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Today's date is Saturday, August 15, 2020
Academic Events
 February 2019
Tuesday 19
18:00 - EVENT - How to achieve a sustainable blue economy Website | More Information
A public lecture by Professor Rashid Sumaila, Director, Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

A crucial question still facing humanity is how to successfully manage the ocean to ensure long term sustainability. In this lecture Professor Sumaila will explore this question couched around three key issues, ie, how we tackle global warming and climate change; how we implement public policies such as the provision of government subsidies to the fisheries sector; and how we manage the high seas.

Professor Sumaila will argue that the chance of managing our ocean successfully for people and nature depends strongly on our ability to tackle the issues that affect the conservation and fair sharing of benefits from our ocean in such a way that positive feedbacks are transmitted between the two. The alternative is for negative feedbacks from conservation to people, and vice versa, to the detriment of both people and nature.

Professor Rashid Sumaila, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia is a globally recognized fisheries economist, with over 230 peer-reviewed publications, and over 60 books or book chapters. He has a Google Scholar h-index of 70 with over 20,000 citations. Rashid specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries. Professor Sumaila has experience working in fisheries and natural resource projects in Norway, Canada and the North Atlantic region, Namibia and the Southern African region, Ghana and the West African region and Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

Professor Sumaila is a UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow and a UWA Forrest Visiting Fellow.

18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Overcoming the challenges of making high quality cross-national comparisons. The example of the European Social Survey Website | More Information
A public lecture by Professor Rory Fitzgerald, Director, European Social Survey, City, University of London and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

In this public lecture Professor Rory Fitzgerald will first outline the challenges of cross-national measurement using social surveys and outline how the European Social Survey (ESS) has tried to address them. These include issues related to sampling, questionnaire design, translation, fieldwork and data processing amongst others.

He will then use his own research to show how combining multiple waves of the ESS allowed an examination of the attitudes of migrants moving from Eastern to western Europe in their attitudes towards homosexuality. Do migrant attitudes change if they move from one context to another?

In the final part of the lecture Professor Fitzgerald will give some examples of how the ESS has been used both in academia and beyond and will make the case for developing an Australian sister survey to the ESS.
Thursday 21
16:00 - SEMINAR - Mathematics and Statistics colloquium : Particle modelling applied to industrial and biophysical problems More Information
Particle methods have capabilities that particularly suit numerical simulation of complex phenomena involved in industrial and biophysical application domains. The two core methods used in this talk are DEM (Discrete Element Method) and SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics). Coupling of these methods also provides powerful capabilities to model multiphase behaviour. Industrial application to crushing and grinding, mixing and water cooling will be presented. Coupling to biomechanical models allows simulation of humans interacting with their environment. Examples of elite swimming, diving, kayaking and skiing will be shown. The use of these methods to simulate digestion (from breakdown in the mouth through stomach) and intestines will also be discussed.
Monday 25
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dr Joëlle Gergis, Lecturer, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, University of Melbourne.

What was Australia’s climate like before official weather records began? How do scientists use tree-rings, ice cores and tropical corals to retrace the past? What do Indigenous seasonal calendars reveal? And what do settler diary entries about rainfall, droughts, bushfires and snowfalls tell us about natural climate cycles?

