VLS Announcements 115 - 25 November 2016

Dear Colleagues,

The Animal Hospital has been in the media this week after a visit from Pulang, a female Sumatran Orangutan from Perth Zoo. Pulang underwent a CT scan to investigate a lump inside her nose, which is thought to be a fungal infection.

The final Vice Chancellor’s Open Forum for 2016 will take place on Friday 2nd December between 12.30 and 1.30pm. The focus of this Open Forum will be to discuss the refresh of our Strategic Plan and the themes that have emerged from recent consultations and what they might mean for Murdoch. All staff are encouraged to attend the VC’s Open Forum, no RSVP required.

In line with the rest of the University the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences (excluding The Animal Hospital) will be closing from COB Friday 23rd December to Wednesday 4th January 2017 comprising of public holidays and days in lieu of holidays worked.

The University is committed to ensuring that all staff are able to maximise their health and wellbeing. An important component of this is being able to take adequate leave from work on a regular basis in order to ‘rest and recharge’. VLS staff (apart from those in The Animal Hospital) are encouraged to book annual leave for Thursday, 5 January and Friday, 6 January 2017. This allows staff to take advantage of a complete two week rest period. Leave applications should be submitted online via MyHR.

Please take note of limited service periods and finance deadlines mentioned in the “Staff news and Events” section.

Kind regards,

David Hampson
Dean, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Submissions for the announcements can be made by emailing Mhairi Finlayson COB each Tuesday for publication Thursday

Note items that require action are marked with a red flag. for action Click on [Expand All/Collapse All] below to view the entire stories.

Teaching and Research News [Expand All] | [Collapse All]

  • Research Grants of up to $500,000 for Citizen Science Open Now

    On Monday, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the Citizen Science Grants element of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme, part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation Science Agenda.

    Citizen Science Grants are competitive research grants of $50,000 to $500,000, for a period of up to three years.

    Applications should be for research projects that involve a significant component of citizen science.

    The grant round is open from now until 17 February 2017, to provide enough time for people to identify partners, projects and prepare applications.

    More information, including the programme guidelines, can be found at, or in the attached fact sheet.

    Applicants can contact the further information on the grants.

  • Finance Research Support - New Mailbox

    The research support officer (RSO) group in Finance now have a separate group email box for finance requests and queries related to School-based research projects, Finance RSO ( So for anything you might previously have emailed Finsup mailbox for regarding a School based research project - and expected a response from one of the RSO team, please now use the Finance RSO mailbox (eg queries such as research project financial position, budget or forecast, grant acquittals, journals involving a research project, invoices outstanding with grant funding bodies etc..).

    Just a reminder the Research Support Officers in Finance and their respective supported areas are:

    • VLS Medical & Molecular Sciences – Valerie Findlay
    • VLS Environment & Conservation – Cindy Chen
    • VLS College of Veterinary Medicine – Gayle Hughes
    • VLS Agricultural Sciences – Melinda Ellis
  • 2016 International Ecotourism Forum

    Last week, Greg Simpson (Nature Based Tourism Research Group) and Valeria Senigaglia (Cetacean Research Unit) joined approximately 80 other delegates at the International Ecotourism Forum hosted by the Southwest Development Commission and Bunbury’s Dolphin Discovery Centre (DDC). Delegates heard the perspectives of senior representatives from State Government and the region’s ecotourism industry on strategies for building the collaboration and relationships needed to attract and maximise ecotourism experiences for international visitors to the southwest.

    Adjunct Professor and social entrepreneur Albert Teo of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Borneo Eco Tours spoke enthusiastically about the recent MOU between UMS and Murdoch and the international research collaboration with our own Associate Professor David Newsome and Dr Kate Rodger in his keynote address. This testimonial and a stock of the latest VLS Research booklets resulted in industry associations and operators identifying a number opportunities for Murdoch to collaborate on translational ecotourism research in this dynamic and relatively well-funded region.

