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Today's date is Friday, November 27, 2020
School of Plant Biology
 March 2012
Thursday 15
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - Phosphite - a potent 'fungicide' .. but why? : PLS NOTE CHANGE OF TIME! Prev 1pm, now 4pm. More Information
Phosphorus (P) is essential for plant growth, but often has a low availability due to a low solution P pool and sorption to soil minerals. ABSTRACT AVAILABLE.
Tuesday 27
13:00 - TALK - UWA Careers Centre - Teach For Australia "Ace Your Application" : Want to know how to get your graduate application to the top of the pile? Want to learn how to transform an average application response into one that will get you noticed? Website | More Information
Want to know how to get your graduate application to the top of the pile? Want to learn how to transform an average application response into one that will get you noticed?

Two reps from Teach for Australia will talk you through the various components of the graduate selection process.

We'll fill you in on the do's and don'ts of graduate applications to make sure you avoid common mistakes and know what employers look for.

Bookings essential through UWA CareerHub - https://uwa.careerhub.com.au
Wednesday 28
9:45 - EVENT - Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum : Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum Website | More Information
students/graduates in Agriculture competing for Young Professionals in Agriculture Award' ; winners will be announced at 1.45pm by Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Terry Redman

 April 2012
Friday 13
9:00 - COURSE - Semiparametric Regression : A Short Course Website | More Information
Semiparametric regression is concerned with the exible incorporation of nonlinear functional relationships in regression analyses. Assuming only a basic familiarity with ordinary regression, this short-course explains the techniques and bene ts of semiparametric regression in a concise and modular fashion. Spline functions, linear mixed models and Bayesian hierarchical models are shown to play an important role in semiparametric regression. There will be a strong emphasis on implementation in R and BUGS.

Registration for the course is available online at https://scg.maths.uwa.edu.au/?id=347
Wednesday 18
13:20 - Forum - Bioenergy Forum : The Energy and Minerals Institute along with the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry are pleased to invite you to The University of Western Australia’s Bioenergy Forum Website | More Information


Microalgae Energy Farms for Low Cost Biodiesel Production Presented by Dr Peer Schenk

ABSTRACT: From start to finish, biodiesel production from microalgae requires optimisation of all steps towards cost effectiveness and energy efficiency, as current limitations exist mainly in the industrial feasibility of microalgae systems. Our team is developing improved non-GM Australian microalgae strains, as well as low cost algae cultivation and harvesting systems to provide a cost & energy effective biodiesel production module. This module utilises microalgae's potential as zero-waste biorefineries, producing not only bioenergy, but also protein-rich animal feedstock and high-value products such as Omega-3 fatty acids. Our research group maintains a growing collection of marine and freshwater microalgae from Queensland, whereby high lipid yielding strains are screened and selected for improvement. We use adaptive evolution methods incorporating mutagenesis and high throughput selection for high-lipid yielding strains. These are then used in especially engineered "Split-System" cultivation units that incorporate both, a low cost photobioreactor (PBR) coupled with several extensive raceway ponds. In the PBR, optimal culture conditions are maintained with daily culture harvested into the raceway ponds to stimulate lipid biosynthesis. Several harvesting and lipid extraction.

Autotrophic Production of Algal Biofuel: What is the best technology line-up Presented by Dr Skye Thomas-Hall

