UWA Logo What's On at UWA
   UWA HomeProspective Students  | Current Students  | Staff  | Alumni  | Visitors  | About  |     Search UWA    for      

What's On at UWA

* Login to add events... *
Today's date is Sunday, January 24, 2021
School of Human Sciences
 February 2017
Tuesday 28
13:00 - SEMINAR - Plasma steroid-binding proteins: Gatekeepers of steroid hormone action : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: Biologically active steroids are transported in the blood by albumin, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG). These plasma proteins also regulate the non-protein-bound or "free" fractions of circulating steroid hormones that are considered to be biologically active; as such, they can be viewed as the “primary gatekeepers of steroid action”. Albumin binds steroids with limited specificity and low affinity but its high concentration in blood buffers major fluctuations in steroid concentrations and their free fractions. By contrast, SHBG and CBG play much more dynamic roles in controlling steroid access to target tissues and cells. They bind steroids with high (~nM) affinity and specificity, with SHBG binding androgens and estrogens and CBG binding glucocorticoids and progesterone. Both are glycoproteins but are structurally unrelated, and they function in different ways that extend beyond their transportation or buffering functions in the blood. Plasma SHBG and CBG production by the liver varies during development and different physiological or pathophysiological conditions, and abnormalities in the plasma levels of SHBG and CBG or their abilities to bind steroids are associated with a variety of pathologies. Understanding how the unique structures of SHBG and CBG determine their specialized functions, how changes in their plasma levels are controlled, and how they function outside the blood circulation provides insight into how they control the freedom of steroids to act in health and disease.

The Speaker: Geoffrey Hammond obtained an MSc in Steroid Endocrinology from the University of Leeds, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Oulu, Finland. After postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco, he joined the University of Manchester to establish his research program with a grant from the MRC (UK). Dr. Hammond moved to Canada in 1984, where he held appointments in the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Oncology at the University of Western Ontario. In 2002, he was recruited by The University of British Columbia and served as the Scientific Director of the Child & Family Research Institute until 2012, when he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences. Professor Hammond has had a longstanding interest in endocrinology in general and the ways that steroid hormones function in particular. Steroid hormones control normal biological processes, but are implicated in many diseases, including reproductive disorders, inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hormone-dependent cancers of male and female reproductive tissues. The way steroids gain access to their target tissues is poorly understood, but this process is influenced primarily by two high affinity steroid-binding proteins in the blood: corticosteroid binding globulin and sex hormone-binding globulin. These two plasma proteins bind the glucocorticoids and the sex steroids (androgens and estrogens), respectively. Through a combination of molecular biological, biochemical, and physiological approaches, Professor Hammond and his trainees have defined how these steroid-binding proteins are produced and function with respect to normal development and aging, as well as in disease processes. In recognition of his contributions to our understanding of extracellular steroid-binding proteins, Professor Hammond received the Society for Endocrinology International Medal in 2105. He has published more than 200 scientific articles; held several patents and has collaborated extensively with the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries.

 March 2017
Tuesday 07
13:00 - SEMINAR - Placental origins of adult health and disease : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: Environmental challenges in utero perturb fetal growth and alter subsequent adult health outcomes. The role of the placenta and in particular, placental vasculature, in modulating these processes is uncertain. This imbalance in knowledge needs to be addressed in order to develop much needed diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for compromised pregnancies. Rodent models of decreased placental vascularity exhibit fetal growth restriction and retarded fetal heart development. Recently, we have shown that restoration of placental vascularity reverses the retarded fetal growth and cardiovascular development. We are currently working on understanding the development of placental vascular structure and how this alters in vivo placental blood flow and function. Ultimately, this work highlights the importance of placental vasculature in determining not just pregnancy outcome but long term health and disease outcomes.

The Speaker: After completion of her PhD at UWA, Caitlin Wyrwoll carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, UK with Profs Megan Holmes and Jonathan Seckl. During her 6 years at Edinburgh, she developed research interests in the significance of placental vascular development for future health outcomes. In 2011, she was awarded a British Heart Foundation Transition Fellowship at The University of Edinburgh. However, she was also offered a Lecturer position at The University of Western Australia, and returned to Australia. Caitlin Wyrwoll is currently a Lecturer in the School of Human Sciences at UWA and leads an enthusiastic research group focused on placental development and its influence on the fetus and future health outcomes.
Tuesday 14
13:00 - SEMINAR - The timing of stress: understanding adaptation in changing environments : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: Given the prediction for the increase to both the frequency and intensity of natural disasters due to global climate change, it is becoming increasingly important that we understand the impact of past disasters so we may be able to better mitigate the effects of future ones. Using data from the first long term study of the recovery of a wild primate population to a natural disaster; I will discuss the synergistic relationship between nutrition, disease and stress in determining population recovery following a severe environmental change. I will then discuss how the conclusions of this research left me with two questions to answer: How might exposure to regular natural disasters shape behavioural adaptation in non-human primates in the long term? And how might humans respond to similar environmental stressors given our close genetic relationship? This seminar will outline these ideas through an exploration of how we can use evidence of short term adaptation to build testable predictions regarding long term adaptations to sudden environmental change in non-human primates. It will then look at how this work can be extrapolated to humans to better mitigate our own exposure to sudden changes in environmental condition.

