Faculty of Veterinary Science
Winter Edition 2016
From the ADR desk...
Research Newsletter Winter Edition 2016
Hello to all researchers in the Faculty and wider Schools,

Winter Is Here!

This is apparent for a number of reasons (and not just because the temperatures are now cold enough to allow the white walkers to roam around campus in broad daylight)… It seems a lot quieter on campus with many staff now heading to the warmer climates for conference season. If you are attending a conference, don’t forget to forward your abstracts Marie Wildridge to have them listed on IRMA. Please send her the:Link to the conference web site
  • Conference paper or abstract (pdf)
  • Program (pdf)
Further information of requirements can be found HERDC page on the intranet.

If you can keep on top of this, it will prevent the last minute rush to get things updated before promotions and other applications.

Yesterday’s staff news included details of a new initiative as part of the DVC-Rs Research Strategy: if you have recently missed out on a linkage grant, check out this opportunity for seed funding here: (new industry and community engagement seed funding program.) This follows the announcement a couple of weeks ago on the new university researcher development program, the Sydney Research Accelerator SOAR Fellowships. EOI are due at the end of the month.

 I would like remind the ECR & MCRs not to forget the collaboration workshop to be held next week. This will be a practical session where you will learn how to approach, set up and manage new international collaborations. Please email Marie at marie.wildridge@sydney.edu.au if you haven’t yet RSVP’d – there may be one of two places still available.

Also on the topics of ECRs, do you spend too much time chained to your desk?  Have you forgotten what the outside world looks like in the daylight? Maybe you need a break! We would like to set up an informal (social) group so you can occasionally get together for a laugh, cry, or moan about your supervisors. Oh, and we can put you in touch with the more serious EMCR groups as well. Look out for an email asking to meet up for lunch soon!

On a more serious matter, RIBG has now been allocated and distributed across Faculty. I do have to remind you to spend spend spend! We will not be able to carry forward any leftover funds from mid-November- no matter how sad the reason. This is due to us completing the transition into SOLES next year. So please don’t come asking for an extension, because it makes me sad if I have to say no L.

On a more positive note, we are looking for expressions of interest for small research equipment. You should receive an email and EOI form template in your inboxes soon. We don’t yet know the amounts available, but we do know that when we get the OK, we will (again) only have a short turnaround on the funds, so be prepared! Priority will be given to pieces of equipment that will be used by multiple groups, and thus give the biggest return to Faculty.

Did you know the University is running crowdfunding programs now? The Save Our Devils fund is currently running (and has achieved its goal with 3 days to go), after the successful Animals In Need Funds and Wildlife at the Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet hospital campaigns were run. For more information, check out https://crowdfunding.sydney.edu.au/, or email us at vetsci.adr@sydney.edu.au if you are interested in setting up your own fund.

Happy Researching,


 PS: Twitter count is now 96 followers… Don’t forget to follow & tag @Sydney_Vet if you have a story, paper or just a cool photo to tweet!

Who is making headlines???
Selected news stories:-

IFL Science (US) published images by Dr Glenn Shea from the Faculty of Veterinary Science to illustrate the task of describing and understanding biodiversity.

7LA Launceston interviewed Dr Catherine Grueber from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the ‘Save our Tasmanian Devils’ crowdfunding campaign

PhD candidate from the Faculty of Veterinary Science Alex John was interviewed on ABC (Illawarra, Ballarat) about his research on robotic milking systems delivered at the Dairy Foundation’s 2016 Symposium.

Stuff.co.nz (NZ) interviewed Professor Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Veterinary Science about his research into feeding patterns amongst Farewell Spit gannets.

Daily Telegraph reported that The University of Sydney’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital has established a canine blood bank to meet urgent demand

ABC Illawarra
interviewed Dr Gregory Cronin from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about consumer backlash over caged egg production systems.

The Sunday Tasmanian quoted Dr Carolyn Hogg ( from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about her research, tapping into the gene pool of an isolated population of Tasmanian devils.  

Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk from the Faculty of Veterinary Science spoke to ABC Illawarra about the Dairy Symposium.

Yahoo! (Spain) quoted Dr Derek Spielman from the Faculty of Veterinary Science in an article about pheromones and attraction in kangaroos.

The Guardian reported on the robotic farm assistants, a collaboration between the University’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics and the Faculty of Veterinary Science. Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies was quoted.

Professor Vanessa Barrs from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was quoted in the Daily Telegraph about the behaviour and average distance travelled by cats.

Today on Sunday on Channel 9 interviewed PhD candidate Rebecca Gooley from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the discovery of genetically diverse Tasmanian devils.

Yahoo (US) and South China Morning Post quoted Associate Professor Damien Higgins from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the long terms prospects for the survival of koalas.