In her new book, Sunburnt Country, Dr Joelle Gergis pieces together Australia’s climate history for the first time. She uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability. She provides an unparalleled perspective on how human activities have altered patterns that have been with us for millions of years, and reveals what climate change looks like in our own backyard. This lecture highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems and the power we all have to shape future life on Earth.
Tuesday 26
13:00 - SEMINAR - Seminar : School of Human Sciences Seminar Series Website | More Information
Jennifer Young (Dual gradient hydrogel systems for mechanobiology applications): The spatial presentation of mechanical information is a key parameter for cell behavior. We have previously developed a method for creating tunable stiffness gradient polyacrylamide hydrogels with values spanning the in vivo physiological and pathological mechanical landscape. Importantly, we created gradients that do not induce durotaxis in human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs), thereby allowing for the presentation of a continuous range of stiffnesses in a single sample without the confounding effect of differential cell migration. Using these nondurotactic gradient gels, stiffness-dependent hASC morphology, migration, and differentiation were studied, providing high resolution data on stiffness-dependent expression and localization. Expanding upon this work, we are utilizing these gradient hydrogel systems to study cancer cell-ECM interactions. Interactions with the surrounding microenvironment have been shown to positively influence cancer cell survival and invasion by conferring adhesion-based resistance in response to chemotherapeutic drugs, and subsequently driving metastasis into surrounding tissues. In order to study a wide range of ECM environments, we produce dual-gradient systems by fabricating a gradient of ligands on top of our previously described stiffness gradient hydrogels. Ligand gradients are produced by either a gradient photomask to which proteins can be coupled to the substrate via a UV-sensitive crosslinker or by depositing a gradient of gold nanoparticles onto the hydrogel to which thiolated peptides can readily attach. Using these dual gradient hydrogels, we can better understand the interplay of substrate stiffness, ligand type, and ligand spacing in regulating adhesion-conferred chemoprotection in cancer cells. Andrew W. Holle (Under pressure: the role of multidimensional confinement in mechanobiology): As bioengineers systematically move from simple 2D substrates to more complex 3D microenvironments, the role of cellular and nuclear volume adaptation in response to these substrates is becoming more appreciated. Long, narrow PDMS microchannels, which recapitulate porous extracellular matrix (ECM) networks found in vivo, confine cells to a single axis of migration and require them to utilize a complex synergy of traction force, mechanosensitive feedback, and subsequent cytoskeletal rearrangement. This process exhibits characteristics of the poorly understood mesenchymal-to-amoeboid transition, in which cells alter their migratory phenotype in order to traverse narrow constrictions and more successfully metastasize. During channel permeation, the volume of the nucleus changes, suggesting that nuclear reorganization and volume adaptation is a key step for successful permeation. Volume adaptation is also an important phenomena in stem cell mechanobiology. 3D GelMA hydrogel scaffolds with linear stiffness gradients were used to confine stem cells in three dimensions, with cells in the soft end more able to deform the matrix and increase their cell volume, while those on the stiff end were more confined. Cells on the soft end, which were able to adapt their volume more efficiently, exhibited markers for osteogenesis, while those on the stiff end became more adipogenic. This trend, which is opposite to what is observed on 2D hydrogels, suggests that volume adaptation, not stiffness, is sufficient for mechanosensitive differentiation in 3D. Ultimately, as volume adaptation is ubiquitous in 3D microenvironments in vivo, new tools will lead the way in analyzing and understanding mechanobiology.

17:00 - SEMINAR - UWA Music presents: Callaway Centre Seminar Series - Pedro Alvarez : Notation as transcription, composition as translation More Information
A free weekly seminar series, with presenters from within UWA and from the wider community.

This week: Pedro Alvarez | Notation as transcription, composition as translation

Abstract: Music composition will be discussed in its dialectical situation between transcriptive and generative functions of notation. Analysing different approaches to such functions in recent compositional practices for context, I will present my most recent creative work.

Bio: Pedro Alvarez is an independent composer, improviser, and scholar, born in Chile and currently based in Western Australia. His creative work focuses on new forms of sonic narrative made of static situations, articulating simplicity of form in contrast with highly detailed textures. Research interests include aesthetics and politics, postcolonialism, and musical thinking since the 1960’s. Alvarez studied composition with Cirilo Vila in Santiago, with James Dillon in London, and with Liza Lim in Huddersfield, obtaining a PhD in 2014.

He has been hosted as composer-in-residence in Vienna and in Mexico, and receives commissions from festivals and ensembles around the world.