The Speaker: In 2010, Alison received a Ph.D from The University of Calgary in Anthropology (with a primatology specialization). Her dissertation work examined the effects of a major hurricane on a howler monkey population in Southern Belize, specifically examining the roles of food supply, nutrition, stress hormones and parasitism in the recovery of this population. From 2009 - 2011, Alison lectured in both the Department of Anthropology at The University of Calgary and The Department of Sociologyand Anthropology at Mount Royal University in Calgary. In 2011, she was appointed lecturer in Biological Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at The Australian National University. Currently, Alison is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Discipline in Biological Anthropology at ANU and an ARC DECRA fellow. Her current work builds on her previous research to explore how primates (human and non-human) adapt in the longer term to rapid and severe environmental change. She also conducts research projects on endangered primate species in Vietnam and Cambodia to understand how monkeys and apes adapt to different anthropogenic impacts including logging and poaching.

13:00 - SEMINAR - CMCA Seminar: Mechanobiology meets Immunology - Mechanical forces during T-cell activation : The understanding of antigen recognition and the following gene regulation may lead to better designs of immune-modulating therapeutics and vaccines. More Information
Modern molecular biology, with its emphasis on analysis of entire genomes, has provided a 'parts list' of cellular proteins as well as an enumeration of many of their associations, including receptor and ligand interactions. Missing from the molecular biological approaches, however, is an analysis of how mechanical forces affect the function of cells and protein complexes.
Tuesday 21
13:00 - SEMINAR - Lifestyle Diseases in Primates in Human Care: Type-2 Diabetes management in several primate species. : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: ‘Lifestyle diseases’ related to reduced exercise and increase in calorie intake, have become a significant medical problem for primates in long-term human care. In humans, excess of all macronutrients are metabolised into fat deposits (visceral and subcutaneous) and cause significant health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers. These metabolic consequences are also seen in non-human primates, when calorie intake outweighs calorie expenditure. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a lifestyle disease which has been described in many primate species: great apes, gibbons, Old World and New Wold monkeys and lemurs. I will describe the pathology of T2DM, clinical symptoms, and how early diagnostic tests and prompt treatment can lead to significant improvements in the health and longevity of non-human primates. Treating primates with T2DM can become very challenging and compliance with the treatment regime has to be accessed regularly. Training therefore becomes a vital part in the management of T2DM in primates. We will discuss the challenges of allowing long-term diagnosis and treatment of diabetic primates, as well as screening methods for seemingly healthy animals.

The Speaker: Dr Katja Geschke graduated from the Tierärztlichen Hochschule Hannover and received her PhD from the University of Munich. She worked as a veterinarian at Duisburg Zoo in Germany, Parque Las Aguilas in Tenerife in Spain, Wellington Zoo in New Zealand and is currently a clinical veterinarian at Perth Zoo. Katja’s special interests include marine mammal neonatology, anaesthesia, diabetes in primates and conservation medicine of Australasian native species.
Friday 24
13:00 - SEMINAR - Putting the balance back in diet: the nutritional geometry of health and ageing : SBS seminar series - invited speaker More Information
What constitutes a nutritionally balanced diet and how does diet balance impact health, reproduction and longevity? These are fundamental questions in biology that are of considerable significance to public health. In the talk I will set out a framework for describing the multidimensional nature of nutritional requirements, the relative values of foods in relation to these requirements, the behavioural and physiological responses when feeding on diets of varying composition, and the consequences of being restricted to particular diets. These models, called the Geometric Framework, arose from the study of nutritional ecology and were developed initially using a wide variety of species in the laboratory and the field. I will use examples spanning insects to humans to address problems in ageing, obesity and cardio-metabolic health.
Tuesday 28
13:00 - SEMINAR - Making useful human retina in vitro : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: A major goal in the stem cell field has been to generate human somatic tissues in vitro which closely represent their native counterparts in both structure and function. Such tissue represents an incredibly useful tool for the study of human development and disease, drug development, or as a source of transplantable tissue for patients suffering from disease or injury. Great efforts have been made to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells towards retinal tissue for ophthalmic research. Incredible advancements in this field over the past 5 years have demonstrated that optic cup morphogenesis can be orchestrated from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro. The resulting tissue, termed ‘retinal organoids’, contain multiple retinal phenotypes which are organised into a retinal-like cytoarchitecture, akin to the native developing human retina. Guided by this work, novel findings are already being disseminated, yet the numerous retinal induction protocols which exist still remain variable in their efficiency and are not yet able to produce morphologically or functionally mature retinal tissue. More consistent methods which yield retinal organoids with high frequency and minimal interorganoid variation, from which retinal phenotypes exhibiting mature features are born, is desirable for the expedient study of retinal development, disease and regeneration. In this seminar I will describe the research I have been doing over the past 9 years which has focused on the production of retinal tissue from human pluripotent stem cells. I will also discuss my most recent work which shows that the method of embryoid body formation employed at the onset of differentiation greatly influences the retinal differentiation potential of human pluripotent cells.

