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Today's date is Wednesday, December 11, 2019
School of Plant Biology
 October 2012
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.
Tuesday 04
9:00 - COURSE - Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling : A Short Course using AMOS and Mplus Website | More Information
SEM is used widely by researchers to test complex relationships among observed (measured) and latent (unobserved) variables. This course will introduce you to SEM and also covers issues relating to model specification, identification and estimation, assessing model fit (goodness-of-fit criteria), and dealing with problem data.

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.
Monday 10
9:00 - COURSE - Applied structural equation models : A Short Course using Mplus Website | More Information
The course is designed as a comprehensive coverage of applied SEM techniques using the Mplus statistical software package. Mplus offers a general modelling framework that allows both the modelling of cross-sectional and longitudinal data using observed variables that are a combination of continuous and categorical variables.

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 12
13:00 - SEMINAR - Australian Synchrotron Imaging and Medical Beamline Information Seminar More Information
The Australian Synchrotron Imaging and Medical Beamline opened for general users on 7 November. The new facility provides researchers with substantially enhanced capabilities over conventional techniques, and beamtime will become increasingly available during 2013.

CMCA is hosting an information seminar presented by Prof Rob Lewis from Monash University which will explain how researchers can utilise the new capabilities of this beamline in their research.

Who should attend? This seminar is for researchers in biomedical and preclinical research. Potential applications include research into cancer, degenerative diseases, regenerative medicine, in-vivo biological and physiological processes as well as material sciences.

The IM beamline offers: -Microbeam radiation therapy, including dosimetry with user-controlled beam energy and spatial distribution -Rapid-acquisition 3D imaging for small samples -Large-scale 2D imaging using different contrast modality (including the superior detail for soft tissue imaging provided by phase contrast).

 February 2013
Monday 18
9:00 - COURSE - Introductory Statistics : A short course using SPSS Website | More Information
The aim of this course is to introduce you to basic statistics. It will cover descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations); data exploration; basic categorical data analysis; simple linear regression and basic analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Subsidised rates are available for UWA Graduate Research Students.

Please register online.
Wednesday 20
10:00 - EVENT - UWA Turf Research Program Open Day : Managing turfgrass on a water allocation Website | More Information
You are invited to an informal Open Day at the UWA Turf Research Facility to see how different water allocations, in combination with wetting-agents, have influenced the development of dry-patch. A brief presentation will commence at 10:15am sharp. Please remember to wear sturdy footwear, as the site is very sandy. RSVP appreciated

 March 2013
Monday 04
10:00 - EVENT - UWA Historical Society March 4th Convocation Centenary: Photo Shoot at 10am : All welcome on the steps of the old St George's Hall 500 Hay St Perth to celebrate 100 years to the day of the first meeting of UWA's Convocation. Website | More Information
You are invited to join us mark the 100th anniversary of the first meeting of the University of Western Australia’s Convocation.

The First meeting was held on March 4th 1913 in St George’s Hall, Hay St near the corner of Irwin Street. The historic façade including the portico, steps and tall white columns were restored when the new Perth District Court was constructed behind it at 500 Hay Street. To celebrate the Centenary of this meeting, a photo-shoot of 100 'graduates' will take place on the steps of the façade at 10am on Monday March 4th 2013.

The UWA Historical Society would be delighted if you could join us.

If you have academic robes, please bring them. If not please come anyway, as having just a few robed members will provide the ‘flavour’. Balloons for a joint release will be provided.

Monday March 4th is a public Holiday (Labour Day). There should be nearby street parking available and there is a public parking station across the road at King’s Hotel.

The UWA Centum will be there
Thursday 07
11:00 - SEMINAR - Environments for the Characterisation Community – MASSIVE and the Characterisation Virtual Laboratory More Information
The “21st century microscope” will not be a single instrument; rather it will be an orchestration of specialised imaging technologies, data storage facilities, and specialised data processing engines. This presentation will detail two complimentary national projects that are creating an integrated computer environment for researchers who work with imaging data. The Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment (MASSIVE – www.massive.org.au) is a specialised high performance computing (HPC) facility for computational imaging and visualisation. This facility provides the hardware, software and expertise to drive research in the biomedical science, materials research, engineering, and geoscience communities, and it stimulates advanced imaging research that will be exploited across a range of imaging modalities, including synchrotron x-ray and infrared imaging, functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, x-ray computer tomography (CT), electron microscopy and optical microscopy. MASSIVE is a unique Australian facility with a focus on fast data processing, including processing data “in-experiment”, large-scale visualisation, and analysis of large-cohort and longitudinal research studies. The facility runs an instrument integration project to allow researchers to more easily process instrument data, and provides a remote desktop environment for researchers to use desktop tools to process, analyse and visualize their data. A major undertaking under the MASSIVE program, is the NeCTAR-funded Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL), a project that is developing software infrastructure on the cloud to provide easier access to the tools and techniques that researchers use to process, analyse and visualise imaging data. The CVL is developing three exemplar platforms for multi-modal or large-scale imaging in neuroscience, structural biology, and energy materials. This presentation will describe MASSIVE and the CVL, highlight research that is being conducted using these environments, and describe how researchers can access them. Wojtek James Goscinski is the coordinator of the Multimodal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment (MASSIVE), a specialist Australian high performance computing facility for imaging and visualization, and he is the External Collaborations Manager at the Monash e-Research Centre a role in which he promotes effective and creative applications of technology in research.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Spatial Variability in Transitional Response of Vegetation Indices to Surface Temperature : SESE and Oceans Institute Seminar More Information
Vegetation activities sensitively responsd to topological conditions and a changing climate. To better understand vegetation dynamics under varying environmental conditions, we analyse observations of vegetation indices, Land Surface Temperature (LST), air temperature, and precipitation of a deciduous broadleaf forest in Korea over an eleven year period from year 2000 to 2010. While a positive relationship between EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) and LST is established for all seasons, independent of elevation, the EVI-LST relationship exhibits a threshold above which the rate of EVI change over LST changes significantly. This transitional point is associated with the condition that the air temperature triggers the start of the growing season, while soil moisture is more critical during the growing season. The EVI-LST relationship above the threshold exhibits a hysteresis loop, i.e., rising limb differs from falling limb. We identify two types of hysteresis patterns, i.e., a single loop and a twisted loop. The variation in loop width between the ascending and descending paths contains a signature in annual precipitation from the concurrent year. In our analysis, annual precipitation above 1,600 mm is associated with an LST difference of more than 5 oC in the loop width.

The analysis was extended to Bosnia, West Virginia (USA), and Tasmania (Australia) with similar climate regimes i.e. temperate but varying in rainfall patterns and vegetation composition. Inter-annual EVI-LST plots in Kor, Bos, and WV exhibit a similarity in the threshold, but the threshold is absent in the Australian sites. This trait is attributed to extreme low winter temperature in Kor, Bos, and WV, but all sites essentially exhibit a similar response rate, which suggests that vegetation in similar climate regimes displays a convergence in response to temperature, independent of species composition. The annual EVI-LST relationship exhibits hysteresis loops at all study sites. The shapes of the loops well depict annual rainfall variability in Kor but not in Bos and WV. The loop trajectories are very likely to display a photosynthetic response to moisture availability. This response pattern in the EVI and LST relationship further highlights the sensitivity of EVI to assess biophysical conditions of vegetation.

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