September 2015
Faculty of Veterinary Science
Research Newsletter
Welcome to our newsletter
From the desk of the ADR

Spring has sprung – and as we emerge from our cocoons, I hope you will be reinvigorated to join in discussion about our research strategy. Two documents have been distributed: Investing in Research Excellence and Building a Culture of Research Excellence I hope you have been able to attend some of the discussion forums with our DVC-R Prof Duncan Iverson. If you have thoughts or comments – please feed them through our Research Development Committee. My own take on these documents is that there are exciting times ahead for research at USyd! I am particularly excited about new schemes for early and mid-career researcher development. The importance of multi-disciplinary collaboration and industry engagement also shines through.


Another exciting new development for the Uni is that we are going to start crowdfunding. If you are interested and haven’t already talked to me about, please get in touch asap. I will also be calling on all staff on social media to get involved and support our colleagues. These will only be small pots of money but the campaigns will play an important role in publicising our research and researchers. Your engagement is pivotal.

Keep your ideas coming! Please talk to your local RDC rep – so that they can pass on your thoughts at our next meeting – or drop me an email at

Photo:- "Congratulations to Kendra, Yani, Cam and the Dairy Science team for being Finalists at this year's Eureka awards"

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30 Seconds with...
Nutrition Lecturer
1.  What is your area of expertise?  
Pig and poultry nutrition

1. What is your area of expertise?
Pig and poultry nutrition

2. Most exciting Research discovery to date?
Influencing whole-life piglet growth, immune status and gut microbiota through addition of seaweed fibres to the diet of the lactating sow!

3. What is on your Research bucket list?
a. One-Health nutritional strategy to sustainably feed intensively-rered poultry which preserves the environment, maintains high animal productivity and welfare, and improves food safety – that will keep me busy…

b. Feeding the genotype: personalised farm animal nutrition in the genomic age .

4. Something about you that we don’t know? At the age of 16, I worked at Dublin Zoo. Every weekend at closing time I had the job of locking up the entire zoo. I had a huge bunch of keys and went around locking up the different sections. When I think of what could have gone wrong! Anyway I don’t think i have never been given such responsibility since.

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The WESTPAC Innovation Challenge

Finalists:  Cameron Clark – FarmChem 
The NSW Dairy Innovation group questions current farm practices and debates ideas associated with increasing resource use efficiency through investigating opportunities in current, emerging or potential technology.


ABC (702 Sydney, 666 Canberra, 105.7 Darwin) reported new GPS tracking devices which are part of a project jointly run by the University of Sydney are being used to address the fall in koala numbers. Associate Professor David Phalen from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was interviewed on ABC News (Canberra, 24) about the tracking devices and possible causes of the decline.

Best among Tassie Devils to be selected for release into the wild

interviewed Dr Lydia Tong from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the lack of legal requirements for veterinarians to report pet abuse.

Associate Professor Robyn Alders from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was interviewed on ABC Rural about the recent ‘Resetting the Australian table: adding value and adding health’ symposium, held at the University of Sydney.

ABC Classic FM mentioned a symposium, ‘Resetting the Australian table: adding value and adding health’ was held at the University of Sydney. Associate Professor Robyn Alders from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was also interviewed about the symposium on Radio Adelaide.

The Atlantic (US) reported on research led by Dr Siobhan Mor from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about the need to understand animal disease to prevent human epidemics.

Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk from the Faculty of Veterinary Science was interviewed on ABC (Central Victoria, North Coast) about how the agricultural industry is making use of technology.

ABC Rural Report (New England North West, South Western      Victoria, South East SA, Central West NSW), ABC Victorian Country Hour
and ABC Tasmanian Country Hour reported on University of Sydney research on the use of mobile phones and cows to produce robotic dairy farm gains, and interviewed Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk from  the Faculty of Veterinary Science

The Land reported Ashleigh Wildridge, PhD candidate from the Future Dairy research and development program, is undertaking research on cow traffic

ABC Broken Hill
interviewed Dr Siobhan Mor from the Faculty of Veterinary Science about research on livestock and wildlife disease and the risk it may pose to human health.
Publications – Quality not Quantity

Just a note to supervisors that when a postgraduate student comes to submitting a paper to a journal please emphasise that an appropriate journal with a high Impact Factor is great to try for, maybe pick 3 journals and shoot for the highest Impact Factor – you never know and it will come back to you in RIBG and help to maintain the faculties ERA of 5.

