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Today's date is Wednesday, August 12, 2020
School of Agricultural and Resource Economics
 November 2013
Tuesday 12
9:00 - COURSE - R Basics : A Statistics Short Course Website | More Information
R is a free and extremely powerful language and software environment for statistical computing, data analysis, and graphics. The course is designed for those who have no experience with R, but have a basic understanding of statistics. The course will include: Introduction to R: How to install R on your computer; basic R commands, how to use and understand the R help pages. Data: Reading in data and data manipulation; summarising data; basic statistical analysis and fitting linear models. Graphics and output: Basic plotting commands and how to customise your plots; how to export your plots and output in a user-friendly format. Functions: Writing simple functions and flow control structures.
Wednesday 27
17:00 - SEMINAR - genomic prediction in plant breeding programs: : estimating heritability and predictive accuracy of genomic prediction in plant breeding programs Website | More Information
Heritability is often used by plant breeders and geneticists as a measure of a trial’s precision, or the precision of a series of trials. For computing its main use is the response to selection.

Most formulas proposed for calculating heritability implicitly assume balanced data and independent genotypic effects. While both of these assumptions are often violated in plant breeding trials, equations assuming balanced data are still in common usage.

This talk reviews various approaches to assessing heritability and derived quantities for unbalanced plant breeding trial data. Furthermore, Professor Piepho will also discuss the related problem of assessing predictive accuracy in genomic selection.

 January 2014
Tuesday 28
13:00 - SEMINAR - Influence of IGF-1 and myostatin on post-natal growth and aging : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Chris will present an overview from a biomedical and agricultural perspective of studies done in his lab on the growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 and myostatin, which form part of a common axis (GH/IGF-1/Mstn) that regulates growth, maintenance and aging of the body. Knowing that IGF-1 stimulates, while myostatin inhibits growth, Chris and colleagues crossed Mstn-/- mice with a transgenic line in which IGF-1 is overexpressed in skeletal muscle to generate offspring differing in copy number for both genes. Mice that had no myostatin and additional IGF-1 were twice the size and had 3.5 times the amount of muscle mass to that of wild-type controls. In a second cohort, those with additional IGF-1 died at a younger age. While the causative factors mediating the actions of IGF-1 of aging remain unclear, the recent discovery that the deacetylase sirtuin 6 (Sirt6) and Klotho regulate aging in mammals was a breakthrough in the search for a mechanism. Chris will show that IGF-1 regulates the expression of Klotho and Sirt6 in skeletal muscle. Finally, Chris will present the discovery of a novel splice-variant of myostatin that stimulates myogenesis and that may have an additional role to play in the development of double-muscling in breeds like Belgian Blue cattle.

The Speaker: Chris is a growth physiologist at AgResearch Ruakura. He completed a PhD at Agresearch Invermay studying the seasonal growth of red deer, then completed two postdoctoral positions in the United States. The first at Auburn University (Alabama) addressed the mechanisms underlying how illness and disease reduces appetite and growth of sheep and cattle. The second at Michigan State University addressed the role of factors that regulate the growth axis in cattle. Chris is a senior scientist and, until recently, led the Growth and Lactation research team. His current research focuses on the role of growth hormone, IGF-1 and myostatin in regulating the post-natal growth of livestock, the development of marbling and the eating quality of meat. A further interest is in the regulation of antler growth. He is the current president of the NZ Society of Endocrinology.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Glutathione: From the chloroplast to the nucleus and back : Seminar on the functions of glutathione in cellular redox homeostasis Website | More Information
The low molecular weight thiol antioxidant, reduced glutathione (GSH) is a multifunctional metabolite in plants. GSH is an important redox gatekeeper that maintains redox homeostasis. It also participates in oxidative signalling pathways that regulate gene expression and determine the outcome of plant responses to stress. GSH is synthesised in chloroplasts, from thence is transported to all the compartments of the cell including the nucleus. Mutants lacking the chloroplast GSH transporters have a low cytosolic GSH poor and have impaired responses to pathogens. Inhibition of glutathione synthesis leads to decreases the redox potential of the cytosol and the nuclei and to marked changes in gene expression. Low GSH availability leads to failure of the apical root meristem because of an arrest of the cell cycle at G1. GSH is recruited and sequestered in the nucleus early in the cell cycle by mechanisms that remain to be identified. Interestingly, mutants in candidates for GSH binding on the nuclear pore complex show very strong repression of photosynthesis, especially under high light. This talk will consider the functions of glutathione in cellular redox homeostasis and possible roles in signalling between the chloroplast and nucleus.


 February 2014
Tuesday 04
13:30 - WORKSHOP - Workshop: Setting Academic Standards for Agriculture : What should a graduate in agriculture know, understand and be able to do? Website | More Information
The AgLTAS project aims to develop a National Academic Standards Statement for agriculture – representing what a student in Agriculture and related disciplines should know, understand and be able to do on graduation.

You are invited to attend an upcoming workshop, led by Dr Tina Acuna from the University of Tasmania, to provide your valuable input on the Statement.

LATE RSVPs will be accepted (until the day prior to the workshop)
Monday 17
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). The statistical package SPSS will be used to illustrate the ideas demonstrated. The course will be held in a computer laboratory allowing participants to immediately apply the material covered through a series of practical examples.
Thursday 20
18:30 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Valuing ecosystem services - how can economics help? More Information
Professor Ian Bateman, University of East Anglia, will deliver a public lecture examining the application of economic analysis to ecosystem service assessments. Prof. Bateman will discuss methods for valuing changes in the services provided by the natural environment, and how to identify economically optimal implementations of land use policy. Findings highlight the substantial improvements in welfare that can arise from shifting the emphasis of decision making away from a focus upon market priced goods alone towards a broader conception of economic values, and the need to go beyond valuations of ecosystem service flows to consider the sustainability of natural asset stocks.

 March 2014
Monday 03
6:00 - COURSE - UWA Running Club : 12 week Fitness & Running Club - All levels More Information
UWA Health & Rehab Clinic - Running Club 13 week program working towards a 5 or 12km fun run (i.e. HBF Run for Reason - May 25th)

All levels welcome. Perfect for those returning from injury or running for the first time and needing a little extra feedback and coaching.

WHEN: Monday 3rd March - Friday 30th May

Running Sessions = Mon & Fri 6am. Plus "Fit-R" Strength & Mobility Sessions = Wed 6am & Thurs 6pm

WHERE: UWA Health & Rehabilitation Clinic - Parkway Entrance #4, Crawley Campus. Runs will take place around campus, along the river and into Kings Park.

COST: $12 per week (up to 4 sessions/week) for 13 weeks = $156

^Private health rebates may apply for Fit-R sessions
Wednesday 05
19:30 - EVENT - AYCC UWA Carbon Neutral Quiz Night 2014! Website | More Information
Open to all, the Carbon Neutral Quiz Night 2014! presented by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition UWA, will be a night of fun, games, and a theme of sustainability to start the new semester. 7.30pm, Wednesday the 5th of March (Week 2) at Hackett Hall, UWA. All the proceeds will go to the trees planted to carbon offset the evening and to further the work the work of the campus club to spread awareness about climate change. This is a public, alcohol-free event.
Wednesday 26
9:45 - PRESENTATION - Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum : 6 presentations and announcement of winners Website | More Information
Six recent honours graduates (-5 from UWA-) in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management will present their research (15 min each) at the 'Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum', hosted by the Ag Institute Australia (WA Division)and DAFWA. Following the presentations, the Forum winners will be announced. For topics and student details see URL below.
Friday 28
11:00 - SEMINAR - The acceptability of marine offsets and the social license to operate : Professor Michael Burton, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia Website | More Information
This paper reports the results of a choice experiment to examine the features of marine offsets that the public finds acceptable. Offsets have become an established element of what is required if developments are to impose no net loss on the environment, once avoidance and mitigation activities have been undertaken. However, there are a number of means by which the same environmental outcome can be achieved. We explore the consequences for public acceptance of different designs of offsets relating to migratory shorebirds with respect to the proportion of direct and compensatory offsets, the geographical location at which the offset takes place, and the possibility of substituting species. Within the survey used we also develop a measure of the oil and gas industries Social License to Operate. We explore whether this measure has an impact on the probability of rejecting the development as a whole, as well as its impact on acceptability of attributes within the offset design. The paper concludes with implications for the further use of marine offsets.

Professor Michael Burton works in the area of environmental valuation, and is currently working on a project valuing marine biodiversity as part of the National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub.