Free entry - all welcome. Please join us for refreshments after the seminar.
Thursday 28
16:00 - SEMINAR - Islands of History : Recent discoveries on Yaburara country (Dampier Archipelago) - historical inscriptions from pre-colonial visitors More Information
Research undertaken as part of the Murujuga: Dynamics of the Dreaming project across the Dampier Archipelago has discovered rock art that provides significant new evidence about historical visits before white settlement in 1861. These assist a better understanding of Yaburara life in the islands prior to the Flying Foam Massacre of 1868. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the Yaburara were using the islands during the late Holocene after an intensive period of occupation in the Early Holocene. This more recent use includes rock art production focussed on the islands’ margins. Amongst the most recent rock art repertoire of the outer islands is a newly discovered image of a ship. We argue that this is of the HMS Mermaid, a British vessel captained by Phillip Parker King in his survey of Australia’s coastlines in 1817-1822. This engraved ship provides additional insights into the cross-cultural encounters documented by King with the Yaburara people. Rosemary Island and West Lewis Island have also revealed the earliest archaeological evidence for the presence of American whalers in North West Australia, created by the crews of the whaleships Connecticut (1842) and Delta (1849). Rare examples of maritime inscriptions, these are, uniquely, superimposed over earlier Indigenous rock art motifs. These maritime commemorations represent distinct mark-making practices by North American whalers encountering an already-inscribed landscape, providing insight into the earliest phases of North West Australia’s colonial history.

17:00 - PERFORMANCE - UWA Music presents Centre Stage: Royal Over-Seas League Travel Award Finals More Information
A jam-packed program of stimulating performances and events in 2019 showcases the immense talent of our young emerging artists and their mentors, our celebrated alumni, and nationally and internationally recognised guest artists.

From masterclasses and workshops to intimate chamber performances and large- scale collaborations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, so come along to be inspired and entertained.

This week talented UWA music students compete in the Royal Over-Seas League Travel Award Finals - an amazing prize, which sees the winner undertake performances and training in the UK, with a special performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Free entry - no bookings required

 March 2019
Friday 01
11:00 - SEMINAR - Asian Studies Seminar Series : Negotiating difference through everyday encounter and its implications for life and relationship: Narratives of Thai-farang American interracial relationship. More Information
As the number of people involved in interracial relationships around the world has risen, scholars have increasingly paid attention to various aspects of interracial relationships, including identity development and challenges faced by these individuals. Despite this growing trend, little is known regarding how difference is negotiated by members of interracial unions as individuals instead of couples. The current research on interracial relationships has failed to explore the impact of everyday encounters on the life and relationship of their participants. Existing studies have focused on the US, UK and Australia. Further qualitative investigations of Thai-farang American relationships are needed as the contact between Thai and farang Americans are distinct from other types of romantic relationships. The influx of American GIs during the Vietnam War had a profound impact on Thai society as Thai-Western couples became prevalent ever since. Involvement in Thai-farang interracial relationships can also lead to the development of new understandings of one’s racial and ethnic identity. Two theoretical frameworks which are used in this study consist of intersectionality and ecological system theory. In combination with established qualitative research methods; semi-structured interviews and non-participant observation, this project aims to examine the ways in which Thais and farang Americans in interracial relationships negotiate difference in their everyday interaction from a variety of race, gender, class and marital status. The purpose of this research project is four-fold. First, this thesis seeks to explore how they see their relationship and identities within the relationship. Second, this dissertation also explores how others see them and their relationship. Third, this research will investigate how they manage difference in public environments and within intimate relationships. Fourth, this study seeks to examine the impact of everyday encounters on their life and relationship.

11:00 - SEMINAR - 'You gotta have a purpose' : Complex motivations for reinstating the intergenerational transmission of Australian Aboriginal Languages More Information
If, as argued by Joshua Fishman (1991), intergenerational language transmission within the family is the ‘unexpendable bulwark’ of language revitalization efforts, then what are the perspectives of learners and semi-speakers of Australian Aboriginal languages regarding the reinstatement of language transmission in their own families and communities where this process has been disrupted?

Using qualitative interviews with 32 semi-speakers across four Western Australian language communities - Noongar, Wajarri, Wangkatha, and Miriwoong - my research examines people’s motivations for learning and teaching their heritage languages to children; their beliefs about how children and adults learn language; and the range of influences on these beliefs and perspectives. In this presentation I will present some of the main findings of this research, focusing on what motivates semi-speakers’ to learn and transmit their heritage languages to children, if indeed this is desired.

According to Gardner (eg 2006), motivation comprises not just motives (purposes), but other attributes of the motivated individual, such as self-confidence and expectations. A thematic analysis of 32 transcribed interviews similarly revealed that speakers’ motivations for language revitalization comprised of their reasons, but also their perceived agency, and their beliefs about who has ‘linguistic responsibility’ (Chew 2015) for children learning language.

Speakers’ reasons for learning and teaching – or having children learn – language included those that focused on revitalizing the language itself, and those that benefited the child/caregiver relationship. Speakers assigned responsibility for ensuring that children learn language to a range of agents, including themselves as individuals, the broader family, schools, and the government. Finally, speakers’ motives and their sense of linguistic responsibility influenced their perspectives on their own agency and power to affect their children’s language acquisition.

These complex motivations have practical implications for language revitalization efforts generally, and specifically for the question of what place intergenerational language transmission holds as a method of language revitalization within endangered language communities.

13:00 - PERFORMANCE - UWA Music presents: Free Lunchtime Concert | Conservatorium of Music Staff More Information
Be transported from the everyday by our free lunchtime concert series, this week featuring staff from the Conservatorium.

Free entry - no bookings required
Tuesday 05
13:00 - SEMINAR - The effect of drone strikes in Pakistan on terrorism and anti-US sentiment More Information
This paper analyzes the consequences of the 425 drone strikes the US has conducted in Pakistan from 2006 – 2016. The existing literature provides arguments both in favor of and against the use of drones in combatting terrorism: On the one hand, drones are lauded for being a low-risk, affordable option that has killed key terrorist leaders and destroyed their communication channels. On the other hand, the civilian casualties termed as collateral damage are suggested to increase trauma in the civilian population, thereby facilitating the recruitment of prospective terrorists and inciting further terrorist attacks. We aim to isolate the causal effect of drone strikes on subsequent terrorism and anti-US sentiment. To do so, we employ an instrumental variable strategy using wind gust as an instrument which substantially affects the employability and effectiveness of drones, but is otherwise orthogonal to the terrorists’ actions. Data on drone strikes and terrorism are obtained from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), while data from Google trends and a leading Pakistani newspaper, The News, are used to capture radicalization and attitudes of Pakistanis toward the US. Our results suggest that maximum wind gust provides a powerful instrument in the first stage, predicting the day-to-day use of drone strikes by the US. Second-stage results produce a positive and statistically significant coefficient in predicting terror attacks in the upcoming weeks, suggesting that drone strikes encourage terrorism. The corresponding magnitudes are sizeable. Finally, data from Google trends and The News suggest that US drone strikes are increasing radicalization and anti-US sentiment in Pakistan.

Keywords: drone strikes; terrorism; anti-US sentiment
Thursday 07
12:00 - SEMINAR - Archaeology Seminar Series : Further explorations of the fossiliferous chert artefact record – building the links between the West Australian and South Australian archival records More Information
Eocene fossiliferous chert is a distinctive stone used in the manufacture of stone artefacts commonly found in archaeological sites in southwestern Western Australia (WA). Since disputing the ‘offshore source’ theory for this material, our research has focused on the characterisation and sourcing of this idiosyncratic material. These investigations include the use of nondestructive high-resolution X-ray computer tomographic (CT) imaging at the Australian Synchrotron to map and identify embedded bryozoan (and other) fossils within archival artefact samples and potential source material from offshore drill cores in the Perth Basin and from the Nullabor Plain to the east.