The Speaker: Dr Carla Mellough was born in Scotland and emigrated to Perth as a child. She was educated at The University of Western Australia, where she continued to study her PhD in E/Prof. Alan Harvey’s Neuroscience Laboratory. Her PhD focused on the functional restoration of retinal circuitry in animal models of inner retinal degeneration, by the intraocular transplantation of neural progenitor cells. This work demonstrated that the behaviour of transplanted cells can be influenced by cellular pre-treatment, the microenvironmental changes surrounding apoptosis and timing of transplant. Following her PhD, Carla moved to Durham University in the UK to commence a Research Associate position in Prof. Stefan Przyborski’s Stem Cell and Developmental Neuroscience team. There her research examined the effect of myelin-associated glycoprotein pathway components on adult neural progenitor populations, and how these might impact upon endogenous central nervous system repair. This work revealed that, unlike their developmental counterparts, adult-derived neural progenitors are susceptible to myelin inhibition of neuritogenesis during differentiation, and that this can be overcome by targeting specific signalling pathways. Dr Mellough then accepted a Senior Research Associate position in Prof. Majlinda Lako’s Stem Cell Group at Newcastle University, UK, to focus on photoreceptor production from human pluripotent stem cells. Dr Mellough continued to work with Prof. Lako for 9 years, of which 2 years were spent at the Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe in Valencia, Spain, gaining experience in human pluripotent stem cell expansion, characterisation and retinal differentiation. During this time, Dr Mellough established protocols for the production of photoreceptors and retinal pigmented epithelium from human pluripotent stem cells. Her research also identified an important role for Insulin-like growth factor-1 in human eye formation. More recently, Carla has developed a highly efficient in vitro protocol for the generation of three-dimensional laminated human retinal tissue reminiscent of the developing optic cup in utero. These ‘retinal organoids’, made entirely in the laboratory from human pluripotent stem cells, represent a useful in vitro platform for the study of human retinal development and disease. Dr Mellough has recently returned to Perth as the recipient of an independent Brian King Post-Doctoral Fellowship, based at the Lions Eye Institute in Nedlands. In her new role, her research is focused on improving upon the maturity and functional capacity of the human retinal organoids that we are currently able to achieve, in order to develop a more broadly applicable in vitro platform for interrogation. Additionally, by using cells obtained from patients affected by inherited retinal disease, she will directly study patient-derived retinal organoids in order to mine biological mechanisms underlying specific forms of visual loss that have not yet been studied in the human setting.

 April 2017
Monday 10
14:00 - STAFF EVENT - A Longitudinal, Competency-Based Clinical Assessment System : Presentation by a Futures Observatory Scholarship Holder Website | More Information
Come along to a presentation about how the School of Dentistry at UWA has developed and implemented a longitudinal, competency-based clinical assessment system. Its development was supported by a Futures Observatory Scholarship and is a joint effort between the School of Dentistry and the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at UWA. This system is now utilised school-wide at the School of Dentistry.

Its development was driven by the need to have a modern and robust competency-based assessment system that improves student learning, assists teaching and provides predictive data for future clinical performance of the student. This is particularly important in dentistry as dental students can practice dentistry as independent practitioners immediately after graduation.

