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Today's date is Thursday, November 26, 2020
School of Animal Biology
 April 2014
Friday 11
15:00 - EVENT - Evolution of Human Communities: A Primatologist’s Perspective : Public talk with Cyril Grueter Website | More Information
One of the universal features of human sociality is the fact that our social networks are highly integrated: human societies exhibit several nested social layers including families, bands and communities. Several factors have been identified as creating disincentives for hostile intergroup relations, including economic interdependence, intermarriage and cooperative defence against external adversaries. I will explore the emergence of amicable relations between human communities and identify precursors in non-human primate societies.

Cyril Grueter completed his PhD degree in biological anthropology in 2009 at the University of Zurich/Switzerland, which was supervised by Prof. Carel van Schaik. Grueter research was aimed at understanding the evolutionary determinants of multilevel societies in primates and included 20 months of observations on wild snub-nosed monkeys in China, complemented with comparative cross-species analyses. Subsequently he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig/Germany and conducted a field study on the feeding ecology and feeding competition in mountain gorillas in Rwanda between 2009 and 2010 in collaboration with the Karisoke Research Center. In 2012, Grueter took up an Assistant Professor position at the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology at The University of Western Australia.
Tuesday 15
8:45 - SYMPOSIUM - CCTRM Annual Research Symposium : New developments in regenerative medicine More Information
The Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine is holding its Annual Research Symposium on Tuesday 15 April 2014 at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research from 8.45 am – 4.30 pm. The theme for the meeting is “At the cutting edge: New Developments in Regenerative Medicine” Professor Ed Stanley from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne will deliver the keynote presentation entitled: "Pluripotent stem cell models of human development and disease.” For a copy of the programme and to RSVP please contact Barbara Telfer at [email protected] Please RSVP by 5pm on Tuesday the 1 April 2014.
Thursday 24
13:00 - SEMINAR - Why do I keep finding panmixia? – Or, using molecular markers to study the ecology and evolution of Australian freshwater fishes. : School of Animal Biology seminar series. More Information
Freshwater fishes are typically conceived as existing in genetically structured subpopulations, where gene flow is low and (effective) population sizes are small. This owes to the patchy nature of freshwater habitat, the dendritic structure of rivers, and the presence of in-stream barriers (e.g., waterfalls). However, in many freshwater systems on the Australian continent, the opposite is observed. In this seminar I will discuss my personal experiences exploring the genetic structure of freshwater fish in the arid-zone systems of central and northern Australia, and discuss the implications for conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems. I will finish with a discussion around the project I am currently undertaking at the Western Australian Museum, where we are using sequence data and the taxonomic expertise of the museum to investigate terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the Pilbara.

 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?"
Wednesday 07
16:00 - SEMINAR - Animal-like learning in plants : This seminar is part of the Centre for Water Research seminar series. Website | More Information
Scientists have wondered for some time whether plants, like animals, can truly learn from the past and adjust their future behavior appropriately. We adopted the same approach used in studies of animal learning and memory and put the sensitive plant Mimosa to the test.

We found that plants too can learn, and rapidly, when circumstances demand it, but most importantly they remember what has been learnt for several weeks (at the very least). These findings demonstrate that memory is not property special to organisms with a nervous system, inviting us to re-examine the fundamental mechanisms shaping behavior across living systems.

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

****All Welcome****
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.
Tuesday 13
13:00 - SEMINAR - Ticking off developmental checkpoints: the importance of circadian rhythms during pregnancy : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Speaker: Peter Mark completed a PhD in the Department of Pharmacology at The University of Western Australia in breast cancer research. He investigated the component structure of the estrogen receptor complex in the absence of hormone and determined how this altered the receptor’s response to estrogen. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology at UWA, where he is actively involved in teaching and research in reproductive biology. He is particularly interested in placental factors that act as drivers of fetal growth and development.

The Seminar: Insults during pregnancy, including maternal under/overnutrition, excess fetal glucocorticoid exposure and altered circadian rhythms can result in small for gestational age babies through placental dysfunction. These insults drive physiological and anatomical adaptations in the placenta and fetus, to allow for immediate survival, but predispose the offspring to adult-onset diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Our recent research has focussed on circadian rhythms in placental function and how these may impact on nutrient transfer to the developing fetus. Disturbances in maternal circadian rhythms can alter fetal growth trajectories and program offspring for adverse health outcomes, but whether disruption of placental rhythms contributes to these effects is unknown. The presentation will provide evidence for placental circadian rhythms and discuss potential circadian treatments to improve neonatal outcomes for premature babies.

15:30 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series 2014: "The search for a magnetic sense in the birds and the bees ..." More Information
Many animals possess a magnetic sense, which they use as a type of biological GPS to navigate short or long distances. Despite a wealth of behavioural evidence for magnetoreception, the cellular mechanisms that must underlie such a sense await discovery. Dr Jeremy Shaw focuses on the use of cutting-edge optical, electron and X-ray microscopy techniques to explore the magnetoreception question and has contributed to new discoveries in this field with publications in the journals Nature and Current Biology. Dr Shaw’s research is now centred on the use of the honeybee Apis mellifera as a model system to search for this new sensory system and hopefully solve what is one of the great unsolved mysteries in biology.

