VLS Announcements 130 - 24 March 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Emeritus Professor John Howell, one of our Foundation Professors. Peter Irwin has highlighted some of his achievements at the College of Veterinary Medicine and within the broader community in the “Staff News and Events” section. You will see from Peter's words that John was the foundation of so very much more than the pathology section. He will be unforgettable to those who were fortunate enough to have known him, and will be remembered for the very important roles he played in the development of the School and our University.

I would like to congratulate Brad Norman, who has been selected to give the 2017 Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture at the University of Queensland. He will be presenting on Whale Sharks and contributions from citizen science, I wish Brad the best of luck. More information is available on the University of Queensland website.

I would also like to congratulate Sam Abraham, Ihab Habib and Mark O’Dea from the new AMR Infectious Diseases Lab who were successful in obtaining a research grant from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for a collaborative project including NSW DPI and DAWR.

Paola Magni gave a public lecture on Monday as part of the Undercover lecture series. I would like to thank Paola for engaging in this lecture series which raises the profile of the school’s research and the diverse nature of the forensic science.

I would also like to congratulate Kirsty Bayliss who has been in the media this week discussing her ongoing research into using plasma to prolong shelf life of fruit and vegetables, the next steps in her research and the opportunities she has as a LAUNCH Food Innovator (read here). Dr Halina Kobryn has also been in the media discussing the use of satellite data analysis for environmental applications, specifically her PhD student Stuart Dawson’s use of Landsat and Triplesat data to monitor bilbies in WA’s far north (read here).

Kind regards,

Phil Nicholls
Acting 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]

  • Black Cockatoo Conservation Project - January 2017 Update

    Please find attached the Black Cockatoo Conservation Project update for January 2017. This update includes a summary of the recent field trip to Borden breeding grounds for Carnaby's cockatoos.

  • Australian Wildlife Society Student Research Grants 2017

    Each year the Australian Wildlife Society offers ten grants of $1500 to Honours and Postgraduate students whose research will benefit conservation of Australian wildlife (both plants and animals). The Australian Wildlife Society is now inviting applications for the 2017 round of grants. Details can be found on the Australian Wildlife Society’s website:

  • New Colombo Plan – Applications now open

    New Colombo Plan application for Mobility grants commencing in 2018 are now open.

    Please see the attached:

    Applications close on Friday 12th Mary COB, applications received after the deadline unfortunately can’t be considered. Please email your application to

    New Colombo Plan Facebook session hosted by DFAT
    The New Colombo Plan Secretariat of DFAT and the Department of Education and Training will hold a Facebook Live information session for Australian universities on 3 April to support their development of applications for funding under the 2018 New Colombo Plan mobility grants round. Like “New Colombo Plan” on facebook. Search for event “New Colombo Plan Mobility Program information session”:
    3 April 2017
    14:00–15:00 UTC+10 (12:00 WA)

  • Package Assisting Small Exporters

    The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources announced on 24 February that applications opened for Round 2 of the Package Assisting Small Exporters (PASE).

    PASE provides funding for projects that improve market access for small exporters of dairy, egg / fish, grain and plant products, horticulture and meat products.

    Applications will be assessed through a competitive, merit-based process and in accordance with program guidelines. More information, including a copy of the PASE Guidelines, is available at

    Please note that applications close 27 March 2017.

  • Make sure great Australian science is recognised—nominate for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

    The Australian Government is looking for nominations for the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science.

    They are looking for:

    • heroes of Australian science who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge through science—people like Rick Shine, Graham Farquhar and Ingrid Scheffer
    • exceptional innovators from both industry and research who have translated scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact—like Michael Aitken, Colin Hall, Graeme Jameson, John O’Sullivan and Ian Frazer
    • early to mid-career scientists whose research is already making, and will continue to have, an impact on our lives—like Kerrie Wilson, Jane Elith, Ryan Lister, Andrea Morello, Angela Moles, Matthew Hill and Tanya Monro
    • science teachers—primary and secondary—like Suzy Urbaniak, Ken Silburn, Richard Johnson and Rebecca Johnson, who are inspiring the next generation with a love of science and exploration.

    The prize recipients will receive national recognition and meet leaders in science, industry, education and government at the prize dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra.

    The prizes are:

    • $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
    • $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation
    • $50,000 Prize for New Innovators
    • $50,000 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
    • $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
    • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools ($50,000 shared between the recipient and their school)
    • Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools ($50,000 shared between the recipient and their school).

    Nominations close at 5.00 pm Canberra time, Wednesday 12 April 2017.