    Some delegates were also attracted to the selection of Murdoch course information sheets that the DDC kindly displayed on the day. Additionally, a recent Murdoch graduate who has been volunteering on regional ecology research and contemplating a move to another university, is reconsidering Murdoch’s offer of an environmental science Honours placement along with the firm offer of a sponsored internship with Borneo Eco Tours and UMS to undertake ecotourism research in the Kinabula/Kinabatangan regions.

  • Workload Model 2017for action

    The Workload model metrics for 2017 have been approved and the School is now ready for you to confirm your details with Emma Thorp ( It would be most helpful if you could ensure that all data are confirmed by the of 2nd of December.

    The 2016 and 2017 models are available here (2016) and here (2017) as well as the new data entry form.

    Please see the below flowchart of the workload timeline

  • Animal Ethics Feedback Survey for action

    Every 3 – 4 years an external review is conducted of Murdoch University's care and use of animals for scientific purposes by an entirely independent panel. The next review will be conducted from 27 February to 3 March 2017, in accordance with the guidelines of the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (8th Edition 2013).

    Preparations are underway to ensure a thorough review process. Your confidential feedback provides important input to this review. This survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes.

    The survey asks about your experiences of Murdoch University’s Animal Ethics Committee, the Research Ethics & Integrity support staff in animal ethics, as well as your views on other related matters. Many of the questions have space for you to elaborate on your response. You will also be asked to consider whether you may wish to meet with the panel.

    Click on the email link below to go to the survey. Once you have commenced the survey you are able to exit at any point and use this same link to return to the last question completed or to review your responses. Please retain this email to link you back to the survey at your last exit point. To save and continue, simply exit the survey by closing the survey window.

    Once the survey is submitted, you will not be able to return to the completed survey.

    Please follow this link to the Survey:

    Please complete this survey by 4pm Friday 23 December 2016.

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

  • Academic Registrar's Office (ARO) Weekly Newsletter #46 - 21 November

    Please find attached, the ARO newsletter for the week beginning 21 November. 

  • Extension deadline for Chemical Manifests for VLS from Brodey Anderson for action

    As per the Chemical Hazardous Substances Committee meeting the deadline of 15 November 2016 has since expired in returning manifests. The safety department and VLS have agreed to extend the chemical manifest return date to Friday, 31 March 2017 in which all manifests (attached) will be returned to anytime between now and the agreed due date.

    Any surplus chemicals can be disposed of through the Science Store (Physical Sciences, Room 1.016) or held until the chemical amnesty with the assistance of the Murdoch Safety Team towards the end of 2016.

  • Risk Assessment for Murdoch Processes (RAMP) Form Update

    The latest version of the RAMP Form is now available on the SRTC website:

    Please note the following changes to the RAMP Form:

    • The fieldwork section has been split into the following sections:
      • Outdoor work on the Murdoch campus
      • Work off campus in Australia (each with research and teaching options)
      • Work overseas
    • The Chemical section has been updated to align with the use of ChemWatch
    • The form has been condensed
    • The Declaration page has been updated

    Please ensure the latest version is always used by downloading it from the website. Contact if you have any queries or feedback.

  • Murdoch IT Services: Director's Report - message from Michael Grant, Director of Information Technology Services

    Please see the attached IT Services Director’s Report. The purpose of the document is to ensure you are kept current on the technology initiatives being delivered by the IT Services function to the University, with the intent to distribute 3-4 times per year.

    I have purposely kept this report brief and business-outcomes focussed in the hope that you find it informative and worth investing 5-10 minutes of your valuable time to peruse. The initiatives listed in this update are not the full range of initiatives in progress, but represent a number of our business-facing projects. We have categorised all initiatives under the key IT Themes of Engaging Experiences, Performance & Productivity, IT Foundations & Innovation. If you would like more detailed information on a specific initiative, I would be happy to discuss.

  • Science Stores - Extended Christmas Shutdown Period

    In line with the University initiative to encourage extension of the Christmas shutdown period, the Science Store will be shut from 3.30pm 23rd December 2016 and reopening Monday 9th January 2017. This decision has been made after consultation with main stakeholders. The Store will also be closed for the afternoon of Friday 16th December from 11.30am.