17:00 - BOOK LAUNCH - Launch of "Personalities & Places" : Full Title: Personalities & Places on the Crawley Campus Website | More Information
This book was funded by a University Centenary Grant with detailed vignettes of 71 places named after personalities on the Crawley Campus. An initiative of the UWA Historical Society, it includes a fold-out map showing each location. Join the authors and their many supporters for the launch.

18:00 - EVENT - Do you live in fear of needles or blood? : Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia Group More Information
Do you live in fear of needles or blood? If so, read on...

Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia is a fear that is triggered by seeing blood or an injury, or by receiving an injection or other invasive medical procedure. People vary in the way they react to situations involving blood or injections. Some individuals may feel disgust, nausea, or dizziness. Some people may even faint.

The Robin Winker Clinic is a clinical psychology unit linked to the School of Psychology at The University of Western Australia. The Clinic will be running a group treatment program for Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia. The treatment is based on evidence from up-to-date research, and was co-developed by Dr Andrew Page, a psychologist and researcher from the School who specialises in anxiety disorders. The program will run for 8 two-hour sessions, plus an initial assessment session before the group commences and a follow-up session 4-6 weeks after completion. Through this program, individuals will work in a supportive environment to challenge their fears and learn coping strategies to control anxiety and be less worried when getting an injection, seeing blood, or when visiting the doctor for a medical procedure. Techniques for preventing fainting and for coping with feelings of disgust are also introduced.

What do you do now? If you or someone you know would like to take part in this treatment program, or if you would like more information, please call the Clinic on 6488 2644 or email [email protected]

Dates: 6-8pm, Tuesday May 13th to Tuesday July 1st. Fees: $30 per session and $35 for the assessment, 25% discount if paid up front. Reduced fees are available for full time students and pensioners. UWA Location: Robin Winkler Clinic, 1st floor, Third General Purpose Building, Myers St.
Wednesday 14
17:30 - EVENT - Stress Management Treatment Programme More Information
If you can't escape from the reality of your life, and are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, The Robin Winkler Clinic is here to help! This clinic is linked to the School of Psychology at UWA. Post-graduate Clinical Psychology trainees at the clinic will soon be starting a stress management treatment programme for adults. The treatment is evidenced based and supervised by experienced Clinical Psychologists.

The programme will run over six weeks with a two hour session each week, plus a follow-up four weeks after completion. There will also be an initial individual assessment at a mutually agreed time.

If you would like to reserve a place or need more information, please call the Clinic on 6488 2644 or email [email protected]

Fees: $30 per session, 25% discount on sessions if paid up front. Initial assessment $35. Free for full-time students and pensioners.

The confidential sessions will be held at the Robin Winkler Clinic on the 1st floor of the Third General Purpose Building, UWA.
Tuesday 20
13:00 - SEMINAR - Pole position: Spindle mechanisms that regulate asymmetric cell division and brain size : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Seminar: Asymmetric division is a specific form of mitosis that generates two unequal daughter cells with different fates. It is an intrinsic property of pluripotent, self-renewing progenitor cells and required for tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis. Defects in mechanisms regulating division asymmetry contribute to unbalanced proliferation/differentiation, genetic instability and the increased incidence of human diseases that include congenital defects, neurological disorders and carcinogenesis. For example, primary autosomal recessive microcephaly is a congenital condition characterized by severely reduced brain size due to the premature depletion of self-renewing neural precursor cells and insufficient embryonic neurogenesis. Recently, the genetic interrogation of microcephalic patients, facilitated by rapid advances in massively paralleled DNA sequencing, have provided novel mechanistic insights into asymmetric division of human neural precursors. One of the most frequently mutated microcephaly genes (~30% of cases) encodes WD40-Repeat Protein 62 (WDR62), a spindle pole protein. The position and orientation of the microtubule-based spindle apparatus during cell division (mitosis) specifies asymmetric segregation of cell fate determinants between daughter cells that then commit to different fates. In this seminar, I will present recent work from our laboratory that describes the molecular and biochemical basis of WDR62-directed signalling at the spindle pole required for spindle orientation, asymmetric division and binary cell fate determination.

