applications: Research Translation Projects

    The Department of Health invites applications for the tenth round of the Research Translation Projects (RTP) funding program.

    The RTP program seeks to support high-quality research projects that have the potential to be translated into policy and/or practice in WA Health in the short-term, with the aim of investigating improved efficiencies that can be delivered while maintaining and/or improving patient outcomes. The Department of Health’s closing date for applications is 1:00pm, Tuesday 28 June 2016.
    The Guidelines for Applicants and Application Form can be downloaded from the Research Development website at:
    For assistance please contact the Research Development Unit via:
    Email: or Phone: (08) 9222 4415. More information about the range of funding programs administered by the Department of Health through the Research Development Unit, including past grant recipients can be found at: