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Today's date is Monday, November 30, 2020
School of Animal Biology
 September 2012
Tuesday 25
13:00 - SEMINAR - The Shootout at the OK Corral : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: In supporting the hypothesis that the skeleton found at Liang Bua on the Island of Flores is an adult of a new species, the main proponent asserts that one alternative hypothesis, that it may represent the skeleton of an adult endemic cretin, is wrong. His reasoning is that the Liang Bua remains do not exhibit the various features of endemic cretinism. Is he correct? A story of ‘smoking guns’!

The Speaker: No CV can be short when the speaker has been in research for 60 years! He has published 10 papers in Nature and Science – but over 60 years that is not a great record! Further, his CV includes a number of controversies: on Australopithecines, Sexual Dimorphisms, Out-of-Africa, Brain Evolution, Bone Biomechanics, Osteoporosis, Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Is this presentation another? Is he wrong again? Not an admission that he was wrong before!
Thursday 27
13:00 - SYMPOSIUM - Symposium of WA Neuroscience : Symposium showcasing student and early career neuroscience research presentations Website | More Information
The Symposium of WA Neuroscience 2012 will be held in conjunction with the Neurotrauma Research Program of Western Australia on the 27th of September, 2012. The Symposium will showcase research presentations by Honours and PhD students as well as early career researchers, who will compete for cash prizes. The Symposium will run from 1 to 5 pm in lecture theatre G33 of the MCS (Bayliss) Building, followed by a Sundowner. Registration is free and open to staff, students and the general public, but requested for catering purposes: please email [email protected]

 October 2012
Tuesday 02
13:00 - SEMINAR - Iron and its influence on hepatic lipids : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are major health problems in Australia. All are characterised by an initial accumulation of lipids which, along with the contribution of confounding factors, such as iron, can lead to organ dysfunction and death. In the presence of existing fat deposits, iron has been linked to progression of NAFLD, via the production of free radicals. Recently we have shown that iron may be involved in the initial lipid accumulation by stimulating production of cholesterol in the liver. Importantly, this cholesterol may accumulate in the mitochondria; mitochondrial cholesterol accumulation has been associated with NAFLD. These data are consistent with an increase in total hepatic lipid burden and a role for iron in the early stages of fatty liver disease

The Speaker: Ross completed his PhD in Physiology at UWA in 1997 studying non-transferrin bound iron uptake in the liver. He retained his interest in metal metabolism following his move to London in 1998, working at the University of London where he studied the synthesis of vitamin B12 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pathogen which causes many lung infections in cyctic fibrosis patients. In 2004, he returned to Western Australia to work in the School of Medicine & Pharmacology, UWA, continuing his work on iron in the liver, focussing on the role of transferrin receptor 2 in iron uptake and how mutations in this protein cause a rare form of the iron-loading disorder, haemochromatosis. This work led to identification of a role for iron in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, implicating iron as a factor in liver disease and obesity. In 2011, he moved to Curtin University where he is continuing his research into liver iron and its effects on other metabolic processes.
Friday 05
15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - The Evolutionary Biologist's Nightmare: Sex, Sperm and Society : Public talk with Boris Baer (CIBER) Website | More Information
The reproductive biology of social insects, being the social bees, ants, wasps and termites is truly spectacular, as a number of characteristics reported are either absent or very rare in other species. For example, social insect queens are the world’s record holder for long-term sperm storage and some of them are capable to keep sperm alive for several decades. Furthermore males deliver an ejaculate to the female's sexual tract that consists of sperm and seminal fluid, the latter being also used as weaponry against competing males and to manipulate female reproductive behaviour. However the molecular details of sperm storage, long-term fertility or the chemical warfare between the sexes remain unknown. I provide an overview of ongoing research conducted at the University of Western Australia that uses state of the art molecular technologies as well as field based experiments to unveil some of the secrets of social insect reproduction.

Boris Baer, born in 1969 is an Evolutionary Biologist. He studied Biology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. After fieldwork on primates in South America (French Guyana) he performed a PhD 1997-2000 at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (ETH) in Zurich. He then moved as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2001-2004) to the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and was invited as a Junior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Germany). He received a Queen Elizabeth II fellowship and a ARC Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council, which allowed him to continue his research at the University of Western Australia in Perth. Since 2007 he is also an external collaborator of the Centre for Social Evolution based at Copenhagen University. Since 2008, he coordinates a newly initiated honeybee research group at the University of Western Australia, known as CIBER (The Centre for Integrative Bee Research, see www.ciber.science.uwa.edu.au). The main scientific interest of Boris Baer is the study of sexual reproduction in social insects, especially the way evolution has shaped some of these spectacular mating systems. He uses several social insect models systems for his work such as bumblebees, honeybees and leaf cuttings ants.
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 [email protected] in lab 1.42 at 2pm.
Friday 12
16:00 - SEMINAR - PaLM Seminar Series (RPH) 2012 - Professor Charles Bond Seminar presentation More Information
All welcome to attend the School of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 2012 Seminar Series (RPH). On a weekly basis we have local/guest speakers presenting to a wide audience typically in the fields of immunology, molecular biology and cancer related research. This week we are privileged to have a local speaker. Professor Charles Bond from the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Western Australia presenting on "Structural studies of gene regulatory protein in eukaryotes". The event is sponsored by Life Technologies and light refreshments are provided. For further inquiries please contact using the provided email. Look forward to seeing you there!
Tuesday 16
13:00 - SEMINAR - The Newborn Respiratory System: Programmed to Respond to Variability? : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Promotion of lung volume recruitment in atelectatic lung and maintenance of existing recruited lung are vital goals of contemporary ventilatory support. In the mature lung, the recruitment of terminal airspaces are governed by power-law distributions, arising from avalanches associated with threshold pressure phenomena propagating down a branching tree structure. There is increasing evidence that the superimposition of noise on the pressure waveform during conventional can promote recruitment of collapsed lung zones when the peak inspiratory pressure is at or around the lower inflexure and that this approach may also promote production of endogenous surfactant. The mechanism likely involves the phenomenon of stochastic resonance. Stochastic resonance is most simply described as the addition of noise to a weak input signal to enhance output in a nonlinear system. It is a widespread, naturally occurring phenomenon that can be seen reflected in the patterns of world weather, fluctuations on the stock market, population biology, and optimal functioning of neural networks, to name but a few. The essential ingredients for stochastic resonance are a nonlinear dynamic system, a weak biologic signal, and superimposed noise. Recent studies comparing variable to constant volume and rhythm ventilation patterns in newborn lambs demonstrate a physiological advantage of variable input for lung volume recruitment, and upregulation of surfactant protein and developmental genes, suggesting that the newborn lung is programmed to respond to variability, and that variability may confer survival advantage. The Speaker: Professor Jane Pillow is a clinical academic neonatologist at the University of Western Australia and Co-Director of the newly formed UWA Centre for Neonatal Research and Education. She is acknowledged internationally as an expert in the area of neonatal respiratory physiology and mechanical ventilation. Prof Pillow is internationally renowned for her particular expertise in high-frequency ventilation, having undertaken completed her PhD thesis in 2000 on “Optimising High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation in Neonates”. Since completing her PhD with Distinction in 2000, Prof Pillow’s research interests have expanded to include high-frequency jet ventilation, variable ventilation, bubble CPAP, patient triggered ventilation and minimising lung and diaphragmatic injury during resuscitation. Her research group in Perth undertakes animal studies using the preterm lamb as a model of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, many of which are performed in collaboration with interstate and international colleagues in medical, physiological, anatomical and biomedical engineering departments. Future plans for the lamb work include the development of a preterm lamb intensive care unit for long term ventilation of preterm lambs. At KEMH, Professor Pillow also runs a neonatal lung function laboratory, and is involved in clinical trials and follow-up functional studies of children born prematurely in addition to involvement in clinical trials. Jane has obtained over $4.5 million AUD in research funding, including 4 grants from the NHMRC (3 as CIA) and 3 grants from the NIH and has had continuous scholarship and fellowship funding from the NHMRC and Viertel Foundation since 1997. She has extensive involvement in peer-review activities relevant to neonatal research, mechanical ventilation and respiratory physiology. In addition to her academic responsibilities, Prof Pillow is a Consultant Neonatologist in the Women’s and Newborn’s Health Service. She is currently based within the UWA Centre of Neonatal Research and Education and the Neonatal Clinical Care Unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, which has 100 neonatal beds including 30 bed NICU, but which caters frequently for up to 40 infants on mechanical ventilation or CPAP.

Thursday 18
12:00 - SEMINAR - Accomplished Education Researcher Seminar Series : Sliding Doors in Academe: Idiosyncrasies of autobiography and controversy in psychometrics Website | More Information

“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.
Tuesday 23
13:00 - SEMINAR - Environmental exposures and the lung : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: It is generally thought that lung growth follows a trajectory such that an early life deficit in lung function is maintained throughout life. This has important implications for the development of chronic lung disease whereby early life impairments in lung growth may decrease the threshold for the development of respiratory symptoms, while increasing the susceptibility to insults that exacerbate disease. As such it is critical that we understand the environmental factors that impair (or promote) lung growth in early life in order to inform public health initiatives that will improve long term lung health in the community. This presentation will discuss the importance of in utero and early life environmental exposures in modulating lung development and the susceptibility to chronic lung disease using two case studies: 1) arsenic exposure via drinking water in utero and 2) vitamin D. While arsenic and vitamin D work in opposing directions, with arsenic having a negative impact on lung development and vitamin D having a positive impact, they are both associated with chronic lung disease in later life and can be modified through public health interventions. The impact of these exposures on lung development will be discussed in light of our recent studies using mouse models.

The Speaker: Associate Professor Graeme Zosky is a Principal Investigator and Head of the Lung Growth and Environmental Health Group at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. He has a PhD in Zoology from U.W.A. (2003) and a Masters in Biostatistics from the University of Sydney (2010). His research focuses on the role of early life exposures in the development of chronic lung disease later in life. He is also an international leader in the design and application of novel techniques for assessing lung mechanics in laboratory animals.

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.
Tuesday 30
18:45 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Presentation about the UWA Future Farm project at the AGM of Greening Australia : UWA Future Farm - the vision of an ideal farm for 2050 and doing it now More Information
Come along and hear Professor Graeme Martin, speak on UWA Future Farm 2050 Project, an ideal farm for 2050 Professor Graeme Martin.

Professor Graeme Martin is the Head of the School of Animal Biology, UWA and Deputy Director of the UWA Institute of Agriculture, and Chair of UWA Future Farm 2050 Project.

His research operates across the basic and applied fields of animal production systems, with a focus on reproduction and brain function, with an emphasis on the influences of environmental factors on the reproductive system. His long-term goal is the development of clean, green and ethical systems of animal production.

UWA Future Farm 2050

The Vision: An ideal farm for 2050 – do it now.

Why 2050? That's when we will have to feed 50% more people without destroying the planet. There is no greater issue facing humanity.

The 'ideal' farm is profitable through the production of food and fibre, practices ‘clean, green and ethical’ management, and demonstrates the commitment to Australia’s biodiversity.

As a project, it will also make positive contributions to the local, state and national and international rural community.

UWA Future Farm also aims to strengthen links between food producers and city inhabitants, and between the university research community and the industry that it serves.

Talk to commence at 18:45.

RSVP Monday 22nd October 2012

 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] or x2022.
Tuesday 13
13:00 - SEMINAR - Developing therapies for age-related muscle wasting - sarcopenia : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: With ageing, the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) results in frailty, loss of independence and is a major cause of increased falls and fractures. Surprisingly little is known about the mechanisms of sarcopenia and these will prove to be complex. We have established a mouse model of sarcopenia and described the time course of age-related muscle wasting in C57Bl/6J mice. This model is currently used to investigate mechanisms of age-related muscle wasting. The talk will focus on three aspects of sarcopenia: 1) understanding molecular changes in ageing muscle with the aim to identify sarcopenia markers and develop therapies; 2) loss of myofibre innervation; 3) use of exercise as an intervention to prevent sarcopenia.

The Speaker: Tea Shavlakadze is a Research Associate Professor at the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, the University of Western Australia. The research of TS has targeted factors controlling growth and maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and potential therapies for muscle disorders with a focus on in vivo studies using mouse models. Major areas of research include the role of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) in regulating skeletal muscle mass, and analyses of signalling pathways and other factors involved in many situations of skeletal muscle wasting.

Thursday 22
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 https://www.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au/aboutus/seminars/seminars.shtml or email [email protected]
Monday 26
14:00 - SEMINAR - Gibbon Ecology and Distribution: Unanswered Questions : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Despite the considerable knowledge we have accumulated about gibbons (Primates: Hylobatidae), which now include 17 recognized species, some of the most basic questions about their biology remain unanswered. One challenge is to explain why there is so little overlap in ranges (sympatry) between species, and a related phenomenon, the general lack of ecological radiation of the species. There are several possible reasons, which will lead to a discussion of the unique ecology and behavior patterns, including foraging habits, competition and social structure. The ecology and behavior of two species, Hylobates lar and H. pileatus, in a contact zone in Thailand will be brought into focus, as this zone provides an important testing ground for several theories.

The Speaker: Warren Brockelman is a retired professor of Biology at Mahidol University, Thailand and currently serves as an advisor at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at Mahidol University, and works as an Associate Researcher at the BIOTEC Central Research Unit, National Science and Technology Development Agency. His basic interests lie in ecology and population biology, but he has carried out research in several distinct fields including amphibian ecology, human helminth transmission and primate ecology. Since 1975, his interests have emphasized the ecology and behavior of gibbons, and also the transmission of human parasites.
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 https://www.cas.maths.uwa.edu.au/courses. Please register online.

13:00 - SEMINAR - Respiratory load-induced cardiorespiratory failure : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Respiratory loads have long been used to stress the respiratory muscles. When these loads cause failure, however, this has been attributed to inadequate pressure generation by the respiratory muscles, especially the diaphragm. Recently, we discovered that in a rat model of load-induced failure, inspiratory drive to the diaphragm was still elevated at the time of failure, indicating that the origin of failure was not central. However, blood pressure decreased and we observed that cardiac troponin, a marker specific for myocardial necrosis, was present. Troponin was released regardless of the type of respiratory load (inspiratory resistive, repeated inspiratory occlusions, and expiratory threshold). Thus, respiratory loads, by causing arterial hypoxemia, reduce O2 delivery to the heart and respiratory muscles. Inadequate O2 delivery, in the face of increased O2 demands, leads therefore to cardiorespiratory, not respiratory, failure. These results may be relevant to acute exacerbations of respiratory diseases, particularly when supplementary O2 is not available.

The Speaker: Prof Iscoe completed his undergraduate and Doctoral studies at McGill University and his post-doc at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He now holds a cross-appointment with the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and Department of Medicine at Queen’s University. Prof Iscoe is a respiratory physiologist with a research interests in the control of the diaphragm; skeletal muscle fatigue and injury; cardiorespiratory failure; treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning; and hypercoagulability in obstructive sleep apnoea.
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.

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