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Today's date is Friday, June 05, 2020
School of Plant Biology
 May 2014
Thursday 29
12:00 - EVENT - UWA Friends of the Grounds Plant Sale Website | More Information
The UWA Friends of the Grounds will hold their 'Annual Plant Sale’ on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 May from 12-2pm at the Taxonomic Garden - near the Botany glasshouses.

There will be exotic and native plants as well as succulents and herbs for sale.

Sales are cash only and prices are around $5 and under. Please bring your own carry bags if possible.

Come and join us and bring your friends and colleagues along to purchase some treasures for your garden!

Please support the Friends with funds going towards the redevelopment of the Taxonomic Garden.

 June 2014
Wednesday 04
16:00 - SEMINAR - Climate change adaptation: water conservation and crop production in south-western Australia and the Loess Plateau of China : this seminar is part of the Centre for Water Research seminar series. Website | More Information
Climate simulation models suggest that mean temperatures on the Loess Plateau of China will increase by 2.5 to 3.75°C by 2050, while those in the cropping region of south-west Australia will increase by 1.25 to 1.75°C. The rainfall in south-west Australia rainfall is predicted to decrease by 20 to 60 mm, rainfall on the Loess Plateau of China is not expected to change.

Farming systems in both regions differ markedly in scale, but both have adopted water conservation techniques that benefit crop yields. In south-west Australia zero tillage and adequate use of fertilizers have enabled farmers to increase their rainfall use efficiency and yields of cereals, canola and legumes, while on the Loess Plateau, mulching with plastic, gravel and residues, crop sequence, fertilizer/organic manure application and supplementary irrigation have improved precipitation use efficiency and yields of several crops and enabled the production of maize in areas of the Loess Plateau where temperatures limit its production.

The implications of climate change and adaptation strategies such as agronomic management and crop breeding in the two regions will be discussed in relation to future improvements in water productivity and food production.

Further reading:

Turner, N.C., Li, F.-M., Xiong, Y.-C., and Siddique, K.H.M. (2011). Climate change and agricultural ecosystem management in dry areas (Guest editorial). Crop and Pasture Science 62: i-ii. Gan, Y., Siddique, K.H.M., Turner, N.C., Li, X.G., Niu, J.Y., Yang, C., Liu, L., and Chai, Q. (2013). Ridge-Furrow Mulching Systems - An innovative technique for boosting crop productivity in semiarid rain-fed environments. Advances in Agronomy. 117: 429–476.

Chai, Q., Gan, Y., Turner, N.C., Zhang, R.Z., Yang, Y., Niu, Y. and Siddique, K.H.M. (2014). Water-saving innovations in Chinese agriculture. Advances in Agronomy 126: 149-201.

Liu, C.A., Zhou, L.M., Jia, J.J., Wang, L.J., Xi, L., Pan, C.C., Siddique, K.H.M. and Li, F.M. (2014). Maize yield and water balance is affected by nitrogen application in a film-mulching ridge-furrow system in a semiarid region of China. European Journal of Agronomy 52:103-111.

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

****All Welcome****



Thursday 05
13:30 - EVENT - IOA Postgraduate Showcase - Frontiers in Agriculture : 9 PhD students present their diverse agriculture-related research Website | More Information
The Institute of Agriculture's annual Postgraduate Showcase brings together some of UWA’s best PhD students at an advanced stage of their research. This year, nine presentations covering a wide range of disciplines will highlight some of the research and progress underway at UWA in the area of agriculture, food science and natural resource management. The event also provides opportunities for students to interact with industry representatives and future employers.

For catering purposes, please RSVP by 26 May to ioa@uwa.edu.au
Wednesday 11
16:00 - SEMINAR - How a hijacked protein became a gateway to studying the evolution of proteins : This seminar is part of the Centre for Water Research seminar series. Website | More Information
A few years ago we stumbled upon an interesting peptide biosynthesis in sunflower seeds. A small peptide was buried inside another protein and the peptide emerged from its hiding place by hijacking the protein processing machinery of the 'host' protein. This system has become a lead-in to studying the evolution of proteins.

It recently allowed us to trace the biochemical steps that we think led to the 'birth' or de novo evolution of a protein. With it for example, we can also ask how easily new proteins might be created and how they manage to mimic other proteins. We recently found the processing machinery that was hijacked has evolved a dual functionality. I will discuss the biosynthesis and what it's teaching us, but I promise not to get too detailed!