The system is in fact an on on-line database structured around “core” and “silo” competencies as they translate to clinical dental practice. Students’ performance in attaining these competencies is tracked throughout the duration of the course and therefore one can monitor the progress, level of performance and its repeatability as well as the spectrum of competencies covered.

Other existing clinical assessment systems use a static, number-based approach. These are based on the inherent assumption that is a task is performed a number of times then at the end of this repetitive process then the associated competencies would have been attained. It is obvious therefore that with such systems the focus is on quantity rather than quality, is time-bounded and does not give enough information to easily identify the areas needing improvement.

The system which has been developed allows for the performance to be monitored longitudinally with a bias for quality rather than quantity using specific clinical dental criterion-referenced assessment rubrics.

The collected data is available in real-time individually to the students and to the staff using a simple web browser. The student has the benefit of receiving objective feed-back that tracks their own progress and identifies precisely the core competencies that need improvement. The staff and the school can monitor more efficiently the clinical performance of the students, either on individual or as a group

Although the application has been developed for dental teaching the platform can be translated to any other course that is competency-based and uses CRA to assess the student performance. It can customised to specific needs, deployed in a variety of environments and to use it one would need just internet access and a web browser.
Thursday 13
9:00 - EVENT - Pawsey Clinic at The University of Western Australia : Pawsey Clinics are events organised for researchers who need to use Pawsey services. Website | More Information
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre would like to invite you to the Pawsey Clinic at The University of Western Australia. This is one of a series of clinics. The clinic will commence with a 30 minute presentation about the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre at 9.00am, followed by consultations through the morning.


Pawsey Clinics are events organised for researchers who need to use Pawsey services. They can find out how to gain access to supercomputing, data or visualisation systems and how they can benefit from the expertise of Pawsey staff in transitioning their research. This is also an opportunity for current users who need one-on-one advice from one of Pawsey’s experts to take their research to the next level or get help with code issues.


Researchers who do not know how supercomputing, data and visualisation services can improve their projects.

Pawsey users that need a one-on-one session with a Pawsey expert to get answers about issues including queue scripts, source code compilation and debugging, profiling, data and workflow needs, and any other matters they may have.


The University of Western Australia, Conference Room in the Pawsey at UWA offices located on the ground floor of the Physics building. 9.00 am to 12.00 pm, Thursday 13 April 2017. The is a free event. Please RSVP before Friday 7 April Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues if you think it might be of interest. The information has been uploaded into our calendar of events: https://www.pawsey.org.au/events/?date=Apr%202017 and also into the Pawsey Clinics page: https://www.pawsey.org.au/pawseyclinics/

 May 2017
Tuesday 02
16:00 - EVENT - Psychology Colloquium: Towards a new understanding of object perception (Prof Mary. A. Peterson) University of Arizona More Information
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 2nd May 4:00-5:00pm in Bayliss MCS G.33, followed by post-talk drinks in the Psychology Courtyard (or, in bad weather, the Psychology Common Room, 2nd floor of main psychology building)

Presenter: Prof Mary A. Peterson (U Arizona)

Title: Towards a new understanding of object perception.


Visual perception was long understood as a serial feedforward process in which, at a very early stage of processing, borders between regions in the visual input were assigned as bounding contours to the region on one side; this constituted object detection (aka figure assignment). The other region, lacking a shaping contour, was perceived as a locally shapeless ground to the object. On this feedforward view, object memories and semantics were accessed only after object detection occurred and only for objects ("figures"), not for grounds. Research in my laboratory shows that this traditional view is incorrect, and favors the alternative view that before object detection, a fast pass of processing activates multiple possible object hypotheses that could fit both sides of borders. These hypotheses compete for perception at high (e.g., perirhinal cortex of the MTL) and low (V1 and V2) levels of the visual hierarchy. The winner is detected/perceived; the loser is suppressed. In my talk, I will review some history and then summarize six recent experiments consistent with the view that object detection occurs via hierarchical Bayesian inference.

