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Today's date is Saturday, December 07, 2019
School of Plant Biology
 September 2012
Sunday 16
18:00 - SYMPOSIUM - 1st Symposium on Plant Signalling & Behaviour : A 5-day symposium covering themes from Plant Cell Biology & Signalling to Plant Sensory & Behavioural Ecology and Theoretical Botany Website | More Information
It is a great pleasure to invite you to participate in the very 1st Symposium on Plant Signalling & Behaviour (SPSB 2012) to be held at the University of Western Australia on 16th-21st September 2012.

The SPSB 2012 was conceived out of a desire to support and advance this new and exciting research area by bringing together a diverse group of researchers who are working and are concerned with plants, but who are doing so from very different perspectives. The aim of the symposium is to build a transdisciplinary bridge for the new emergent knowledge and view of the plant world to be shared widely and flourish into rewarding collaborative explorations.

Within a hot cauldron of creative thinking, the SPSB 2012 aims at providing you with the opportunity to showcase your recent research findings, to advance our current knowledge and understanding of plants and to exchange ideas with colleagues on themes ranging from Plant Cell Biology & Signalling to Plant Sensory & Behavioural Ecology, and Theoretical Botany.

SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS - now OPEN!!
Wednesday 19
12:00 - SEMINAR - Soil&Water Seminar, Sept19: : "Nitrogen - future challenges for agricultural science" More Information
All welcome!

Title: “Nitrogen – future challenges for agricultural science”

ABSTRACT: Fertilisers currently represent 15-20 per cent of the cost of production wheat grain. This cost will rise with the shortage of raw materials used to make fertiliser, the increasing costs in energy to mine and produce fertiliser, raising concerns as to the cost effectiveness of fertilisers, as observed following the spike in fertiliser prices in 2008/09. Over use of N can lead to eutrophication of waterways and to greater release of nitrous oxide, a key greenhouse gas, through unnecessary cycling of N through the nitrification and denitrification processes known to produce nitrous oxide. While most understand the concept of direct nitrous oxide loss, less is understood about the concept of indirect nitrous oxide release that is presumed to occur after fertiliser N leaves point of application on farm. Loss mechanisms that are factored into the indirect estimate N2O release include ammonia volatilisation, runoff of mineral and organic N and nitrate leached into groundwater. Because of the difficulties in determining indirect nitrous oxide emission these are likely to be based on estimates of on-farm N efficiency. For productivity including profitability, and improved environment outcomes the challenge is to better tailor fertiliser N inputs to ensure that soil plus fertiliser inputs more closely match crop demand for N. The talk will discuss new knowledge on a key nitrogen transformation that may have implications for managing N. It will consider recent developments in characterising soil organic matter that are expected to provide more robust estimates of net N mineralisation. The challenge is get new approaches for assessing properties of soil organic matter used as part of routine soil testing. In the case of N loss processes, a challenge is to produce simple calculators

16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - WHAT A PLANT KNOWS : PLEASE NOTE DATE & VENUE CHANGE !!!!! More Information
How does a Venus flytrap know when to snap shut? How do flowers know when to show their pretty colours? Can plants actually hear the chatter of the neighbourhood? This seminar is a window open onto the realm of plants, one hour detour into the history of how we perceive them, what we know about them but most importantly, how plants themselves perceive and sense their world. Dr Gagliano completed a PhD in marine ecology at James Cook University in 2007 and was then awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Australian Institute of Marine Science, where she studied the physiological effects of climate change on coral reef fishes. In November 2009, she joined the Centre for Evolutionary Biology (CEB) at The University of Western Australia, where she is currently a postdoctoral research fellow. While continuing her work on marine life. She has since stretched the boundary of her scientific thought and ecological research into new directions, including the behavioural ecology of plants.
Friday 21
14:30 - SEMINAR - WAMSI Kimberley Marine Science Seminar 2 : A series of 3 FREE seminars on past, current and planned research in the Kimberley Website | More Information
Prof Charitha Pattiaratchi (UWA) WAIMOS Infrastructure in the Kimberley

West Australian Integrated Marine Observation System (WAIMOS) is a node of the Integrated Marine Observation System (IMOS) and with recent co-investment from the WA State Government, extended its deployment of infrastructure to the northern waters of Western Australia, including the Kimberley region. In this presentation, the current status of the instrumentation deployed and example data highlights will be presented. The IMOS infrastructure located in these regions includes continental shelf moorings (ADCP, thermistor and water quality loggers) and ocean glider transects for subsurface water properties; passive acoustic sensors for whale monitoring; AUV transects for benthic monitoring and, remotely sensed data products (SST and ocean colour). In the north-west the infrastructure is designed to monitor the influence of north-west shelf region on Leeuwin Current dynamics and the local continental shelf processes. Examples of different processes, identified using the data streams from the Kimberley region will be presented.