Channel 7 News (Sydney, Perth) and Southern Cross Tasmania interviewed Professor Yani Garcia from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the potentially harmful bacteria in raw milk after the NSW Food Authority approved a raw milk product.

The Washington Post (US) quoted Dr Derek Spielman from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the behaviour of a silverback gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo which has generated online debate.

Dr Camilla Whittington from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was quoted on SBS Online about genetic coding of specific traits.

The Daily Telegraph, Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin and ABC Central Coast interviewed Professor Katherine Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), about the discovery of a new Tasmanian devil population.

Professor Katherine Belov, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement), was interviewed on ABC (NewsRadio, 774 Melbourne) about the discovery of a new Tasmanian devil population. Dr Carolyn Hogg from the Faculty of Veterinary Science spoke to 936 ABC Hobart about the research.

IFL science (Canada) reported on research by Professor Kathy Belov from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the discovery of a genetically different Tasmanian devil in south-west Tasmania.

Dr Joy Becker from the Faculty of Veterinary Science spoke to 891 ABC Adelaide about caring for pet fish.

3AW Melbourne interviewed Professor Carolyn Hogg from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the discovery of a new colony of Tasmanian devils. 702 ABC Sydney also reported on the University of Sydney research.

Daily Mail (UK) reported on cross-disciplinary research involving the use of small cameras to monitor booby birds. Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Veterinary Science and Dr Peter Jones, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, are leading the research.

The Age reported PhD researcher Rebecca Gooley confirmed the discovery of a new Tasmanian devil population. Professor Katherine Belov, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement), was quoted on how the discovery of nine new genetic variants would aid the species’ outlook. 936 ABC Hobart mentioned University of Sydney research on the Tasmanian devil population.

Dr Joy Becker from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was interviewed on 720 ABC Perth about the origins and life expectancy of gold fish and how best to care for them.

IFL Science (Canada) published an opinion piece by Dr Joy Becker from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about why we shouldn’t flush dead fish down the toilet.

The Conversation published an opinion piece by Dr Joy Becker from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about why we shouldn’t flush dead fish down the toilet.

Professor Paul McGreevy from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was interviewed on ABC News (24, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart) and Lateline about his research on the serious health and welfare issues relating to the use of horse bridals. The research was also reported on ABC (702 Sydney, 774 Melbourne) and triple j.

ABC Lateline, ABC News Online, ABC News Radio (Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney), triple j and ABC 702 Sydney reported on a University study led by Professor Paul McGreevy from the Faculty of Veterinary Science which found that nosebands triggered a stress response in horses.

The Conversation published an opinion piece by Professor Paul McGreevy from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the use of nosebands on horses.

The Huffington Post (US) mentioned research by Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer from the Charles Perkins Centre about protein cravings.
30 Seconds with Dr Darryl Stellmach
1.  What is your area of expertise? I’m a medical anthropologist, which is a branch of sociocultural anthropology that entails the study of the social processes around health and health care.

Generally, sociocultural anthropologists investigate macro-phenomena through the micro-perspective of participant observation (also called ethnography)—usually this means being present for an extended period of time in a community, getting to know people, factions and values along with the daily and seasonal rhythms of life.

This provides a perspective that may not be gleaned through more punctual survey or interview methods. The long-term perspective that comes from field presence and continuity through time is perhaps the key thing medical anthropology can offer to other health disciplines.

In my case, I look at how individual people understand and confront health, environmental and nutritional crisis in their everyday lives. My core study looks at risk and emergency as social phenomena; in particular, nutritional crisis, epidemics and humanitarian emergencies. I’m interested in how people know what they know about emerging dangers to health and wellbeing.

This work is important because it informs clinical and public health approaches to the identification and response to epidemics and other potentially large-scale threats to human and animal health.

2.   Most exciting Research discovery to date?

My doctoral thesis attempted to describe the social life of a nutritional emergency. I spent nearly a year embedded with an aid agency as they responded to the 2013 outbreak of conflict in South Sudan, and the emergent potential for famine within the country. This meant much time spent in meeting rooms and behind epidemiological spreadsheets, but also in clinics, patient wards and homesteads in remote parts of South Sudan. I also passed a little bit of time in sandbag bunkers, since conflict was ongoing in some places.

The research is exciting because, to the best of my knowledge, it’s the first monograph-length participant observation study of an aid agency in over the course of a humanitarian crisis response; as such it hopefully produces some novel insight into how practitioners identify and deal with nutritional emergency as it happens.

3.    What is on your Research bucket list?
My appointment is shared between the vet faculty, the Charles Perkins Centre and the Marie Bashir Institute. So I’m interested in positioning my existing research at the intersection of these three mandates: looking at subjects such as epidemic zoonosis and the role of animal health in food and nutrition security.