Speaker Bio:

Mary Peterson is a Professor and the Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona. She is also Affiliate Faculty at the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, Chair of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, and an Executive Committee Member at the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior. Dr. Peterson investigates how we perceive the world visually. She uses cognitive neuroscience techniques (e.g., ERPs, fMRI, and behavioral methods) to investigate the competitive processes producing object perception, and how they are affected by context; the reciprocal relationship between perception and memory; feedforward and feedback mechanisms in perception; how unconsciously activated knowledge affects attention and perception; and how brain damage and aging affect the perception of, and memory for, objects. Her research is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research through a Multi-University Research Initiative. The National Science Foundation has been a major source of funding throughout her career. Professor Peterson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); of the American Psychological Association (APA); the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Psychonomic Society. She is an elected member of the International Neuropsychological Symposium (INS) and the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP). She has served on the Governing Boards of the Vision Sciences Society and the Psychonomic Society and as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society. She is a founding member of the Configural Processing Consortium, and is currently serving as the President (2016 – present). She served twice as a member of the National Science Foundation, Human Perception and Action panel, as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, WIRES: Cognitive Science, and the Journal of Vision, in addition to reviewing articles for many journals and international granting agencies. Moreover, Dr. Peterson is one of the founding organizers of "Females of Vision, et al" (FoVea, https://www.facebook.com/FoveaVision/ founded in 2016), whose goal is to enhance the success of women in vision science; she obtained a grant from the National Science Foundation to support FoVea's activities (2016 – 2019). She has been a member of the advisory board of Women in Cognitive Science (https://womenincogsci.org/) since its inception in 2000. She has attended the WICS workshops held annually in association with the Psychonomic Society, serving as a WICS panel member (twice), a group discussion group leader, and as a speed mentor. In addition Dr. Peterson participates in WICS activities promoting women scientists throughout the year. At the University of Arizona, Dr. Peterson is a member of the Psychology Department Diversity Committee, and has held informal professional issues workshops with Psychology graduate students.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com
Tuesday 09
13:00 - SEMINAR - The respiratory health effect of electronic cigarettes : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: Electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”) heat and aerosolise a liquid solution (“e-juice”) producing an aerosol which is inhaled. They are a new technology and their use is widespread and increasing rapidly. In many countries, the number of people regularly using e-cigarettes is doubling annually. The latest available estimates suggested there were 200,000 Australian users in 2013 with further growth likely, even though the supply of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, and the possession or use of nicotine in e-cigarettes without approval in Australia is illegal. Despite this, the potential for e-cigarette use to impact health is virtually unknown. Due to their recent introduction into widespread use, very little research has been conducted into their potential to impact health and thus the long-term risks associated with chronic e-cigarette use are unknown. In this presentation, A/Prof Larcombe will give a whirlwind tour of current e-cigarette health research including a summary of recent experimental studies in animals and humans.

The Speaker: Associate Professor Alexander Larcombe began work at the Telethon Kids Institute in 2005 and is now a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Environmental Health team. During his time at the Institute Associate Professor Larcombe has led many research projects, primarily investigating the physiological consequences of early-life exposure to a range of respiratory system insults including: • allergen exposure (particularly ovalbumin and house dust mite as models of allergic airways disease), • respiratory viral infection (including rhinovirus and influenza) and • exposure to environmental pollutants (including electronic cigarettes, tobacco smoke, diesel/biodiesel exhaust and arsenic). Associate Professor Larcombe's research has shown how exposure to such insults in early-life (including in utero) can have significant impacts on lung growth and lung function, and lead to life-long respiratory disease. The goals of his research are to establish and employ relevant models of respiratory dysfunction which can be easily manipulated to identify mechanisms of disease. Once likely mechanisms are fully identified, Associate Professor Larcombe employs specific interventional studies with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of early-life respiratory system insults on lung function which, in the long term, will improve the health of children and families.
Wednesday 10
11:00 - WORKSHOP - Aligning Learning Outcomes with Assessment : A workshop Website | More Information
This workshop is for the academics interested in discussing how the learning outcomes of their units can be best aligned with various assessment tools.
Friday 12
15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - The Square Kilometre Array and How it Will Work : Public Talk with Kevin Vincen Website | More Information
Kevin Vinsen is helping solve the extraordinary computational challenges facing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). A Senior Research Fellow with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Vincen is a computational astronomy polymath - expert in numerous coding languages, artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms, high performance computing, data intensive astronomy, data mining, business analysis, games development, and command and control systems.

The data requirements for the SKA are astronomical, quite literally. When complete, the amount of data flowing from the SKA’s 10s of thousands of antennae will be measured in exabytes per day. Just one exabyte contains as much information as 2,000,000 Bluray Disks, a stack of 12km high each day.

Vincen enjoys talking about his passion for big science projects and speaks often at schools, community groups and for industry audiences. When he’s not dealing with super computers Kevin works on on a citizen science project called the PS1 Optical Galaxy Survey (POGS), a part of the SkyNet initiative. Using the collective processing power of home computers POGS is helping astronomers and astrophysicists to calculate the spectral energy distributions from optical infra-red and ultraviolet images to produce the first public catalog of its kind. This will require 10’s of millions of CPU hours to calculate and 100’s of TBytes of storage.