Mr Clay Bryce (WA Museum) The WA Museum Woodside Collection Projects (Kimberley): 2008-2015

The WA Museum has been accumulating data on Kimberley marine fauna since 1976. In 2008 the Museum’s Department of Aquatic Zoology decided to ascertain the current state of the region’s marine biodiversity knowledge. With help from Woodside Energy, it embarked on an ambitious program to mine Kimberley marine faunal data from Australian museums, as well as floral records from the WA Herbarium. This resulted in over 60,000 records equating to over 6000 marine species. Augmenting this historical approach is a series of contemporary rapid assessment surveys (2009 – 2014), from Cape Leveque to the WA/NT border, examining 8 faunal taxa and the marine flora. This talk will provide an overview of these marine biodiversity programs.

16:00 - FREE LECTURE - Structural change in UK pastoral agriculture: what is the end-game? : Structural change in UK pastoral agriculture: what is the end-game? Website | More Information
The past ten years have seen considerable shifts in the patterns of land use and land management practices in the UK, driven mainly by changes in the European Union Common Agricultural Policy, climate change policy in the UK, and wider economic and world food price issues. As the drivers for change continue to evolve and changes will continue to occur, the need to resolve potential conflicts and offer options for future land use becomes increasingly important. Prof Milne’s lecture explores how the future of pastoral agriculture may develop under different policy scenarios to meet (competing) societal demands.

 October 2012
Thursday 11
13:00 - SEMINAR - Personalised Fluorescent-based Call Analysis from Merck Millipore More Information
CMCA will be hosting a seminar on cell health by Laura Morley from Merck Millipore on Thursday 11th October 2012 from 1-2pm in the Pharmacology Seminar Room (Rm 1.18, 1st floor, M Block, QEII Medical Centre). The seminar will cover topics including viability, cell cycle and apoptosis assays and will introduce the Muse Cell Analyser instrument.

The seminar will be followed by a demonstration of the Muse Cell Analyser at CMCA@QEII in lab 1.42 at 2pm.
Thursday 18
12:00 - SEMINAR - Accomplished Education Researcher Seminar Series : Sliding Doors in Academe: Idiosyncrasies of autobiography and controversy in psychometrics Website | More Information
***NOW RESCHEDULED TO 18 OCTOBER***

“Individual(s) ….embrace a new paradigm for all sorts of reasons ... . Some of these … lie outside the sphere of science entirely. Others depend upon idiosyncrasies of autobiography….” (Kuhn, 1970, p.l52). I will highlight some “idiosyncrasies of autobiography” that have led to enjoying an academic life – the opportunity to research and teach, to construct and communicate knowledge. I plan to illustrate how psychometrics, a field in which I had the opportunity to ignore or embrace an emergent, non-standard statistical paradigm, has lead beyond mathematical modelling to areas such as the philosophy of science, the sociology of knowledge and academic controversy. I plan to also illustrate the challenges in negotiating the complex world of academic research and communication.