Also just a reminder that the affiliation as per University Policy is:

The University of Sydney,  Faculty of Veterinary Science

Featured Publication: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Animal Bite Victims Attending an Anti-rabies Health Center in Jimma Town, Ethiopia
Abboud, Myriam, et al. "Uptake of 25-hydroxyvitamin D by muscle and fat cells." The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology 144 (2014): 232-236.

Banerjee, Arinjay, et al. "Vulnerability, hysteria and fear—conquering Ebola virus." World Health 142 (2014): 1138-1145.

Baron, H. R., et al. "Gastric adenocarcinoma in a diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota)." Australian veterinary journal 92.10 (2014): 405-409.

Bolouri Oskoui, Khatereh, et al. "The Influence of Active Immunization Against Adrenocorticotropin Hormone on Galactopoiesis in Merino Ewes." Iranian Journal of Biotechnology 12.1 (2014): 15-24.

Brookes, V. J., V. J. DEL RIO VILAS, and M. P. Ward. "Disease prioritization: what is the state of the art?." Epidemiology and infection (2015): 1-12.

Duffus, Amanda LJ, et al. "Distribution and host range of ranaviruses." Ranaviruses. Springer International Publishing, 2015. 9-57.

Golder, Helen M., Pietro Celi, and Ian J. Lean. "Ruminal acidosis in a 21-month-old Holstein heifer." The Canadian Veterinary Journal 55.6 (2014): 559.

Heim, G., et al. "Effect of maternal dietary supplementation of laminarin and fucoidan, independently or in combination, on pig growth performance and aspects of intestinal health." Animal Feed Science and Technology 204 (2015): 28-41.

Heim, G., et al. "Effect of maternal supplementation with seaweed extracts on growth performance and aspects of gastrointestinal health of newly weaned piglets after challenge with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88." British Journal of Nutrition 112.12 (2014): 1955-1965.

Islam, M. R., and S. C. Garcia. "Prediction of Dry Matter Yield of Hybrid Forage Corn Grown for Silage." Crop Science 54.5 (2014): 2362-2372.

Josefsson, Emma C., et al. "Platelet production proceeds independently of the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways." Nature communications 5 (2014).

McCurdy, Paul, et al. " Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in a pygmy hippopotamus (hexaprotodon liberiensis)." Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 45.4 (2014): 906-910.

McDonnell, Patrick, et al. "Influence of incrementally substituting dietary soya bean meal for rapeseed meal on nutrient digestibility, nitrogen excretion, growth performance and ammonia emissions from growing-finishing pigs." Archives of animal nutrition 64.5 (2010): 412-424.

Miller, Debra L., et al. "Comparative pathology of ranaviruses and diagnostic techniques." Ranaviruses. Springer International Publishing, 2015. 171-208.

Morris, Katrina, et al. "The koala immunological toolkit: sequence identification and comparison of key markers of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) immune response." Australian Journal of Zoology 62.3 (2014): 195-199.

Newman, M., et al. "Tibial tuberosity transposition-advancement for lateralization of the tibial tuberosity: An ex vivo canine study." Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 27.4 (2014): 271-276.

O’Doherty, J. V., et al. "Effects of phytase and 25-hydroxyvitamin D 3 inclusions on the performance, mineral balance and bone parameters of grower–finisher pigs fed low-phosphorus diets." animal 4.10 (2010): 1634-1640.

O'Leary, C. A., et al. "The inheritance of extra‐hepatic portosystemic shunts and elevated bile acid concentrations in Maltese dogs." Journal of small animal practice 55.1 (2014): 14-21.

O'neill, D. G., et al. "Prevalence of disorders recorded in cats attending primary-care veterinary practices in England." The Veterinary Journal 202.2 (2014): 286-291.

O'shea, C. J., et al. "Ammonia emissions and dry matter of separated pig manure fractions as affected by crude protein concentration and sugar beet pulp inclusion of finishing pig diets." Agriculture, ecosystems & environment 131.3 (2009): 154-160.