Vincen considers himself one of the luckiest astronomy geeks on the planet. He is paid to do what he loves - astronomy and computing with some of the biggest baddest computers on the planet. No wonder he is always smiling.
Tuesday 16
11:00 - WORKSHOP - Assessment: Using objective test items : This workshop is second in series for faculty development in assessment. Website | More Information
This workshop will focus on test construction and test item development.The participants will have an opportunity to discuss different types of objective test items and review a sample of test items in the light of universally accepted guidelines.
Tuesday 23
13:00 - SEMINAR - Big data is a big deal: How electronic data can improve research from a dental perspective : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: Despite many advances and innovations in dentistry, epidemiological data indicates that access and affordability continues to be a major barrier to visiting the dentist. This is despite unprecedented funding from state and local governments over the past decade and an increase in the number of training positions. Governments and various oral health groups have yet to reach an agreement on an appropriate funding mechanism and model of care. Resultantly, there have been range of short lived oral health policies in Australia. One major problem is the lack of evidenced based research applicable to the Australian climate. The introduction of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme (CDDS) represented the first major oral health policy to attract Medicare benefits. The CDDS not only provided an insight into how well actual policy fared under the current system but also an insight into effective methods of data collection. Data collection has traditionally been seen as one of the most taxing and vexing parts of research, especially in a field as large as epidemiology. This field of study typically requires large data where there are difficulties in sampling, methodological inadequacies, standardisation and statistical inferencing. Quite often, missing data is just as critical to data available for analysis. Enter electronic health and big data. Computer technology has not only changed clinical practice but also improved the way in which records are documented and how data is managed. As such, it is possible to seamlessly obtain complete or census data without many of the traditional barriers in data collection. Put simply, big data is a big deal and leads to better research and clinical outcomes. This seminar is an informal presentation which encourages interaction and aims to discuss epidemiology and e-health in the context of public health dentistry. Case examples will be discussed through a series of published articles as part of a thesis dissertation produced at the school. The significance of big data and how it can improve research and the delivery of health policy will be discussed as well as what missing data in epidemiology may mean in reality. Finally, the seminar will also offer insights into the presenters own experiences in publishing articles in peer reviewed journals.

The Speaker: Raymond completed his general dental training at The University of Western Australia. He graduated with honours and dux of his graduating year in 2008, winning the Wynn Needman Memorial Prize. He was also the recipient of the Pierre Fauchard Undergraduate Award of Merit for academic excellence and demonstrating leadership qualities. He achieved accreditation with the Australian Society of Implant Dentistry. Raymond is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons by Examination. He is currently the Regional Chair/President of the WA branch of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. Raymond is also a Senior Research Fellow at the International Research Collaborative-Oral Health and Equity, The University of Western Australia. He has over a dozen publications as primary author in local and international peer reviewed journals. Areas where he has published include dental trauma, dental public health and epidemiology, oral oncology, primary care dentistry, health law and eHealth. His current research is investigating the use of skeletal anchorage devices in orthodontics. Raymond has also been a reviewer for various health journals in Australia. He completed his doctorate thesis titled “How to improve dental health and make oral health policy work” at The University of Western Australia. Raymond has been in full time general practice dentistry and has worked in various settings since 2009. This included experiences both country and metropolitan clinics, government health services and private practice dentistry. He also served as an after-hours emergency consultant at Royal Perth Hospital.

16:00 - EVENT - Psychology Colloquium: The Role of Neurocognitive Functions in Using the Internet for Health and Household Activities; Prof Steven Woods (U Houston) More Information
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 23rd May 4:00-5:00pm in Bayliss MCS G.33, followed by post-talk drinks in the Psychology Courtyard (or, in bad weather, the Psychology Common Room, 2nd floor of main psychology building)

Presenter: Prof Steven P. Woods (U Houston)

Title: The Role of Neurocognitive Functions in Using the Internet for Health and Household Activities.