Bio

Assoc. Prof. Mylne (PhD, Botany) worked at the John Innes Centre in the UK (2001-2005), using molecular genetics to study proteins that accelerate flowering in response to prolonged cold (vernalization). In 2006 he moved to the Division of Chemistry & Structural Biology at The Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB, UQ) where he held a QEII Fellowship (2008-2012) and was the inaugural John S. Mattick Fellow (2010-2012).

In 2013 he joined the faculty at The University of Western Australia and took up an ARC Future Fellowship in the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry and The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. His research interests are protein evolution and the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of bioactive peptides.

www.uwa.edu.au/people/joshua.mylne

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

****All Welcome****



Tuesday 17
15:30 - EVENT - CMCA Seminar Series: 'Coral reefs go viral'. Speaker: Dr Karen Weynberg More Information
Viruses are the most abundant biological agents in the global oceans, with numbers typically averaging ten billion per litre. The ability of viruses to infect all organisms indicates they most likely play a central role in marine ecosystems. Corals form an obligate symbiotic relationship with the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium, upon which the coral relies heavily for nutrition and calcification. Disruption of this symbiosis can lead to loss of the symbiotic algae from their host and if the symbiosis cannot re-establish, death of the coral colony. Viruses that target the algal symbiont have been reported and we examined whether Symbiodinium in culture is host to virus(es) that switches to a lytic infection under stress, such as UV exposure or elevated temperature. Analysis using techniques including flow cytometry and TEM, revealed prevalent viral activity. This talk will present recent results and potential for future development of probes for rapid detection of viruses in field samples to help monitor and assess the role of viruses in coral and reef health.
Friday 20
12:00 - SEMINAR - Education Researcher Seminar : “The age of my participants keeps getting younger!” A personal journey into science education research with young children Website | More Information
Science education has long been the poor second cousin to literacy and numeracy. Australia’s Chief Scientist has recognised the urgent need for improving science education at all levels to make Australia competitive in innovative and economic terms. However, fewer students are studying science at the high school and tertiary level. One strategy to address this problem is to instil a love of science in the early years.

This presentation will outline the processes and outcomes of an ALTC Competitive Grant and ARC Linkage Grant to achieve this goal. These include 1) developing science resources with scientists and early childhood pre-service teachers for early childhood teachers and 2) understanding and improving parents’ and young children’s interest and engagement in science through the implementation of Scitech’s newly developed Early Childhood Outreach program delivered to playgroups.
Thursday 26
1:00 - SEMINAR - Life as an Instrument of Art : School of Animal Biology Seminar Series. More Information
Realising that (the concept of) life is going through some radical transformations; artists have been experimenting with ways of articulating these shifts. This talk would cover the some of the strategies and projects that artists at SymbioticA have employed to deal with life as both raw material and an ever contestable subject of manipulation. Looking at all levels of life – from the molecular to the ecological this talk would attempt to present the need to develop a new cultural language where words seems to be no longer appropriate.

 July 2014
Tuesday 08
9:00 - COURSE - ANOVA, Linear Regression and Logistic Regression : A Short Course using SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with knowledge of basic statistics who want to learn more about regression and analysis of variance (ANOVA).

This course covers techniques that can be used to analyse data with continuous and categorical variables. The course will begin with simple linear regression and then proceed with approaches that can be used with more than two variables such as multiple regression. ANOVA with interactions and blocking will also be covered. The course will end with techniques that address the analysis of binary or ordinal variables.
Thursday 24
13:00 - SEMINAR - Communication and collective behaviour in corvid societies : Animal Biology Seminar Series More Information
Corvids, birds of the crow family, have recently emerged as model organisms in the study of animal cognition. Laboratory studies have revealed striking cognitive feats, pointing to convergent cognitive evolution between corvids and other large-brained groups such as primates. However, the cognitive mechanisms corvids use to solve the challenges of their natural environments remain unclear. I will discuss recent work field experiments and observational data to examine mechanisms of communication and collective behaviour in corvids in the wild. Using playback experiments, I show that nestling jackdaws develop the ability to discriminate between conspecific calls prior to fledging. Later in life, the ability to discriminate between conspecifics underpins the coordination of collective responses to threats. Jackdaws communicate not only with their voices, but also with their striking pale blue-grey eyes, which are highly salient against their dark feathers. During the early breeding season, jackdaws that have secured a nest cavity often peer out of the nest entrance, and we have shown experimentally that their salient eyes play an important role in deterring potential competitors from approaching the nest. Finally, I report the result of studies examining the structure of flocks and the decision-making processes underpinning group movements in mixed-species groups of jackdaws and rooks. Together, these results hint at the cognitive sophistication that has garnered corvids so much recent attention, but also highlight the importance of relatively simple mechanisms in driving behaviour.
Tuesday 29
13:20 - EVENT - The UWA Institute of Agriculture 2014 Industry Forum : Potential for Food Production in northern Western Australia Website | More Information
New agriculture is believed to play a crucial role in the regional transformation of northern Western Australia. There is significant potential for Asia-focused food production and industry to diversify northern Australia’s economy, trade and sustainable use of natural resources over the long term; and to benefit Indigenous communities, which have a significant presence in the region. It is timely to engage in a discussion on the feasibility and likely effectiveness of new agricultural development projects in this unique region of Australia, where the challenges are magnified compared to southern Australia.