ABSTRACT: Microalgae have the potential to produce 10-20 times more biofuel feedstock per unit area than any terrestrial bioenergy crop. However for this to be economically viable, three important technology stages need to come together: i) cultivation of high lipid species must be relatively contamination free and highly productive (ideally AFDW in excess of 30 g m-2 d-1); ii) the biomass needs to be harvested quickly using energy efficient technology; and iii) the harvested algae should be processed into stable products before value is lost. Cellana LLC was formed in 2008 with the primary aim of developing the technology pathway to make algal biofuels economically viable. Cellana’s 2.5ha Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF) is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and has been producing high quality algal biomass since 2009. The production can be tailored to customer needs for different fractions of the algal biomass, including lipids for biodiesel, protein for animal feed, essential fatty acids (i.e. EPA, DHA) and accessory pigments (e.g. lutein, ß-carotene, lycopene etc) for the nutrition and cosmetic industries. Cellana’s KDF is primarily a research facility, designed to test many algal species simultaneously (up to 12) in realistic outdoor conditions. The large scale hybrid system can grow 2 species simultaneously and has excellent flexibility that enables cultivation conditions to be optimized for each individual strain. The facility is also set up to test a variety of harvesting and dewatering techniques on each species grown at demonstrations scale (up to 780,000 L). Presented is an overview of strain selection at small scale (lab <1 L) and mid scale (outdoor 200 L). Growth parameters that can be altered for optimizing cultivation at mid scale and large scale (60,000 – 130,000 L). The majority of the presentation is on harvesting and processing techniques used by Cellana and in the wider algae industry, focusing on cost versus efficiency of methods trialed at Cellana’s Kona Demonstration Facility (KDF). Best handling and storage practices are also presented along with data analysis specifically focusing on lipid quality.
Thursday 19
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - A universal code for RNA-protein recognition : PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE !!! Previously 1pm, now 4pm. More Information
RNA-protein complexes play essential roles in the regulation of gene expression, by orchestrating the basic growth and maintenance of the cell as well as the complex developmental programs of multicellular eukaryotes. The modes by which proteins bind RNA are diverse and often difficult to predict, limiting our ability to engineer RNA-binding proteins for practical applications. Engineering RNA-binding proteins is attractive because they could be fused to any desired effector domain, enabling selective binding of a specific RNA target to investigate or manipulate any aspect of its metabolism. We have used directed evolution to expand the recognition of Pumilio and FBF homology (PUF) repeats beyond adenine, guanine and uracil and evolved them to specifically bind cytosine. These repeat sequences can be used to create PUF domains capable of binding RNA targets of diverse sequence and structure enabling many potential biological and medical applications.
Thursday 26
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - High affinity phosphate transporters in Arabidopsis: a complex story! : PHT1 high affinity Pi transporters belong to a highly multigenic family of genes. More Information
The PHT1 high affinity Pi transporters belong to a highly multigenic family of genes. They are tightly regulated spatially and temporally by Pi supply at transcriptional and post-translational level. Combinations of genetic, cell biology and molecular biology experiment will be presented to dissect elements of this complexity.

 May 2012
Thursday 10
16:00 - SEMINAR - Sending Sharks to School: Brain Evolution in Sharks and Their Relatives : SESE and Oceans Institute Seminar More Information
Cartilaginous fishes are comprised of approximately 1185 species worldwide and occupy a range of niches and primary habitats. It is a widely accepted view that neural development can reflect morphological adaptations and sensory specializations and it has been shown that similar patterns of brain organization, termed cerebrotypes, exist in species of that share certain lifestyle characteristics. Clear patterns of brain organization exist across cartilaginous fishes, irrespective of phylogenetic grouping. Examination of brain size (encephalization, n = 151) and interspecific variation in brain organization (n = 84) across this group suggests that similar patterns of brain organization, termed “cerebrotypes”, exist in species that share certain lifestyle characteristics. Clear patterns of brain organization exist across cartilaginous fishes, irrespective of phylogenetic grouping and, although this study was not a functional analysis, it provides further evidence that chondrichthyan brain structures might have developed in conjunction with specific behaviours or enhanced cognitive capabilities. Larger brains, with well-developed telencephala and large, highly foliated cerebella are reported in species that occupy complex reef or oceanic habitats, such as Prionace glauca and Sphyrna zygaena. In contrast, benthic and benthopelagic demersal species comprise the group with the smallest brains, such as Cephaloscyllium spp. and Squatina californica, with a relatively reduced telencephalon and a smooth cerebellar corpus. There is also evidence of a bathyal cerebrotype; deep-sea benthopelagic sharks, such as Centroselachus crepidater and Harriotta raleighana possess relatively small brains and show a clear relative hypertrophy of the medulla oblongata. Despite the patterns observed and documented, significant gaps in the literature have been highlighted. Brain mass data are only currently available on c. 16% of all chondrichthyan species, and only 8% of species have data available on their brain organization, with far less on subsections of major brain areas that receive distinct sensory input. The interspecific variability in brain organization further stresses the importance of performing functional studies on a greater range of species. Only an expansive data set, comprised of species that span a variety of habitats and taxonomic groups, with widely disparate behavioural repertoires, combined with further functional analyses, will help shed light on the extent to which chondrichthyan brains have evolved as a consequence of behaviour, habitat and lifestyle in addition to phylogeny.
Thursday 17
16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series : Measuring nanoparticle dispersion and in vitro cellular uptake by electron microscopy Website | More Information
'Measuring nanoparticle dispersion and in vitro cellular uptake by electron microscopy' presented by Nicole Hondow from the Institute for Materials Research, University of Leeds