In addition, we have begun to explore the South Australian archival records, including from key archaeological sites including Allen’s Cave, Koonalda Cave and Wilson’s Bluff. Preliminary analyses indicate that both the bryozoan and foraminiferal fossil assemblages offer a viable means to characterize and potentially source fossiliferous chert artefacts. The potential for long-distance exchange of fossiliferous chert by Aboriginal people across Australia is supported by the archival records and published documents of Bates, Tindale and other researchers. It is argued that the Eucla Basin was a major source for fossiliferous chert artefacts found both east and west of Wilson’s Bluff. Further work combining biostratigraphy and lithology with archaeology and ethnography is needed to explore these ideas further.

17:00 - SEMINAR - Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) Seminar and Networking Event Website | More Information
There is a rapidly growing interest among agricultural research to work in international development. Certainly, it is an extraordinary field, filled with challenges, yet bringing enormous rewards. Some key questions that many enthusiasts face are:

How do I get involved?

What does a career in international development entail?

Which organisations exists and what do they do?

If any of the above ring a bell to you, please join us in our next RAID event. Researchers in Agricultural for International Development (RAID) is an Australia-wide network aimed at connecting, supporting and engaging with researchers with an interest in this space.

Please, join us on 7 March to meet and learn from top leading researchers in the field:

Dr Deborah Prichard: Senior Lecturer, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University

- Prof. Richard Bell: Professor in Land Management and leader of the Land Management Group at Murdoch University

- Prof. Kadambot Siddique: Hackett Professor of Agriculture Chair and Director, The UWA Institute of Agriculture

- Dr Eloise Biggs: Lecturer, Faculty of Science, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

- Prof. Tim Colmer: Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

- Dr David Mickler: Interim Director of the UWA Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC) and Senior Lecturer in Foreign Policy & International Relations in the School of Social Science, UWA

- Em Prof. Lynette Abbott: Senior Honorary Research Fellow, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, Crawford Fund WA Committee Coordinator

- David Windsor: Consulting Agricultural Scientist, WA Chair AG Institute Australia

Speakers will talk about their own experiences and provide tips on how to get actively involved in agricultural research for international development. The event is aimed at CONNECTING people with a common passion, so we encourage all attendees to participate in the networking after the talks. Nibbles and drinks will be provided.

The RAID team look forward to seeing you at the event!

Note: There is free parking in and around campus after 5pm.

19:30 - PERFORMANCE - UWA Music presents: Centre Stage | Smalley Unearthed More Information
An exceptional ensemble come together to perform works by Roger Smalley including the rarely heard Missa Parodia I & II and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra arranged by Adam Pinto for 2-pianos














The UWA Conservatorium of Music BRASS ENSEMBLE

Entry is free - all welcome
Friday 08
13:00 - WORKSHOP - Conducting a comprehensive literature search (Humanities and Social Sciences focus) Website | More Information
Ensure that your literature searching is effective, efficient and thorough.

Learn how to: Develop a search strategy; Identify relevant, scholarly information sources; Use tools and techniques to track the literature related to your research.

This session has a Humanities and Social Sciences focus.

14:30 - SEMINAR - The Business of Becoming a Female Maintainer More Information
Women comprise only 3% of mechanical and electrical trades in the Australian workforce. In recent years, state and national governments have provided incentives for more women to partake in trades. Additionally, following studies that show the positive correlation between gender diversity in the workplace and company profitability, growth and long-term value-creation, corporations are racing to increase diversity also. Never before has there existed such a strong structural and organizational shift co-aligning with women’s equality and opportunity in the workforce. A new landscape has formed. This session will report on 9 months of extensive fieldwork in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. This qualitative research lead to the discovery of rich life-histories of women who have pursued maintenance trades as an occupation as well as those who have recently entered the field. They demonstrate that women are just as capable as men to fulfil all work requirements. But, why then are not more women participating in this employment space? The research uncovers powerful spheres of influence that should be developing and expanding career opportunities and aspirations for women, such as the academe and the family, but in fact, contribute to confining them. Analysis of women’s experiences reveal a society that from the outset appears contemporary and progressive, but for the individual, notions of belonging and the process of becoming are still very much contoured by entrenched and conventional thought. Bonita Carroll is a Phd student in Anthropology and Sociology.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Groups and Combinatorics Seminar: Calin Borceanu, 4pm March 08 in Weatherburn LT More Information
Speaker: Calin Borceanu (UWA)