4.   Something about you that we don’t know ?

My research interests come from my previous career. I was an aid worker myself for ten years—a field manager for emergency medical and nutritional programs in war, disaster and pre/post-conflict zones. Many of the questions I study come from that time, questions that confront emergency managers every day. I do my best to make my work relevant to medical responders and others who deal with medical and nutritional crises in their daily lives.

30 Seconds with Visiting Academic Dr A K M Anisure Rahman
1.  What was your PhD Area, who were your supervisors,  and when did you graduate?
PhD Area: Epidemiology of brucellosis in humans and domestic ruminants
Supervisors: Professor Claude Saegerman (University of Liege, Belgium) and Professor Dirk Berkvens (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium) Graduated: 2 March 2015

Image courtesy of Dr Rahman:-(L) Prof. Dirk Berkvens (M) Dr A.K.M. Anisur Rahman (R) Prof Claude Sagermen

2.   Current area of employment?
Veterinary Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine

3. How did you first get involved in this area?
Got interest from my former Masters’ supervisor Professor Dr. M. Nooruddin. His impressive talk about the importance of learning epidemiology in Bangladesh context lead me to go further.

4. Something about you that we don’t know? I am a life-long learner. I have great enthusiasm to update my knowledge about epidemiology and biostatistics.
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Funding Opportunities closing soon....
Funding opportunities July - Sept 2016
ARC Discovery Project (DP17) rejoinders Submission of rejoinders for ARC DP17 applications will close at 10:00am Monday 11 July 2016.  In consideration of the early Monday morning closing schedule the Research Office has requested that CIs ensure their rejoinder text is submitted to the Research Office in RMS by c.o.b. Thursday 7 July 2016.
If strategic writing support is desired please send a draft of the rejoinder text in a WORD document to Ian Hume or Jenny Turner as soon as possible

Australian Antarctic Science Program applications now open:-
The Australian Antarctic Science Program invites applications for projects commencing in 2016-17 and 2017-18 that address Australia’s Antarctic Science Strategic Plan 2011-12-2020-21. Researchers with projects requiring major logistical support in 2018-19 should also apply now.   The Australian Antarctic Science. :- Closing 12th July

National Livestock Identification System Compliance Measures – Standard Operating Procedures, Work Instructions and Educational Materials:-  The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is Australia's identification and traceability system for cattle, sheep and goats.  Effect of heat load and other factors on the incidence of dark cutting carcasses of feedlot cattle:- Closing 22nd July 2016
The McGarvie Smith Institute:- seeks applications for projects involving veterinary and related sciences and whose outcomes are of demonstrable benefit to the production livestock industries of New South Wales.  The McGarvie Smith Institute:- Closing date 31st July 2016

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Postgraduate Research Grants
Equity Trustees, under the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, invites applications for its postgraduate research grants.  These enable postgraduate students to conduct research on ecology, wildlife management or natural history.  Grants are worth up to A$7,500 per year and renewable for a period of two to three years; the total conference travel budget for the project is limited to A$3,000.  Further details are available at HWRE Postgraduate Research Grants; applications will close 31 July 2016.

Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists:- Did you earn your PhD in life science during the last two years?   Science Prize,. Closing Date 1st August 2016

The Academy of Medical Sciences:-  Are you a clinical academic trainee looking for a chance to present your research, perhaps for the first time? The Academy of Medical Sciences:- Closing Date 9th September 2016

The nominations for the 2016 NSW Premier's Prizes for Science & Engineering are now open! The Prizes seek to recognise excellence in science and engineering.  The New South Wales Office for Science and Medical Research:- Closing date 11th September 2016

RIRDC's investments:-  Overall, our outcome is to increase knowledge that fosters sustainable, productive new and existing rural industries and further understanding of national rural issues through research and developing in government-industry partnership. RIRDC's investments:- Closing date 16th September 2016

2016 Travel and Expense Project
Are you travelling overseas/ domestic to attend meetings/ conferences shortly?

As of 4th July 2016,  the University has new travel booking provider.

More information can be found on the Travel and expenses project intranet page.
Collaboration Workshop
Penny Oxford from the Research Portfolio will be facilitating a “Collaboration workshop” on the 13th July in the VSCC Seminar room 218. The workshop is targeting ECR & MCR academics.  Free to attend. Please contact marie.wildridge@sydney.edu.au to register your attendance.

Global Young Academy
Apply now!

The 2016 call for new members to join the Global Young Academy in 2017 is now open. Applications are sought from young, independent scholars who combine the highest level of research excellence with a demonstrated passion for delivering impact
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