The Speaker: Dominic’s research utilizes multi-disciplinary approaches to unravel complex regulation and function of kinase signalling networks in mammalian cell biology. His goal is to increase molecular understanding of these fundamental mechanisms that are highly relevant to human development and disease progression. He obtained his PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2004 and trained overseas at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, in Singapore. He returned to the Australian research community on an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship (2006-2010) followed by a University of Melbourne Faculty Trust Roper Fellowship (2011-2012). In this time, Dominic established an independent research program and his team has increased knowledge on complex regulation of cellular architecture by JAK/STAT and MAPK signalling pathways. Dominic was recently appointed (2013) as Senior Research Fellow and principal investigator, supported by an ARC Future Fellowship (2013-2016), and is based at Department of Biochemistry within the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne.
Friday 30
13:00 - SEMINAR - Developing modelling tools to understand the marine environment: building predictive models of biodiversity for Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. : School of Animal Biology Seminar Series. More Information
Quantitative methods are increasingly being used to understand the marine environment. My presentation will include a summary of my previous experience in developing modelling tools applied to the marine environment, ranging from tools to assist aquaculture development in coastal systems, to global models of whale shark occurrence and to models of biodiversity in coral reef systems. I will detail the developments of my recent work on building predictive models of fish species richness and abundance in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, as the first outcome of my post-doctoral research here at UWA (co-sponsored by AIMS and CSIRO).

 June 2014
Tuesday 03
13:00 - SEMINAR - Publishing your research: plagiarism, image manipulation and other misconduct : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series More Information
The Speakers: Winthrop Professor Peter Eastwood is the Scientific Director of the Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort, inaugural Director of The University of Western Australia’s Centre for Sleep Science and Editor-in-Chief of Respirology. Dr Lieve Bultynck is the Managing Editor of Respirology and Dr Anke van Eekelen is an Administrative Editor in the Editorial Office of Respirology at UWA.

The Seminar: Respirology is the official English-language, peer-reviewed journal of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology and the major respiratory medicine journal in the Asia-Pacific region. The journal’s Editor-in-Chief is Winthrop Professor Peter Eastwood and the journal’s Editorial Office is located at UWA’s Centre for Sleep Science. In recent years the journal has achieved a rapid rise in impact factor and an increase in the number of submissions, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region but also from Europe and North America. The journal’s aim is to publish the best research papers in the respiratory medicine field, while being mindful of its role as a society journal in supporting and guiding authors from the society’s member countries. With authors worldwide being under pressure to publish or perish, academic journals are faced with rising incidences of ethical misconduct in research and publishing. The unique challenge for Respirology is dealing with these issues in the context of a large number of submissions by researchers from developing and/or non-native English speaking countries. Plagiarism can occur intentionally or unintentionally. For example, an inability to paraphrase and express ideas in an original way or a lack of knowledge about what level of text recycling is acceptable can both result in plagiarism. Respirology works with international experts in publication ethics to deal with issues of misconduct including unwarranted authorship, image manipulation, the absence of attribution or permission to use research tools under copyright and duplicate/salami publishing. This presentation will discuss the strategies used by Respirology in identifying and dealing with plagiarism and misconduct, and the processes used by the journal to educate authors on publication ethics.
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 [email protected]
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.

12:00 - TALK - Dr Ian Stephen - Facial shape predicts aspects of health : A geometric morphometric modelling study More Information
Several aspects of facial appearance contribute to attractiveness, including shape cues such as symmetry (Grammer & Thornhill, 1994), averageness (Rhodes, Zebrowitz, et al., 2001) and sexual dimorphism (Thornhill & Gangestad, 1999). It has been suggested that these facial cues represent cues to underlying health, thereby conferring an evolutionary advantage to individuals who find these cues attractive. The link between facial cues and health is therefore central to evolutionary explanations of attractiveness. However, studies linking facial cues directly to health are infrequent (Coetzee, Perrett, & Stephen, 2009), and have varying levels of success (Lawson, Pound, Penton-Voak, & Richmond, 2011; Rhodes, Zebrowitz, et al., 2001; Rhodes, Chan, Zebrowitz, & Simmons, 2003; Thornhill & Gangestad, 2006). In the current study, we apply geometric morphometric methodology to facial shape data to produce models that successfully predict aspects of underlying health – percentage body fat, body mass index (BMI; weight scaled for height) and blood pressure. Predicted values of BMI and blood pressure, but not percentage body fat, correlate with health ratings, and predicted values of health ratings correlate with these two measured health variables. This suggests that facial shape provides a valid cue to health, and may pave the way for non-invasive automated screening for cardiac disease risk

 July 2014
Tuesday 01
16:45 - TALK - WA Flow Meeting More Information
The 8th meeting of WA Flow – the Western Australian Flow Cytometry Interest Group - will be held on Tuesday 1st July in the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis. We have a couple of really interesting talks lined up! Assoc Prof Kathy Heel will show us how she and her team are using their exciting imaging flow cytometer to clinically translate laboratory cancer research. Then Dr Kara Yopak will present a fascinating application of flow and imaging cytometry for measuring the brain cells of fishes and sharks! WA Flow is a diverse, open and inclusive group of scientists and scientists-in-training who share in interest in measuring cells. Scientists from core facilities, academic research groups and clinical diagnostic facilies meet every second month for presentations of applications, protocols, results, information and general discussion of current cytometry. All current CMCA flow cytometry users should attend. ALL welcome - refreshments provided.

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