 April 2014
Friday 04
11:00 - SEMINAR - Predicting pro-environmental agricultural practices: The social, psychological and contextual influences on land management Website | More Information
Pro-environmental agricultural approaches have been developed, but their uptake has not been sufficient to mitigate environmental degradation. A lack of suitable theoretical frameworks limits research on famers' environmental behaviours, and there has been little integration of social sciences in the agricultural adoption literature. This paper details a predictive model of pro-environmental agricultural practices, drawing on psychological frameworks: Value-Belief-Norms and Theory of Planned Behaviour. Dry-land farmers in Central New South Wales, Australia (n = 422), were surveyed about behaviours deemed to have positive impacts on the environment by local natural resource management authorities. A rigorous measure of complex land management practice is developed in relation to native vegetation, weeds, soil, stock, and perennials. The model was able to predict 52% of the variance in complex behaviour. Contextual factors, values, attitudes, and norms are identified as important predictors. Results suggest skills and abilities, environmental constraints, biospheric values, and a sense of being able to control one's destiny are significant precursors to pro-environmental practices. The NRM policy context and policy implications are discussed. Holistic strategies and social learning processes are identified as beneficial for farmer well-being and environmental outcomes.

Jennifer Price is an environmental psychologist with the Social and Behavioural Sciences Group of the CSIRO, within the Ecosystem Sciences Division. Her research applies social science to a broad range of natural resource domains and challenges, including agricultural land management practice, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and public acceptance of water supply schemes. Her research interests centre on identifying how cultural values and beliefs about environment shape individuals’ environmental behaviour, policy preferences, and risk perceptions. This work reveals how elements of social identity and personality influence the way people interpret and respond to environmental issues.
Tuesday 08
11:00 - EXPO - Study Abroad & Exchange Fair : A festival of international study opportunities for UWA students More Information
There will be presentations by international visitors, games, prizes, a photo booth, treats on offer and lots and lots of information about exchange and study abroad opportunities for UWA students.

13:00 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Profectus UWA Annual AGM : An opportunity to find out more on UWA's first club on entrepreneurship Website | More Information
Come along to Profectus UWA's Inaugral 2014 AGM on Tuesday April 8. If you are passionate about business and entrepreneurship be sure to drop by at 1pm to learn more about our agenda. We will answer any questions you have about Profectus and events being held this semester!!!
Thursday 10
14:00 - SEMINAR - Managing social-ecological systems under uncertainty Website | More Information
Natural resource managers and conservationists are often confronted with the challenges of uncertainty. In this talk, I will present some of work done for my PhD, in which I used a multidisciplinary approach to gain a better understanding of the role and implications of different sources and types of uncertainty for the management of social-ecological systems. Giving special attention to the issues of observation and implementation uncertainty, I used the conservation of harvested ungulate species in the Serengeti, Tanzania, as a case study to ask questions regarding the monitoring of wildlife and illegal resource use, and the implementation of effective conservation actions.

Ana Nuno recently completed her PhD at Imperial College, London and is interested in the complexities of managing social-ecological systems. Initially trained as a biologist, Ana soon realized that looking only at ecological or social factors in isolation provides a very incomplete picture of the systems where conservation and natural resource management occur. Ana is particularly interested in applying multidisciplinary approaches to conservation which support robust decision-making under uncertainty and is looking forward to new collaborations.
Friday 11
11:00 - SEMINAR - Australia's grain supply chains : Dr Ross Kingwell, Chief Economist, Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre Website | More Information
Australia’s grain supply infrastructure has been in the news. Late last year the Federal Government blocked ADM’s proposed take-over of GrainCorp. Here in Western Australia, Bunge have built grain export port facilities in Bunbury and the Chinese firm Heilingjiang Feng Agricultural are currently constructing port terminal facilities in Albany. ABC television’s Landline program ran a 25 minute feature on Australian export grain infrastructure on March 9. Why is there interest in this infrastructure? This seminar will present findings of recent research that has examined the nature and cost of Australia’s export grain supply chains. Some interesting facts emerge with important ramifications for the future of Australia’s grains industry.

Currently Ross is chief economist in AEGIC (Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre) that is a joint initiative of the WA Department of Agriculture & Food and the Grains R&D Corporation. He is also a professor in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Western Australia. He serves on a federal Department of Agriculture’s Expert Advisory Panel and chairs the Australian Farm Institute’s research advisory committee. He has been a co-editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society and is a distinguished fellow of that society. In a recent book on the history of DAFWA Ross is listed of one its 50 most historically influential people.