Title: Searching for partial congruence partitions in groups of order p^8

Time and Place: 4pm Friday 08 Mar 2019, Weatherburn LT

Abstract: A partial congruence partition (or PCP) of a group is defined simply as a set of pairwise disjoint subgroups which pairwise factorise the whole group. This project has focused on finding examples of PCP that are 'large' in the sense that they are close the best known theoretical bounds on the maximum number of subgroups comprising a PCP. In particular, we focused on the non-elementary abelian groups of order 2^8 and 3^8, where no large examples were previously known. These groups, with one exception, were exhaustively searched for large PCP. In this talk I will discuss some of the theoretical bounds with a focus on deriving results that are useful computationally, before moving on to some details of the computational enumeration.

Tuesday 12
13:00 - SEMINAR - China’s Marshall Plan : Neoclassical Realism, the European Recovery Program and the Belt and Road Initiative More Information
Since its advent in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been increasingly touted in media reports as ‘China’s Marshall Plan’. Despite these frequent references, there has yet to be an extensive comparative analysis of the BRI and the Marshall Plan. At its inception, the Marshall Plan was unprecedented and is now widely considered one of the most successful US foreign policy initiatives of all time. The BRI is a key element of China’s foreign policy and has been described as the biggest infrastructure-building project in human history. With the BRI being rolled out amidst increasing Chinese strategic competition with the US – likened by some analysts to a ‘new Cold War’ – it has never been more timely to investigate and compare these two hugely ambitious foreign policy initiatives. With China’s rapid rise marking the return of bipolarity in world politics, my research explores the use of economic statecraft within the context of such a fundamental shift in the distribution of power within the international system. In order to adequately compare the BRI to the Marshall Plan, neoclassical realism is employed as the theoretical framework. Neoclassical realism elucidates the systemic, cognitive and domestic variables of great power competition. Accordingly, neoclassical realism allows for the extensive comparative analysis of the Marshall Plan and the BRI on the basis of: the distribution of relative material capabilities in the international system; the impact of political leaders, ideological inclinations and strategic culture on foreign policymaking; and the capacity for the respective great powers to construe or misconstrue the intentions of their chief adversary.

16:00 - SEMINAR - Groups and Combinatorics Seminar: Sabina Pannek, 4pm March 12 More Information
Speaker: Sabina Pannek

Title: Elements with large irreducible submodules contained in maximal subgroups of the general linear group

Time and place: 4pm Tuesday 12 Mar 2019, Blakers LT

Abstract: We refer to an element of the finite general linear group GL(V) as being fat if it leaves invariant, and acts irreducibly on, a subspace of dimension greater than dim(V)/2. Fat elements generalise the concept of ppd-elements, which are defined by the property of having orders divisible by certain primes called primitive prime divisors. In 1997, Guralnick, Penttila, Praeger and Saxl classified all subgroups of GL(V) containing ppd-elements. Their work has had a wide variety of applications in computational group theory, number theory, permutation group theory, and geometry. Our overall goal is to carry out an analogous classification of all subgroups of GL(V) containing fat elements.

During my PhD candidature I examined the occurrence of fat elements in GL(V) and various of its maximal subgroups. I showed that, often, this problem can be handled in a uniform way by considering "extremely fat" elements and counting certain irreducible polynomials. In my talk, I will present this method for groups belonging to Aschbacher's C2 class. The results we obtain significantly differ from the findings of the ppd-classification.

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