  • Important Pay Arrangements and deadlines for December 2016 and early 2017

    Please find attached an announcement on the payroll arrangements for December 2016 and January 2017.

  • Scheduled Eduroam Outage

    IT Services will be performing an upgrade to the University's wireless infrastructure on Saturday 26 November between 0800 and 0900. This upgrade will result in an Eduroam outage for the South Street, Peel and Rockingham campuses for up to one hour.

  • Request for Electronic Access within VLS

    Complete the attached Application for Electronic Access for Individual Requests form and email:

    Security will then complete the request within 48 hours. Please contact Amy Sheppard Moeen if further information is required.

  • Annual Campus Clean up Monday 5th - 9th December

    The end of 2016 is fast approaching and to help maintain our beautiful University environment and make a positive and lasting impression on our new and returning students in 2017, the Vice Chancellor and our Chief Operating Officer are calling on School Managers and Directorate leaders to help drive the annual campus clean up during the week of Monday 5 December to Friday 9 December 2016.

    We have a shared responsibility for maintaining safe, tidy and productive working and learning environments at Murdoch. This includes reviewing common spaces and identifying opportunities to de-clutter, tidy or dispose.

    This could include:

    • removing items from trafficable spaces such as pathways, building entrances, stairwells and corridors,
    • effectively re-using or disposing of surplus items from frequented spaces, such as meeting and common rooms, office accommodation, laboratories and learning venues, and
    • looking for opportunities to optimise the use of space and improving the safety and aesthetics.

    Please schedule time with your teams to discuss your area’s plan for assisting with our campus clean up. This may involve staff taking a short break from regular duties to focus on tidying up their work areas.

    Help is at hand The Property, Development and Commercial Services (PDCSO) team will support our campus clean-up by providing skip bins and logistical support for the removal of large items between 5-9 December 2016.
    Skip bin locations are listed below and can be viewed on our campus map:

    • Building 240 Biological Sciences Loading Zone 6
    • Building 260 Vet Clinical Sciences (east)
    • Building 335 Environmental Sciences Loading Zone 1
    • Building 350 Library Loading Zone
    • Building 450 Education & Humanities (south)
    • Building 490 Amenities (north)
    • University Farm

    To ensure only necessary items reach landfill, please follow the following disposal guides:

    • General waste/unusable furniture – place into drop down fronted skip bins.
    • Quality but surplus furniture – contact the PDCSO Helpdesk.
    • Scrap metal and batteries – specific bins located at PDCSO car park.
    • Pine pallets – do not use campus skip bins, contact PDCSO Helpdesk.

    You are requested not to dispose of computer type equipment into the skip bins provided as Information & Technology Services (ITS) engages a specialist waste provider enabling correct environmental disposal of such equipment. For further information please contact ITS Helpdesk by phone 9360 2000 or via email

    Remember to complete the Asset Disposal Form (1160) should any items being disposed possess asset barcodes. More information is available by emailing the PDCSO Helpdesk.

  • Accommodation Wanted for Professional Family–Applecross (preferably) – 1st July to 31st December 2017 - message from Peter Irwin

    Accommodation is needed for a visiting veterinary professional couple and their primary school-aged son for the second half of 2017. Both parents will be working in the College (one as a radiologist, the other as a pathologist) to assist us with teaching the double cohort. They have been in discussion with the Applecross Primary School which has a place for their son if they can live locally, so it’s a matter of trying to help find them a place in the same suburb. Any assistance you can give would be appreciated. Please contact Peter Irwin (2590) or Mandy O’Hara (2297).