Engineered nanoparticles have been the focus of much recent research with a wide-range of potential applications in catalysis, biomedicine, magnetic resonance imaging, data storage and environmental remediation. For biomedical applications these particles often have surface modification with organic molecules to stabilise them in biological suspensions, functionalise the surface and avoid immediate uptake or clearance by the immune system. Understanding the structure of particles after modification and when within cellular environments is criticial to their safe and successful application. At Leeds we have been developing a systematic approach to the characterisation of nanoparticles and their cellular uptake using electron microscopy. One approach is to draw on the imaging and analytical capabilities of transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) to characterise these particles before and after cellular uptake. A key challenge for this work is representative sample preparation, and we are examining this using CdTe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots dispersed in biological media and serum. The uptake of these nanoparticles by U2-OS human osteosarcoma cells has been examined by quantitative TEM imaging to determine the distribution of the nanoparticles in membrane bound vesicles and the cytoplasm. This is being extended into 3-D, using the Gatan 3-View system in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to serial section resin-embedded cells exposed to quantum dots. By combining the information from TEM imaging (i.e. location and number of vesicles per 2-D cell section plus the number of quantum dots per vesicle) and serial sectioning (i.e. location, size and number of vesicles in whole cells (3-D)) with that provided by other techniques (such as optical imaging,) we are developing a fully quantitative description of cellular uptake of these quantum dots.

16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - Post-transcriptional chloroplast gene regulation: Analysis of key ribonucleases responsible for RNA maturation : Regulation of chloroplast gene expression has levels of complexity not found in prokaryotes. More Information
Dr Sharwood’s research focuses on the molecular engineering of higher plant chloroplasts to improve many facets of plant productivity. Chloroplasts harbour the key biochemical reactions of photosynthesis, a process that underpins all life on earth.
Friday 18
15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Amanda Newall and Ola Johansson: PROJEKTET : Resident Artists talk at SymbioticA Website | More Information
The immune system can be seen as the metaphorical factor of applied performance, which makes the latter artistic practice more than simply social work. Transposed into a functional nomenclature, the immune system makes a larger body stay healthy by encountering visitors (pathogens) by way of recollection, accommodation, identification, discrimination, protection, and aggression. But it may also learn to live with strangers, ad interim, even if it doesn’t quite know who they are. This captures the current challenges of contemporary applied performance very well.

Applied performance is used when social crises require extraordinary management beyond simple solutions. Such conflicts often subsist on deep structural and implicit behavioural attitudes between two parties in situations of, i.e., racism, bullying, gender discord, postcolonial disputes, ecological predicaments, and so forth. Applied performance is often initiated by a third party, e.g., extension workers in non-governmental organizations, who approach conflicts with an equally cooperative and critical mind towards the host culture, but also those who choose to participate in projects.

Amanda Newall is Senior Lecturer in sculpture at Royal Institute of Arts (Kungliga Konsthögskolan) in Stockholm, Sweden. She is also conducting a doctoral project at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts, London. She has taught sculpture, socially engaged art, curatorship, professional practice and new media at Auckland University, Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (UK), and has exhibited numerous international shows.

Ola Johansson is Guest Professor in artistic research at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts (Stockholms dramatiska högskola). His books on community theatre and performance art are paralleled by creative work in intercultural performance, documentary film, devising, and applied performance. He has taught devising and applied performance in the UK, Sweden and India. Johansson’s have published two books, Community Theatre and AIDS (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Performance and Philosophy: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Performing Arts (Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag, 2008).
Friday 25
16:00 - SEMINAR - PaLM Seminar Series (RPH) 2012 - Abdullah Ali Aseeri and Royston Ong: 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 delighted to have 2 of our own students presenting final MLM and honours seminars respectively: Abdullah Ali Aseeri on 'Identification and discrimination of different strains of CA-MRSA by using MALDI-TOF MS' and Royston Ong on 'Whole exome sequencing applied to Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Disease' from the School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UWA. 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!

 June 2012
Thursday 07
10:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - The "all you can eat" guide to the Three Minute Thesis : Three Minute Thesis: A comprehensive guide to preparing and presenting a compelling 3MT talk Website | More Information
The Three MInute Thesis (3MT) is a fun and challenging event that encourages the communication of research to a wide audience. The UWA 3MT competition finals will be held on 25th July and this presentation is a comprehensive guide to the preparation and presentation of a compelling 3MT talk. The presenter, Simon Clews,is an experienced 3MT judge who has championed the 3MT competition in Australia and internationally.

13:30 - EVENT - Postgraduate Showcase 2012 : 'Frontiers in Agriculture' Website | More Information
Each year The UWA Institute of Agriculture hosts an annual Postgraduate Showcase where selected postgraduate students in the area of Agriculture and related Natural Resource Management present their research findings. The Postgraduate Showcase brings together some of UWA’s outstanding PhD students at an advanced stage of their research. It highlights relevant research and progress being made in the area of Agriculture and Natural Resource Management at UWA.