The Internet plays a fundamental role in the everyday lives of persons living with chronic medical conditions, and is a platform upon which many instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and health behaviors occur. Successful Internet use for such activities is multi-determined, but emerging evidence points toward the importance of neurocognitive functions such as attention, processing speed, and executive abilities (e.g., problem-solving). Indeed, most of us have experienced the frustrations of forgetting Internet login passwords or difficulty navigating complex websites to find information and perform transactions. This presentation critically examines the role of neurocognitive functions in using the Internet for health and household activities. After reviewing the extant scientific literature, data are presented from a federally-funded study that systematically examined this issue in persons living with HIV disease using four novel, Internet-based tasks of household functioning and health behaviors. Participants used mock credentials to log-in to an experimenter-controlled website and independently perform a series of typical online household (e.g., manage their finances, shop for goods) and health-related behaviors (e.g., refill a prescription, read and interpret an electronic chart note, and schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider). Results show that persons with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders were at high risk for failure on these Internet-based tasks as compared to their HIV-infected counterparts without neurocognitive disorders and seronegative participants. Performance on these Internet-based tasks were independently associated with demographic factors, health literacy, specific neurocognitive domains, and well-validated health- and performance-based everyday functioning outcomes. Findings are discussed with an eye toward enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of Internet use for essential IADLs and health behaviors among persons living with chronic medical conditions.

Speaker Bio:

Professor Steven Paul Woods is the Director of the Cognitive Neuropsychology of Daily Life (CNDL) Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at The University of Houston (Texas, USA). His NIH-funded program of research uses cognitive theory to enhance the clinical detection, prediction, and remediation of real-world health outcomes in various neuropsychological populations, including HIV disease and aging. He has published over 200 scientific papers and sits on the editorial boards of five clinical neuropsychology journals. Professor Woods also has active teaching and research collaborations on these topics with colleagues at UC-San Diego (California, USA) and the University of Western Australia, where he maintains adjunct professorships.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor, Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com
Friday 26
15:00 - PUBLIC TALK - John Public As We See Him: Returning Authoritative Perspectives on “Midgets”, Science and Depression-era Show Audiences : Public Talk with Guy Kirkwood Website | More Information
Buddie Thompson, a self-described ‘midget’ with a penchant for studying his fellow human beings (both ‘little’ and ‘big’), navigated complex and competing conceptualisations of what being short-statured signified in the Depression-era United States. In these years the American ‘Freak Show’ no longer held the same widespread popular appeal it had had prior to the beginning of the century, while the discourses of medical science, reflecting the height of the eugenics movement as well as recent developments in the new field of endocrinology, intersected to make for particularly dangerous ground for those with ‘extraordinary bodies’. Thompson, and other ‘little people’ had career options which expanded beyond the increasingly moralised ‘freak show’, to traveling ‘midget troupes’, ‘Liliputian’ operatic companies, and miniature sized ‘midget city’ exhibits at World’s Fairs, but these involved no less fraught performative styles of self-representation.

By closely analysing Buddie Thompson’s insider account of little person show performers, As I Know Them: A Midget’s Story of Show People, self-published in 1936, I will examine how Thompson developed a unique and authoritative perspective which engaged in the complex and competing discourses of both popular culture and medical science. Thompson specifically rejected the social authority of medical physicians and their advice on new experimental hormone treatments, but only by professing to a superior scientific knowledge of the functioning of ‘glands of internal secretion’. He also rejected popular and offensive ‘outsider’ accounts of ‘midget’ show life offered by journalists which traded in obscenity and perverse interest, while nonetheless retaining countless anecdotes which played upon stereotypes of prodigious (but nonetheless ‘healthy’) male midget sexuality. Most importantly, Thompson devoted large parts of his narrative to returning gaze upon ‘John Public’ himself/herself, making his audience and readers the target of a close sociological and psychological study typically reserved for those with supposedly pathological or non-normative bodies. While Thompson lived until 1968, his relatively short show career, which appears to have finished before the end of the 1930s but included involvement in important historical moments like the Chicago Century of Progress World’s Fair, spoke to the increasingly difficulties of self-exhibition for small-statured people as a potentially empowering and profitable occupation supplanted and specifically rejected by the more recognisable minority-modelled organisations such as the Little People of America.