    It’s simple to nominate in the first (shortlisting) stage, with an online form that requires:

    • details of the nominator, nominee(s), two supporters
    • for the five science prizes: three external referees (two of whom must be based overseas)
    • an achievement summary of no more than 1,000 words
    • a two-page curriculum vitae
    • proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residency
    • for the early to mid-career awards: evidence that their research career spans no more than 10 years (or full time equivalent) from completion of their highest relevant tertiary qualification.

    If a nomination is shortlisted, further material will be required in the final stage.

    For eligibility, selection criteria, nomination guidelines and forms, visit: or contact 13 28 46

  • Space Utilisation Survey, South St - March 27 to April 7 - message from Jacqui Ing, Manager, Resource Scheduling

    In accordance with the Space Management Policy, we will conduct a space utilisation survey in South St teaching venues from March 27-April 7.

    During this time student casuals will be asked to enter teaching venues once every hour to count the number of people in the room, from 8:30 to 5:30.

    This data will provide insight into the way in which spaces are actually used, and inform future planning.

    Once collected and analysed, the space utilisation data will be distributed to School Deans and School Managers.

    The survey will cover general teaching rooms and many teaching laboratories.

    Please contact us as soon as possible if you have any concerns regarding students entering a space during class time so that we can discuss appropriate protocols or adjust the room list where necessary.

    We will not survey a room during a supplementary exam, but Schools will need to alert us if they have scheduled a test within normal class times in this period, as these will not be visible to the survey planning team.

    If you have any queries or concerns about the space utilisation survey please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Funding Industry Partnerships - Workshops 27th to 31st March

    Through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the government has focused on industrial (in its broadest research discipline context) research funding to further increase innovation in the country.

    This has meant major changes to some programs such as the ARC Linkage Projects scheme, and the introduction of new funding programs in areas supported by the Department of Industry. Attached is an overview on the range of schemes and opportunities available.

    The Research and Innovation Office is holding a series of workshops during the week March 27th to 31st 2017 to provide information that will assist Murdoch staff (and partners) to be competitive in these new research programs.

    Professor Alan Johnson AM, a previous member of the ARC College of Experts and previous ARC Executive Director will be facilitating the workshops. Professor Giles Hardy, a previous College of Experts member and highly successful Linkage Projects applicant will be participating in the workshop on ARC Linkage Projects.

    Four themed workshops will be held, with duplicate sessions on offer, during 27th and 31st March:

    1. ARC Linkage Projects
    2. ARC Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP)
    3. Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) and Projects
    4. National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) & Opportunities

    Please register below –


    First offer

    Second Offer

    Third Offer

    ARC Linkage

    27th March 2017

    08:00 to 10:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    29th March 2017

    14:00 to 16:30



    31st March 2017

    08:00 to 10:30

    McCusker Conference Room



    28th March 2017

    08:00 to 09:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    29th March 2017

    11:30 to 13:00




    CRC and Projects

    28th March 2017

    10:00 to 11:30

    McCusker Conference Room


    30th March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    McCusker Conference Room



    NISA and Opportunities

    28th March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    ECL 1.031


    31st March 2017

    15:00 to 16:30

    McCusker Conference Room



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

  • Vale Emeritus Professor John Howell AO - message from Professor Peter Irwin

    It is with much sadness that I write to advise you of the passing, last Wednesday 15th March, of Emeritus Professor John Howell. With this news we have lost one more of the original academics in veterinary science at Murdoch University. Professor Howell was Foundation Professor of Pathology, commencing at Murdoch in 1974, he was Head of the Division of Veterinary Biology 1974-1980, and he was the third Dean of the School of Veterinary Science from 1983-1989.

    Professor Howell had a distinguished research career as a veterinary scientist and pathologist, with a focus on neuromuscular diseases and in particular the pathology of copper toxicity in sheep, Pompe’s disease in cattle, McArdle’s disease in sheep, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in dogs. His work informed research into neuromuscular diseases of humans and he held a number of senior positions in the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute over the years. Professor Howell was Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at Murdoch from 1991 to 1994 and in recognition of his contributions to medical and veterinary research he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000.