  • Friday after work drinks

    INVITATION - Last Friday of the month BBQ and drinks 25/11/16 from 4PM! (flyer attached)

  • End of Year Processing Deadlines- IMPORTANT DATES - Asset, Aquisition and Disposal Deadlines Next Week  for action

    The Finance Support Team (FST) and the Central Finance Office need your support in achieving a successful end of year process. You can assist us to meet your requirements by ensuring documentation is submitted as early as possible and at the latest by the deadlines below (click on title to expand section)

    Accounts Payable
    Due Monday, 12th December 2016
    Includes all invoices for payment and staff/student reimbursements.
    Invoices for goods or services delivered in 2016, that are submitted to the FST from 12th to 22nd December 2016 will be accrued in the same year.
    Note: payment will most likely not reach supplier account until 2017.
    If goods or services are delivered in 2016 without invoice, please advise your Financial Analyst by the 5th January 2017 to be managed as part of the 2016 accrual process.

    Purchasing Card Acquittals
    Due Friday, 9th December 2016
    To guarantee processing of your 2016 transactions in the current year, every endeavour should be made to ensure purchases can be captured on your November statement, to be submitted to the FST for processing by the 9th December deadline.
    The 9th December deadline is to allow as much time as possible to process cost in the 2016 year. The FST cannot guarantee this will occur for purchasing card acquittals received after this date.
    Time permitting, expenses >$2k post your November statement that relate to goods or services delivered to site, or travel that has happened in 2016, will be managed as part of the 2016 accrual process. We shall provide an interim statement to you on the 15th December 2016. Please review and submit by 19th December only if accrual is essential. You will need to provide a copy of the invoice, account code to charge and business purpose.

    Other Functions
    Accounts Receivable Due Wednesday, 14th December 2016 All invoice requests (Form 485).
    Note: - Continue to send in your invoice requests after the deadline that relate to services provided in 2016 and we will manage as part of the 2016 accrual process.
    Asset Acquisition & Disposal Due Wednesday, 30th November 2016.
    All purchases post this date by Wednesday, 21st December 2016
    This will ensure all costs associated with an asset are recognised in 2016.
    Journal Requests Due Friday 23rd December 2016 Relates to internal charges, transfer of cost between accounts, posting code corrections, etc.
    Cash to be Banked Due Thursday, 22nd December 2016 Deliver to Central Finance by 12 pm – Chancellery Building, Level 3.

    Finance One and Concur Approvers: timely approvals in Finance One and Concur are critical to achieving the deadlines so as not to delay the end process – your assistance is appreciated.

    If you have any concerns regarding the above deadlines or need further clarification, please contact Ellie Meek, Annette Baker-Forrow or Jeremy McCraw in the Finance Support Team (FST).

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

  • College of Veterinary Medicine Streaming Conference

    The College of Veterinary Medicine Streaming Conference is the culmination of the 5th year veterinary students streaming experience and is designed to highlight their achievements during the streaming period as well as showcase the talent we are producing as a Veterinary College.

    Date: Thursday 1st December
    Time: 9am till 4pm
    Venues: Loneragan LT for the Small Animal Presentations (VET 541), VBS 3.024 for Equine (VET 543) and Mixed Practice (VET542) and VBS 3.023 for Wildlife, Epidemiology, Research and DAFF streams

    Morning and afternoon tea are provided.

  • Inter-University School InSPiRE Postgraduate Research Excellence Event

    InSPiRE is a postgraduate research conference-style event that provides expert training and professional development for researchers to promote high quality, collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

    The next 2-day InSPiRE conference will be held in 2017, however each university has been hosting InSPiRE themed mini-events throughout 2016.

    The next mini-event will be held at The University of Notre Dame Australia and is open to supervisors of postgraduate research students across all 5 WA universities.

    The UNDA Research Office invites Research Supervisors to a supervisor masterclass facilitated by Hugh Kearns of Thinkwell on Monday the 5th of December from 12.30-3.30pm (lunch provided from 12noon). See attached flyer with additional information and attached venue map.

    There is no fee for attendance, however places are limited and likely to be in demand. Please RSVP by COB, Friday the 25th of November to Anys Price (

  • Workshop Biodiversity and Climate Change Modelling

    Title: Innovative Tools for Mapping and Modelling Species Distributions
    Date: Thursday 1st December 2016
    Time: 9am to 12.30pm
    Venue: Pawsley Centre - Exhibition Space, 26 Dick Perry Avenue Kensington, WA 6151
    Registration: Online

    In this workshop, participants will use the ALA (Atlas of Living Australia) and the BCCVL (Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory) to explore species data and ecological models to understand the relationships between species and their environment.