16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase complex of plants: Function in respiration and photosynthesis : The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase complex (complex I) is the largest enzyme complex of the Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system and the main entrance site for electrons into the respiratory electron transfer chain. More Information
Complex I has several unique features in plants. Most notably, it includes 15 extra subunits, some of which introduce side activities into this respiratory enzyme. For example, subunits resembling an archaebacterial gamma-type carbonic anhydrase form an integral part of complex I in plants. These carbonic anhydrase subunits constitute a spherical extra domain which is attached to the membrane arm of complex I on its matrix exposed side. Furthermore, L-galactono-1,4 dehydrogenase (GLDH), which catalyses the terminal step of ascorbate biosynthesis in plants, is associated with complex I in plants. Novel data on the structure of the NADH dehydrogenase complex and its multiple functions in plant cells will be presented and discussed.
Thursday 25
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - Wasp Love Got to Do With It? The Evolutionary Implications of Sexual Mimicry in Orchids. : Most flowering plants engage animals to carry out the essential service of pollination. The majority of these plants have evolved flowers that advertise rewards for this service via visual and chemical cues such as petals and scent. There are however a number of species whose false advertisements draw pollinators to rewardless flowers. More Information
My research shows that the chemical mimicry crucial to sexual deception is responsible for reproductive isolation and potentially even speciation. I also show through mating system analysis and studies of wasp behaviour that this strategy is a superbly adaptive solution to the problem flowers face of simultaneously attracting pollinators before persuading them to leave quickly.
Friday 26
13:30 - SEMINAR - Oceans Institute Seminar: DR CHRIS BARNES : Understanding earth/ocean processes: new opportunities and technologies through cabled ocean observatories such as NEPTUNE Canada More Information
Abstract: The oceans, bounded by the atmosphere, lithosphere and shore, and covering 70% of the Earth's surface remain a poorly understood component of the Earth system. The changing climate, ocean circulation and chemistry, and depletion of ocean life are increasing at an alarming rate, largely a consequence of human activities. It is imperative to improve public understanding of the changes, consequences and possible future options, and to develop responsive informed public policies. A more quantified scientific database is required not achieved from a century of investigations using buoys, battery operated instruments and ship-based investigations. Advent of the first cabled ocean observatories (e.g. in Canada (NEPTUNE Canada, VENUS), US (OOI, MARS), Japan (DONET), China, Taiwan (MACHO), and European Union (EMSO)) demonstrates challenges, benefits, opportunities and added values for ocean science and commercial applications. Introducing abundant power and high bandwidth communications into diverse ocean environments allows: discrimination between short and long-term events, interactive experiments, real-time data/imagery, and complex multidisciplinary teams interrogating vast interoperable databases over decades. Cabled observatories will transform ocean sciences, with a progressive wiring of the oceans. NEPTUNE Canada completed installation of the subsea infrastructure with over 100 instruments in 2009-10, establishing the world's first regional cabled observatory (northeast Pacific; 800km backbone cable, with five nodes on the coast, continental slope, abyssal plain, and ocean-spreading ridge (100-2660m)). Principal scientific themes are: plate tectonic processes and earthquake-tsunami dynamics; seabed fluid fluxes and gas hydrates; ocean/climate dynamics and biotic effects; deep-sea ecosystem dynamics; engineering/computational research. New knowledge, scientific interpretations, and policy applications are addressing: ocean/climate change, ocean acidification, mitigating natural hazards, non-renewable and renewable natural resources. Socio-economic benefits include: resource/hazard/environmental management, sovereignty, security, transportation, data services, and public policy.

Bio: Chris Barnes is Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, and was Director of NEPTUNE Canada (2001-11), the world's first regional cabled ocean observatory network. For the previous decade, he served as Director of both the Centre for Earth and Ocean Research and the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He has a PhD in Geology from the University of Ottawa. He served as Chair of Earth Sciences both at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (1975-81) and at Memorial University of Newfoundland (1981-87); from 1987-89, he was the Director General of the Sedimentary and Marine Branch of the Geological Survey of Canada. He has served as President of the Geological Association of Canada, the Canadian Geoscience Council, and the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada; and as a commissioner of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, as a member of the International Ocean Drilling Program, and on the Science Advisory Committees of EuroSITES, two Spanish ocean observatories, and Canada's Ocean Tracking Network. Fellowship has been awarded in the Royal Society of Canada and the National Academy of Sciences, Cordoba, Argentina. In 1996, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Wednesday 31
16:00 - SEMINAR - CWR Presents : Pointing at Peak Phosphorus Website | More Information
South-western Australia was a part of Gondwanaland, and some of the most ancient parts of the Earth’ crust can be found here. Other parts of the landscape originated more recently from calcareous marine deposits [1]. Therefore, the soils of Western Australia are amongst the most heavily leached and nutrient-impoverished in the world. Moreover, the soils on lateritic profiles tightly bind phosphate, so that, phosphorus (P) is also poorly available to plants that are not adapted to these conditions. The old, climatically buffered ancient landscape (OCBIL) of south-western Australia is also one of the world’s hotspots of higher plant species diversity [2]. Therefore, this environment offers a unique opportunity to study plant adaptations to nutrient-poor conditions [3, 4].

A relatively large proportion of species from the P-poor environments in Western Australia cannot produce an association with mycorrhizal fungi, but, instead, produce cluster roots or dauciform roots [5, 6]. These specialised roots are an adaptation both in structure and in functioning; they release large amounts of exudates, in particular carboxylates [7]. Cluster-root-bearing Proteaceae in Western Australia occur on the most P-impoverished soils, whereas the mycorrhizal Myrtaceae tend to inhabit the less P-impoverished soils in this region [8].