For catering purposes, please RSVP by 21 July 2014 to ioa@uwa.edu.au

 August 2014
Sunday 03
16:00 - CONFERENCE - IsoEcol 2014 : International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies Website | More Information
This will be the 9th International Conference on the Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies (IsoEcol 9). The conference will be held 3-8 August 2014 at The University Club, on the campus of The University of Western Australia, adjacent to the beautiful Swan River.



IsoEcol 9 will bring together an exciting mix of researchers from universities, industry and government with interests in the development and application of stable isotope techniques to the ecological sciences. IsoEcol traditionally includes a mid-conference field trip day and is generally run as a single common session facilitating cross-disciplinary discussion. In addition to great science, Western Australia offers you a memorable array of pre- and post- conference touring options to excite and replenish your ecological spirit in a must see global biodiversity hotspot!
Monday 04
9:30 - WORKSHOP - Drishti Workshops : Introduction to Drishti and Voluminous Website | More Information
Research staff and students are invited to a workshop on volume visualisation using the Drishti and Voluminous software. Presentations will be conducted by Ajay Limaye, the main developer of Drishti from the NCI Vizlab at the Australian National University. A general introduction to Drishti and Voluminous will be presented in the mornings. In the afternoons individual researchers or small groups will have the opportunity to meet with Ajay to discuss their particular volumetric data or visualisation/analysis requirements.

Drishti

Drishti is a graphics hardware-based direct volume rendering application for real-time exploration and presentation of volumetric data. It has applications in biology, medicine, materials science, geoscience, archaeology, paleontology and other fields which use volumetric data. It allows researchers to colour, render, cut, slice, explore and animate a dataset and then prepare images and videos for presentation and publication. The software provides multi-resolution zooming and enables users to view large data sets by allowing visualisation of smaller sub-volumes.

Voluminous

The Voluminous system is a new web browser based application that brings volume rendering to the cloud, utilising remote computing resources for both storage and computation.

Please refer to URL for the schedule.

To register your attendance at the morning Drishti and Voluminous sessions, or to book a time to meet with Ajay individually or in a small group to discuss your visualisation requirements, please contact Charise Baker by email (charise.baker@uwa.edu.au) or phone 6488 8740 (9:30-2pm). Places are limited so please book early.
Sunday 10
10:00 - OPEN DAY - 2014 Open Day : Join us for our Open Day and experience all that UWA has to offer Website | More Information
Come and find out about UWA’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses, scholarship opportunities, outstanding career options and explore our community programs and facilities.

This year there will be campus tram tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, as well as plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Join us for Open Day 2014 from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 10 August.
Wednesday 13
8:00 - EVENT - Women in Agriculture Breakfast Website | More Information
Students of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (SNAGS) and The UWA Institute of Agriculture would like to invite you to a breakfast to commemorate the role of women in agriculture.
Thursday 14
16:00 - TALK - The new X-ray Surface Analysis Facility at Curtin More Information
Surface science underpins all modern technology from Gore-Tex to the iPhone. We need to think about surfaces for catalysis, corrosion, coatings, growth of thin films, chemical/biological functionalization and nanotechnology just to name a few. Over the last few months Curtin has established a surface analysis facility based around a brand new x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) system. Using XPS one can determine the elemental and chemical composition of the first few nanometres of a sample surface. The XPS can also take images for chemical mapping and has a number of other electron, ion and photon-based techniques for surface analysis. The lab was established in partnership with UWA and can be accessed by all UWA researchers.

This talk will introduce the techniques available with a focus on XPS, and give some examples of how they can be used for materials science. The surface analysis facility is now available for users and a brief explanation will be given on how people can get training and access.
Saturday 16
15:00 - EVENT - More Than Honey - The Movie - Free Event : Fifty years ago, Einstein had already insisted on the symbiotic relationship binding these pollen gatherers to mankind: “If bees were to disappear from the globe,” he predicted, “mankind would only have four years left to live.” Website | More Information
More Than Honey is a film on the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future.