    These tools can be used in research, but also provide a great educational resource to introduce students to the concepts of data discovery and ecological modelling. The workshop is therefore aimed at post-graduate research students, researchers, and academics that are interested in implementing these tools in their undergraduate courses.

    In the first half of this workshop participants will use the ALA Spatial Portal to learn about key features, data quality issues, cleaning data and environmental layers. They will then be introduced to the basic elements of species distribution models and climate change projections, including the data required to run the models, the differences across various model algorithms and how to appropriately interpret and evaluate the results of model outputs. Using the BCCVL, workshop participants will access national datasets to run a species distribution model and then project the results into the future using a climate change projection with a number of different emission scenarios.

    No complex coding/statistical knowledge is required. Just bring your laptop, and we'll provide access to a wealth of data and modelling tools.

  • Telethon Kids Institute’s Annual Community Lecture

    Telethon Kids Institute is bringing the UK’s Professor Stephen Holgate to Perth to deliver the Institute’s Annual Community Lecture on 29 November at 7pm, “You Are What You Breathe”. Professor Holgate is one of the UK’s leading biomedical researchers with an H-index of 150. It’s a free event, though tickets are required. The hyperlinked image below is where tickets can be obtained.

    Title: You are what you breathe
    Presenter: Professor Stephen Holgate, one of the world's most highly cited biomedical researchers and a leading expert in respiratory health.
    Date: Tuesday 29th November
    Time: 7pm
    Venue: The Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA
    Tickets: Tickets are available from

  • Professor Pedro Crous, Sir Walter Murdoch Adjunct Professor Seminar

    As director of the world’s largest fungal Biological Resource Centre, Pedro has initiated several major activities to facilitate global research on fungal biodiversity He has added several thousand cultures to the CBS culture collection, and has described more than 1000 novel fungal taxa. He is a strong supporter of the Barcode of Life projects. He has published more than 500 papers, authored or edited more than 20 books, and monographed several genera of major economic importance. In this seminar Pedro will talk about the dramatic and often contested changes to fungal taxonomy in the past 15 years.

    Topic: Molecular systematics as game changer in fungal taxonomy
    Date: Monday 5th December
    Time: 4pm
    Venue: Biological Sciences Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University

  • Seminar by a Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Collaborator - Change of Venue

    Professor Umesh Varshney, a Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Collaborator from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (INDIA), will be at the Centre for Rhizobium Studies next week from 23rd-28th November. Umesh is a world leader in DNA repair and Protein Synthesis research. He will present his work on protein synthesis on Monday 28th November. If you are interested in his research, you can organize a meeting by contacting Ravi (; ext 2202).

    Title: An evolutionarily conserved element in initiator tRNAs prompts ultimate steps in ribosome maturation.
    Date: Monday 28th November
    Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
    Venue: VBS3.023

    Ribosome biogenesis, a complex multistep process, results in correct folding of rRNAs, incorporation of >50 ribosomal proteins, and their maturation. Deficiencies in ribosome biogenesis may lead to various faults in the translation of mRNAs causing cellular toxicities, and ribosomopathies in higher organisms. How cells ensure quality control in ribosome biogenesis for the fidelity of its complex function remains unclear. Using Escherichia coli, we show that initiator tRNA (i-tRNA), specifically the evolutionarily conserved three consecutive GC base pairs in its anticodon stem play a crucial role in ribosome maturation. Deficiencies in cellular contents of i-tRNA confer cold sensitivity and result in accumulation of ribosomes with immature 3’ and 5’ ends of 16S rRNA. Overexpression of i-tRNA in various strains rescues biogenesis defects. Participation of i-tRNA in the first round of initiation complex formation licenses the final steps of ribosome maturation by signaling RNases to trim the terminal extensions of immature 16S rRNA. Umesh Varshney. Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012