    Professor Howell was an active member of the Australian Veterinary Association WA division, including acting as President, and was awarded the Gilruth prize by the AVA in 1993. He was Chairman of the Board of the Animal Resources Centre , Chairman of the Veterinary Surgeons’ Board of Western Australia, and was Chairman of the Perth Zoological Gardens Board (later renamed the Zoological Parks Authority). Additionally he was Chair of VSAAC and is credited as being the major driver behind the Mutual Recognition Agreement with the RCVS. In retirement Prof Howell continued his close association with the College through ongoing research projects and as a member of the Veterinary Trust (and later Veterinary Trust Advisory Committee). Additionally we will remember him because the Zoo Residency was named in his honour, and each year when the Foundation Pathologist’s prize is awarded at the Registration Ceremony.

  • Latest Information from SRTC – an update to the IBC website – Import Permits

    SRTC have updated the IBC website with information for staff and students who want to apply to be linked to the MU BICON account (to enable them to apply for an import permit) and the MU generic import permit (

  • Students with Disability/Medical Conditions

    Training for staff about disability and how this plays out at Murdoch for students is available, and the next scheduled training is on 10 May 12.30 – 2pm. You can register for this through OCU, Training Courses and Programs:

    An online module on ‘Disability Awareness’ is also available through OCU, Murdoch e-Learning Platform. This too can be accessed through the link provided above.

    The Equity team is available to speak with staff about the services we offer to students and the role of academic staff in these processes. They are glad to take up any opportunity to do this and in the process answer questions and engage in discussion about relevant issues, and so deliver effective services to students. Please let us know if such opportunities are possible.

    Finally, the attached PP slide is already used by many academics to refer student to the Equity office.
  • Earth Hour

    Murdoch University is participating in Earth Hour today between 12pm and 1pm. Staff are encouraged to turn off all electronics and go outdoors. Please see the attached flyer.

  • VLS Student Quiz Night

    Our VLS student associations are holding a Quiz Night on campus next week, Thursday 30th March (poster attached). Tickets can be purchased from the SA office.

  • Friday after work drinks

    Friday after work drinks and BBQ on 31/03/17 starting at 4PM BSB common room.

  • Introduction to Arabella Zhao - message from Philip Payne, Director External Engagement

    Please join me in welcoming Arabella Zhao to Murdoch. Arabella commenced this week as Regional Manager China, and she also has responsibility for Onshore Australia.

    Maple Fu, our Business Development Manager located in Shanghai now reports to Arabella. Arabella, with assistance from Neville, is getting around campus meeting various people with an interest in recruitment of students from China. You can find Arabella at or on extension 7609. Arabella is located in the old ITRI Building (close to Campus Village), along with the rest of the International Engagement team.

    Arabella has over 6 years’ experience in the education industry in Australia and China. She comes to us from Navitas where she was a Business Development Consultant, responsible for overall student recruitment, agent management and business development. Prior to this she worked at Kingston International College and Open Universities Australia. Arabella has a Bachelor of Commerce, major in Marketing, from Lincoln University in New Zealand.

    Arabella is fluent in both English and Mandarin.

    Neville Hiong, who was looking after China as part of a huge portfolio, will now be focussing on North Asia (Korea, Taiwan, Japan) and the Middle East.

  • Accommodation Wanted for visiting academic family.

    The College is hosting husband and wife academics who will be working in The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University, and their 11 year old son, from June until December. They are looking for a small house or two bedroom flat to rent or look after for this time, preferably close to Murdoch. If you know of anywhere suitable please contact Peter Irwin on

  • Conflict of Interest Declaration for action

    An Annual Conflict of Interest Declaration is to be completed by all staff members. This declaration can be completed at the Conflict of Interest page. It would be appreciated if staff members could complete the declaration by 31 March 2017. In addition, you should refer to the University’s Conflict of Interest policy. This policy was approved by Senate and will assist you in understanding your obligations in relation to disclosure of potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest. More information is available at

  • Veterinary and Life Sciences Award Ceremony 2017 - DATE CHANGE

    The date of the VLS Awards Ceremony 2017 has changed to the 9th May from 6pm. Please note: there is a formal University RSVP process for this event and information will be available approximately 6 weeks prior to the event via the Main University Staff Announcements: as well as in the VLS Staff Announcements 

    So if you would like to attend, please ensure that you monitor both sets of announcements to see further information on how and when to RSVP.

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

  • Accelerated algal culture grwoth and lipid accumulation with bicarbonate addition with impacts on costs and LCA consuderations

    Presenter: Dr Brent Peyton
    Date: Monday 3rd April
    Time: 10.30am - 11.30am
    Venue: The Loneragan Lecture Theatre
    Flyer attached

  • Solving whale mysteries using tags and drones - FREE Public Lecture

    Presenter: Professor Lars Bejder
    Date: Monday 27th March
    Time: 6pm - 7pm
    RSVP: here