The functioning of cluster roots in Proteaceae and Fabaceae has received considerable attention. Dauciform roots in Cyperaceae have been explored less [9, 10], but they appear to function in a similar manner [11]. The growth of specialised cluster or dauciform roots in species of the Cyperaceae, Fabaceae and Proteaceae is stimulated when plants are grown at a very low P supply, and suppressed when leaf P concentrations increase [5, 7]. These specialised roots are all short-lived structures, and they release large amounts of carboxylates during an ‘exudative burst’ at rates that are considerably faster than reported for non-specialised roots of a wide range of species. The carboxylate release plays a pivotal role in mobilisation of P from P-sorbing soil [5].

Because the world P reserves are being depleted whilst vast amounts of P are stored in fertilised soils, there is a growing need for crops with a high efficiency of P acquisition. Some Australian native species have traits that would be highly desirable for future crops. The possibilities of introducing P-acquisition efficient species in new cropping and pasture systems are currently being explored [12, 13]. In addition, possible strategies to introduce traits associated with a high P-use efficiency into future crop species are considered promising.

High P-use efficiency in Proteaceae includes a highly efficient and proficient mobilisation of P from senescing leaves [14]. In addition, many species operate at extremely low leaf P concentrations exhibiting rates of photosynthesis similar to crop plant; expressed per unit leaf P, their rates of photosynthesis are extraordinarily high [4, 14]. I will explore what traits these species have that allow them to exhibit high rates of photosynthesis at very low leaf P concentrations.

Biography

I was born on a farm in the Netherlands in 1950 and completed my undergraduate degree in biology (1976), with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, followed by research projects in plant physiology and microbiology. I finished my PhD degree (1979) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, working on (cyanide-resistant) plant respiration and effects of flooding. My PhD supervisors were Dr Rinie Hofstra, and Professors Pieter Kuiper and Rienk Brouwer.

After completion of my PhD, I did postdoctoral work at the University of Western Australia, with Professor John Pate, Melbourne University, with Dr Michael Dalling, and the Research School of Biological Science at the Australian National University, with Professor Barry Osmond, working on various aspects of the metabolism and transport of carbon and nitrogen in wheat, white lupins, and a range of other species. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow back in Groningen, I was offered the chair in Ecophysiology at Utrecht University (in 1985).

While in Utrecht, I continued work on plant respiration and started a new program on the physiological basis of variation in plant growth rate and productivity. Twenty eight fascinating theses have come to fruition under my supervision during that great time.

My teaching activities in ecophysiology have led to the completion of a textbook, Plant Physiological Ecology, Springer, New York, just before I moved to UWA. The textbook was translated in both Chinese and Persian. The second, completely revised edition of this book appeared in 2008.

For three years, after my move to UWA, I maintained a fractional appointment at Utrecht University, to promote exchange of students between Utrecht University and UWA and to build collaborative research programs.

PS* This seminar is free and open to the public & no RSVP required.

****All Welcome****

 November 2012
Monday 05
8:00 - WORKSHOP - WAIMOS Science Meeting : The Western Australian Integrated Marine Observing System - Science Meeting. For any enquiries and registration contact Agi Gedeon, Manager WAIMOS on agi.gedeon@uwa.edu.au or x2022. More Information
The Western Australian Integrated Marine Observing System - Annual Science Meeting will present the collaborative and cross-disciplinary uptake of freely accessible coastal and open ocean datastreams. Marine scientists, modellers and engineers, oceanographers and biologists will find this meeting of interest. For any enquiries and registration please contact Agi Gedeon, Manager WAIMOS on agi.gedeon@uwa.edu.au or x2022.
Monday 12
11:00 - WORKSHOP - Unlocking soil's secrets to open the door to agricultural productivity gains : Soil Biology Workshop with international, national and local speakers Website | More Information
As the world population grows and we are facing a 70% increase of food demand over the next four decades,the need to retain versatile and productive soils for food production and to maximise the output from the land is one of the most important issues of our time. This symposium will bring together world leading soil scientists to highlight the importance of soil health, from a national and global food security perspective. They will examine the role which science, technology and innovation can play in supporting Australian farmers in maintaining and developing healthy soils to achieve productivity gains and sustainable agricultural production. To participate in this workshop register online via www.soilhealthwa.eventbrite.com.au
Thursday 22
13:00 - SEMINAR - The CMCA: An old dog with new tricks Website | More Information
The Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA) provides local researchers and students in biology and biomaterials with access to infrastructure and expertise across imaging (small animal, optical, confocal, 3-D and electron microscopies), analytical (elemental, isotopic, and compound analysis) and flow cytometry (population analysis, phenotyping and sorting) platforms. With the ongoing acquisition of new bio-focussed key facilities and staff, this seminar will aim to present an overview of CMCA’s current capabilities in the biological and biomaterials space. In particular, new capabilities, research applications, plus current and future opportunities for local researchers working with bio-related samples to engage with CMCA will be presented.