This documentary by the Swiss filmmaker Marcus Imhoof and narrated by John Hurt is looking into the fascinating world of bees, showing small family beekeepers (including the beekeeper of ERSTE Foundation beehive, Heidrun Singer) and industrialized honey farms.

More Than Honey is a film on the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future. Honeybees show us that stability is just as unhealthy as unlimited growth, that crises and disasters are triggering evolution and that salvation sometimes comes from a completely unexpected direction.
Monday 18
18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Tim Jarvis - Antarctic explorer who recreated British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s survival journey! : Relive Tim’s remarkable journey to retrace the steps of legendary leader Sir Ernest Shackleton. More Information
Come to a free talk and book signing by Tim Jarvis, one of the world’s leading explorers, as he describes his modern-day journey to retrace, for the first time ever, the legendary 1914 expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

In early 1914, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team sailed for Antarctica, attempting to be the first to reach the South Pole. Instead of glory, Shackleton and his crew found themselves in an epic struggle for survival: a three-year odyssey on the ice and oceans of the Antarctic that endures as one of the world’s most famous tales of adventure, endurance, and leadership ever recorded.

In the winter of 2013, celebrated explorer Tim Jarvis, a veteran of multiple polar expeditions, set out to recreate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s treacherous voyage over sea and mountain, outfitted solely with authentic equipment – clothing, boots, food, and tools – from Shackleton’s time, a feat that has never been successfully accomplished.
Thursday 21
18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - When Antarctica was Green: fossil plants reveal Antarctica's climate history : The 2014 Joseph Gentilli Memorial Lecture by Jane Francis, Director, British Antarctic Survey Website | More Information
Although the polar regions are currently covered in ice and snow, life was very different at high latitudes under past warm climates millions of years ago – the polar regions were green. Fossil plants (leaves, wood, pollen, seeds and flowers) preserved in rocks from Antarctica show that the continent was once covered in lush green forests that flourished in warm humid climates, despite the extreme polar light regime of continuous summer sunlight and long dark winters. Antarctic plant fossils contain a rich store of palaeoclimate information about past polar environments and provide us with a window into life at high latitudes in our future warm world.

The Joseph Gentilli Memorial Lecture was established in 2005 to honour the memory and intellectual legacy of an influential and long-serving scholar. Joseph Gentilli (1912-2000) commenced teaching at UWA soon after arriving in Fremantle from Italy in 1939, and continued to be actively involved with the Department of Geography until 2000. During his long and distinguished career, Joseph Gentilli helped to bring about a comprehensive understanding of the climates of Australia. In addition to his many other contributions, he wrote about “the selective or “greenhouse” effect of the atmosphere” more than 50 years ago (A Geography of Climate, The University of Western Australia, 1952), and more than 30 years ago was calling for an understanding of how climate patterns were changing (Australian Climate Patterns, Nelson, 1972).

Cost: Free, but RSVP requested via http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/francis
Thursday 28
13:00 - SEMINAR - Repelling sharks to save them...and us! : Animal Biology Seminar Series More Information
Shark repellents have traditionally been used to reduce the risk of ‘attack’, but they also play a role in reducing bycatch and, ultimately, protecting these ecologically and economically important species. Ryan Kempster, a shark biologist at UWA, will reveal the history of shark repellent technology with insights into his latest shark repellent research and conservation outreach programs to protect sharks and us.
Friday 29
8:00 - EVENT - Combined Biological Sciences Meeting : 24th Annual CBSM @ UWA University Club Website | More Information
CBSM aims to promote biological science in Western Australia by encouraging the interaction of scientists, students and industry representatives from all aspects of life science. The meeting is designed to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and expertise to keep the life sciences in WA at the cutting edge. This annual meeting includes plenary presentations by national and international scientists and in 2014 will incorporate concurrent specialist symposia each with its own keynote speaker and session of local senior scientists. CBSM is also geared toward honours and postgraduate students and their development among their peers. Several sessions are set aside for student presentations and for many, it represents their first chance to present their work in a conference setting. In this way, CBSM offers a unique “snapshot” of what is happening in local biological science and now attracts more than 300 delegates every year, with more than 40 oral presentations, over 70 scientific posters and 30 trade booths.

Check us out at www.cbsmwa.org.au. Join us at the University Club, The University of Western Australia for CBSM 2014 on the 29th of August 2014.

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