 May 2014
Thursday 01
18:00 - PRESENTATION - What's Christianity Ever Done For Science? : Taking a leaf out of "Life of Brian", this WXED talk will present the key players and principles of faith which pioneered modern science. More Information
Science and Faith seem to be arguing a lot lately, so is their long term marriage over? The accusations are not pretty, not even true. Can we afford for them to split? Taking a leaf out of "Life of Brian", this talk will present the key players and principles of faith which pioneered modern science up to today. WXED is a series of data-rich multimedia presentations on the theme "What's Christianity(WX) Ever Done(ED) for Us?"
Friday 02
11:00 - SEMINAR - Dr Roger Lawes: Is there a new twist in an old technology? : Modelling crop rotations with the Land Use Sequence Optimiser Website | More Information
Crop rotation, where a legume, pasture, fallow or oilseed is grown after a cereal crop to manage soil borne disease and on occasions fix nitrogen, is one of the oldest technologies in agriculture.  However, we are still researching the concept because plant breeding helps some crops resist certain diseases, weed management practices evolve, and fertiliser can provide a comparatively cheap source of nutrition.   Farmers reacted to these changes by growing fewer break crops, but may now need to embrace seemingly unprofitable options like fallow on their farms.  Here we demonstrate how the Land Use Sequence Optimiser (LUSO) can generate optimum land use strategies for various biotic stresses and land use options. We compare the performance of optimal sequences to those local agronomists recommend, and then explore how variable the optimal and recommended sequences are by drawing predicted crop yields from simulated distributions generated by a crop model.  When challenged with variable seasons, the optimal sequence is often suboptimal and often the crop sequence has little bearing on the financial outcome. In other situations, the crop sequence choice will heavily influence the financial outcome for the farmer.  I will discuss the deterministic and stochastic versions of LUSO, and the implications of the above findings.

Roger Lawes is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO who works across a range of projects in farming systems.  He has research interests in crop modelling, plant breeding, farming systems modelling, agronomy and applied statistics.  Prior to joining CSIRO 12 years ago he completed a PhD at the University of Queensland.
Friday 09
12:00 - Panel Discussion - Building a Successful Career in the Asian Century Website | More Information
AIESEC in WA is excited to present a panel discussion on the topic of: Building a Successful Career in the Asian Century.

With the number of graduate positions falling in recent years, many students face an uncertain career path post-graduation. But what is certain is the rise of Asia and the important role it will play in the Asia Pacific region.

Our four guest speakers will be discussing the significance of the Asian Century and how your career can benefit from the rise of Asia.

Our Guest Speakers include: Ross Taylor AM (President Indonesia Institution) Michael Wood (Director DFAT, WA State Office) James Pearson (General Manager - Communications & Government Relations, Shell) Kelly Smith (Director, International Centre at UWA)

Stay behind afterwards for some light refreshments and a chance to talk to our speakers
Monday 12
12:00 - Art Exhibition - The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition : A compelling fine art exhibition reflecting the human rights situation in China (Free event) Website | More Information
The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance) takes viewers through the story of Falun Dafa - from its introduction to the public in 1992, through the beauty and enlightenment of the practice, to the unjust and unrelenting persecution, moving forward through the peaceful resistance of Falun Dafa practitioners worldwide who seek to bring an end to the persecution, then through themes of karmic retribution, salvation and grace, and finishing with a moment of choice.

Storytelling has long been one of fine art's greatest joys, and this Exhibition's ability to cross cultural, lingual and ethnic barriers is highlighted each time it is shown.

Inspired by tradition and divinity, the artists paint - often collaboratively - stories either experienced by themselves or shared by fellow Falun Dafa practitioners worldwide. Realist oil painting, or Neo-Renaissance, was chosen as the style for its narrative capabilities, accessibility and, above all, its purity.

The Exhibition aims to educate and draw focus to an unjust persecution - to record a moment in time when the universal principles of Truth, Compassion, Forbearance are openly opposed. It also highlights the danger of becoming involved in the persecution through state-run ventures such as forced labour and forced organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners. Outlasting these sombre themes, however, is a steady message of hope and fulfilment, as the enduring courage and belief of practitioners bring positive change in numerous dark settings.

A central hope of founding artist Professor Zhang's mission is to promote, through fine art, the understanding that freedom of belief is a fundamental human right, and to raise awareness.

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