Guy Kirkwood is a PhD student at The University of Western Australia whose research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century American 'freak shows'. His working thesis aims to locate the perspectives and performance strategies of specific individuals within different historical and cultural moments, as well as within distinct regimes of normalisation. He has also taught some second and third year units at UWA, focusing broadly on African American history, as well as American colonialism. Guy hopes to finish his PhD at the end of the year and to have the opportunity to pursue future projects in the 'sideshow' of academia.
Tuesday 30
13:00 - SEMINAR - Human skeletal remains associated with the mutiny of the VOC Retourschip Batavia, 1629: preliminary findings of the 2015/2016 field season : School of Human Sciences (APHB) Seminar Series Website | More Information
The Seminar: On 4 June 1629, the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) retourschip Batavia wrecked on Morning Reef, in the Houtman Abrolhos, approximately 65 km off the Western Australian coast. The macabre events following the wrecking saw more than 100 individuals murdered over a three-month period, by mutineers attempting to subjugate surviving crew and passengers. The historical significance of the latter is well established, and has been reconstructed, through the analysis of an extensive archaeological record, both maritime and terrestrial. With specific reference to known discoveries of human skeletal remains, four individual burials were recovered on Beacon Island between 1960 to 1964; a further six individuals were recovered from a multiple grave that was excavated in stages between 1994 and 2001. A multi-disciplinary collaboration of national and international partners performed a remote sensing program involving magnetics and conductivity mapping and GPR profiling followed by a series of targeted excavations on Beacon Island in January and February of 2015, and November 2016; this included the excavation of the recently rediscovered location of the postcranial remains of a skull originally removed in 1964, in addition to excavations in the southern region of the island where a human molar was found 2013. The latter discovery proved fortuitous, with the excavation culminating in the discovery of an intact human burial at over one meter in depth. Further excavation in the area to the immediate north led to the discovery of a further two individuals buried in direct association, one on top of the other. In 2016 a further individual was found, along with ceramics. The aim of the present presentation is to briefly describe the skeletal remains of the 2015-16 field season, including their burial context, and preliminary analyses of their demographics (sex, age and stature), including descriptions of potential palaeopathology.

The Speaker: Daniel Franklin has an honours degree in bioarchaeology and a PhD in physical anthropology. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Centre for Forensic Anthropology, School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia. His research involves the validation and exploration of alternative approaches for the quantification of skeletal biology and to advocate its potential applications in the forensic sciences. He has published extensively in a variety of journals, most recently in the Journal of Forensic Sciences; Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology; American Journal of Physical Anthropology; and the International Journal of Legal Medicine.

 June 2017
Tuesday 20
16:30 - EVENT - Psychology Colloquium: John Wixted (UCSD) on models of lineup memory More Information
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 20th June 4:30-5:30pm in Bayliss MCS G.33

Presenter: Prof John Wixted (UCSD)

Title: Models of Lineup Memory


Both in the lab and in the field, face recognition memory is often tested using a photo lineup. A photo lineup typically consists of six or more photos, one of a suspect, who is either guilty (previously seen) or innocent (not previously seen), and several others of physically similar fillers, all of whom are known to be innocent. For many years, different photo lineup formats, such as presenting the photos simultaneously or sequentially, have been tested to determine if one format is diagnostically superior to the other. Recently, and inspired by signal detection theory, competing lineup formats have been compared using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The results generally show that presenting faces simultaneously improves the ability of eyewitnesses to discriminate between innocent and guilty suspects. Here, we present three competing signal-detection models of lineup recognition memory, derive their likelihood functions, and fit them to empirical ROC data from a variety of recent studies. The model that most accurately characterizes the ROC data incorporates an established principle from basic cognitive science known as "ensemble encoding," a principle that naturally applies to the presentation of a set of similar items (such as the faces in a lineup). The ensemble model also accords with a previously proposed theory of eyewitness identification according to which the simultaneous presentation of faces in a lineup enhances discriminability compared to when faces are presented in isolation by permitting witnesses to detect and discount non-diagnostic facial features (the same features that comprise the ensemble representation).

Speaker Bio:

John Wixted received his Ph.D. in 1987 from Emory University in clinical psychology and is now a Distinguished Professor of experimental psychology at the University of California, San Diego. His research is concerned with understanding the mechanisms of human memory, focusing on the neuroscience of memory and amnesia, signal-detection analyses of recognition memory, and, eyewitness memory. Professionally, he has served as editor-in-chief of Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, and he is the current editor-in-chief of the 4th Edition of the venerable Stevens' Handbook, now entitled the Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. He has won several teaching awards over the years, and in 2011, he was the recipient of the Howard Crosby Warren Medal for outstanding achievement in experimental psychology.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com

Tuesday 27
9:00 - EVENT - Introductory Statistics Website | More Information
The aim of this course is to introduce you to basic statistics. It will cover descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations); data exploration; basic categorical data analysis; simple linear regression and basic analysis of variance (ANOVA). The statistical package SPSS will be used to illustrate the ideas demonstrated. The course will be held in a computer laboratory allowing participants to immediately apply the material covered through a series of practical examples.

Alternative formats: Default | XML

Top of Page
© 2001-2010  The University of Western Australia
Questions? Mail [email protected]