13:00 - SEMINAR - Special Plant Biology Seminar: Peta Clode (CMCA): "The CMCA: An old dog with new tricks" : CMCA now offers many new and exciting opportunities for bio-researchers. More Information
The Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA) provides local researchers and students in biology and biomaterials with access to infrastructure and expertise across imaging (small animal, optical, confocal, 3-D and electron microscopies), analytical (elemental, isotopic, and compound analysis) and flow cytometry (population analysis, phenotyping and sorting) platforms.

With the ongoing acquisition of new bio-focussed key facilities and staff, this seminar will aim to present an overview of CMCA’s current capabilities in the biological and biomaterials space. In particular, new capabilities, research applications, plus current and future opportunities for local researchers working with bio-related samples to engage with CMCA will be presented. For more information on CMCA see: www.cmca.uwa.edu.au/facilities

About the speaker: Peta Clode has been at the CMCA for almost 10 years. Currently she is head of CMCA’s biological and biomedical applications area. Peta’s main interests lie in metals in biology and cell structure-function relationships, with particular expertise in sample preparation, imaging and analytical techniques in the biosciences. Through her position at CMCA, Peta has experience working with plants, animals, cell cultures, bacteria, algae, polymers, liquid suspensions, biominerals, soils, parasites and various other sample types.

16:00 - SEMINAR - New insights into the proteome of the transcriptionally active chromosome from spinach chloroplasts : Chloroplasts possess their own DNA (ptDNA), which is packaged with proteins proteins into structures analogous to bacterial chromosomes, termed nucleoids or plastid nuclei. Website | More Information
Dr Melonek completed her PhD in 2010 in Plant Cell Biology at University of Kiel, Germany. She continued her work in Kiel for the next 1.5 years but recently moved to Perth to join the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at UWA. Her research will focus on characterization of proteins implicated in regulation of chloroplast gene expression in Arabidopsis. MORE INFO AT http://www.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au/aboutus/seminars/seminars.shtml or email jennifer.gillett@uwa.edu.au
Tuesday 27
9:00 - COURSE - R Basics : An introduction to the statistical package R Website | More Information
This course will take you through the basics you need to do statistical analyses in R, a powerful freeware statistical package.

The course will cover basic statistics such as t-tests, regression and ANOVA as well as producing high quality graphics.

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website http://www.cas.maths.uwa.edu.au/courses. Please register online.
Wednesday 28
8:00 - CONFERENCE - Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia Conference : An essential international forum for scientists and practitioners who look to restoration as a means to conserve the planet's dwindling biodiversity and failing ecosystems. Website | More Information
Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) meetings aim to provide an essential international forum for scientists and practitioners who look to restoration as a means to conserve the planet's dwindling biodiversity and failing ecosystems. These meetings provide a critical platform to assist us in defining the principles of restoration, understanding goals and milestones, debating what ecosystem functions to measure and closing the gap between the science of restoration ecology and the practice of ecological restoration.

The inaugural conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) will be held in Perth, Western Australia, on 28-30 November 2012. For land managers, scientists and practitioners who work in biodiversity restoration, this SERA meeting will provide a critical international forum at a time of significance for the region's species, ecosystems and landscapes.
Thursday 29
9:00 - COURSE - Design and Analysis of Experiments : A Statistics Short Course using R Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about designing and analysing experiments.

It will cover material ranging from a review of simple one-way ANOVA, to more complex designs and analyses including crossed and nested factors with fixed and random effects.

The course is hosted by the Centre for Applied Statistics and we offer discounted rate fees to UWA Graduate Research Students.

Fee information is available on our website http://www.cas.maths.uwa.edu.au/courses. Please register online.

 December 2012
Monday 03
16:00 - SEMINAR - Plant Biology Seminar: Birth, Specialisation and Death of beta-Oxidation Genes in Plants More Information
Beta-oxidation is the metabolic pathway for fatty acid catabolism. In plants the pathway is localised to peroxisomes and is involved in synthesis of hormones including auxin, jasmonic acid and salicylic acid. This talk will discuss the evolution of beta-oxidation gene families, recent functional genetic approaches to studying specialization, and highlight new findings in peroxisomal hormone- and defense-related pathways.

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