The event encourages interaction and networking between industry, prospective employers, funding bodies, external and internal IOA partners, and postgraduate students undertaking research in agriculture and related areas.

16:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar Series More Information
X-ray crystallography is a method of determining the arrangement of atoms within a crystal. This talk will briefly outline the technique used in the determination of crystal structures with special reference to small molecules. The instrumentation which is available to researchers at UWA for diffraction experiments will also be described. A number of results from such experiments will be presented including examples of crystal structures from the various research areas within UWA.
Friday 08
15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - I Lay My Ear to Furious Latin: Listening for Bees in Urban Environments : Public talk with Tarsh Bates and Susan Hauri-Downing Website | More Information
Where do native bees live in contested urban environments? How has the colonisation and urbanisation of Perth affected native bee populations? What is the nature of the human/bee interactions and what cultural roles do they play? In the context of a global honey bee crisis, Australian colonisation, and disappearing habitats, a current art/science residency is investigating the nature of bee populations in urban areas. Whilst there is much publicity surrounding the global disappearance of the European honey bee, little attention has been paid to native bee populations and habitats.

Native and European bees are particularly important in pollinating local flora and contribute to the unique biodiversity of the South West region. They also hold unique significance for the Nyungar community. Despite the importance of native bees, little is known about the ecological and cultural consequences of Perth colonisation and urbanisation on these insects. The relationships between bees, humans and the colonisation and urbanisation of Perth are complex. Although there are over 2,000 described native bee species in Australia, 800 of which occur in WA, most are solitary and rarely seen. Nests and habitats are destroyed through landscaping, gardening and land clearing activities. There is also concern over the displacement of native bees by feral European bees.

This talk describes a project involving artists Susan Hauri-Downing and Tarsh Bates, and the Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) at UWA which combines the different perspectives of art and science to explore human/bee interactions, ecologies and place. We will also discuss the roles of artists within science research groups and show some preliminary outcomes of the residency.
Thursday 21
16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - New horizons in plant mitochondria group-II intron splicing : In plants, transcription of mitochondrial genes is catalyzed by single subunit phage-type RNA-polymerases in conjunction with accessory factors which aid promoter recognition. More Information
The primary transcripts must then undergo extensive processing, including the maturation of 5’ and 3’ termini, RNA-editing and the splicing of many group-II-type introns (the precise number varying by species), which lie mainly within complex I subunits but also disrupt the coding-regions of several genes encoding ribosomal proteins. The splicing of these introns is therefore essential for the expression of the coding sequences they interrupt, and thus for respiratory activity. Yet, despite the importance of proteins that influence mitochondrial gene-expression, functions have been established for only a handful of such proteins in plants. In non-plant systems, the splicing of group-II introns is facilitated by proteins encoded within the introns themselves (Maturases, Mat’s). Yet, the plant mitochondrial introns are degenerated and also lost their intron-encoded ORF. It is thus anticipated that their splicing in the organelles requires the participation of nuclear gene products. In addition, the roles of nuclear-encoded factors in mitochondrial RNA-metabolism may provide means to link organellar gene expression and function to other cellular responses to energy state, environmental stimuli, and/or developmental cues. However, the precise functions still remain largely unknown for many of these proteins in plant mitochondria. By using biochemical and genetic approaches we established the roles of different proteins in the splicing of many of the mitochondrial introns in plants. These are diverse in origin and presumably in mechanism. Defects in interactions between this class of proteins and their RNA partners have been linked to growth and developmental defects, which include reduced germination, retarded growth phenotypes and cytoplasmic male sterility.
Tuesday 26
9:00 - COURSE - Introductory Statistics : A Short Course using SPSS Website | More Information
The course is designed for people with little or no knowledge of statistics. It will be spread over three days covering material ranging from means and standard deviations to simple linear regression, and basic ANOVA. Some basic categorical data analysis will be included with the emphasis throughout being placed on applications rather than theory. The statistical package SPSS will be used to illustrate ideas demonstrated, however this course is aimed at enabling an understanding of basic statistics.

14:00 - SEMINAR - " MINDING YOUR MASSES " : Seminars on Advanced Mass Spectrometry More Information
Come and hear prominent UWA, national and international speakers give varied and fascinating insights into Innovative Discoveries in Science through Advanced Mass Spectrometry. A full list of speakers and seminar titles is available on request to [email protected]
Friday 29
9:30 - Demonstration - Hirox New Generation 3D Digital Microscope : The CMCA will be hosting a demonstration of a new 3D microscope (from Hirox) More Information
You are invited to attend this live demonstration of the new Hirox KH-8700. This will be an overview of the system and demonstration including the 3D rotary lenses, multifocal functions and a variety of unique lenses and adaptors. All are welcome to attend.

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