Osmani, M. G., et al. "Risk factors for highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial layer chicken farms in Bangladesh During 2011." Transboundary and emerging diseases 61.6 (2014): e44-e51.

Simpson, Stephen J., David G. Le Couteur, and David Raubenheimer. "Putting the balance back in diet." Cell 161.1 (2015): 18-23.

Simpson, Stephen J., et al. "Recent advances in the integrative nutrition of arthropods." Annual review of entomology 60 (2015): 293-311.

Solon-Biet, Samantha M., et al. "Dietary Protein to Carbohydrate Ratio and Caloric Restriction: Comparing Metabolic Outcomes in Mice." Cell Reports (2015).

Srinivasan, Mridula, et al. "Using non-systematic surveys to investigate effects of regional climate variability on Australasian gannets in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand." Journal of Sea Research 99 (2015): 74-82.

Ujvari, Beata, Anthony T. Papenfuss, and Katherine Belov. "Transmissible cancers in an evolutionary context." Inside the Cell (2015).

Whittington, Camilla M., and Katherine Belov. "Tracing Monotreme Venom Evolution in the Genomics Era." Toxins 6.4 (2014): 1260-1273.

Willet, Cali E., et al. "Simple, rapid and accurate genotyping-by-sequencing from aligned whole genomes with ArrayMaker." Bioinformatics 31.4 (2015): 599-601.

Williams, K. J., et al. "Relative sensitivity of Escherichia coli O157 detection from bovine feces and rectoanal mucosal swabs." Journal of Food Protection® 77.6 (2014): 972-976.

Williams, K. J., et al. "Risk factors for Escherichia coli O157 shedding and super-shedding by dairy heifers at pasture." Epidemiology and infection 143.05 (2015): 1004-1015.

Williams, K. J., M. P. Ward, and O. P. Dhungyel. "Longitudinal Study of Escherichia coli O157 Shedding and Super Shedding in Dairy Heifers." Journal of Food Protection® 78.4 (2015): 636-642.
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Closing soon

The following are a few opportunities can be found at Research Professional.  What is Research Professional...

Research Professional is designed to assist you in your search for
research funding. It is a database of funding opportunities in all
disciplines from a wide range of sponsors in Australia and overseas. All
funding opportunities in the database are eligibility verified for
Australian researchers.

TechVouchers round 2 is now open for applications :- Building NSW business through research collaboration. The New South Wales (NSW) TechVouchers program encourages collaboration between NSW small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and public sector research organisations (PSROs) located in NSW. This program is implemented by the NSW Government through NSW Trade & Investment

 RSPCA Australia Future leaders in animal welfare Award

ARC Funding

Animal Health Australia Ralph Hood Award
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Whats happening around the Faculty?
News from Abroad - Update from Hannover
Alex Chaves is currently in Europe on a Humboldt Fellowship.  Photos right with other Australian participants.
Update from Hannover II

Alex Chaves is on his way to Sydney after spending 3 months at the TiHo (Tieraerztliche Hochschule – University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation) as a Humboltian. Prof Gerhard Breves, director of the Physiologisches Institut, hosted Alex during his stay in Germany. The Alexander von Humboldt is the most prestigious research Foundation in Europe. It not only provides individual sponsorship for outstandingly qualified researchers but also integrates us in a world-spanning network of excellence during our entire lifetime. Thus the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsors people, not projects.

Research project

Alex’s research project looked the effect of pequi oil supplementation and temperature on ruminal fermentation characteristics. This involved 30 days of experimental work using a rumen simulation technique (RUSITEC) followed by another 45 days in intensive lab work (molecular biology techniques; cluster analysis (Figure 2); etc). Andre Camacho, Master of Research candidate, was engaged in the project and had the opportunity to spend the last 3 months in Hannover as well. Results are very interesting, novel and will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed article.

Visiting top Vet Faculties in Europe

Including the visit to TiHo Hannover clinics and animal hospitals which have state of the art facilities (Figure 3), Alex visited Vet faculties in Utrecht as well as Copenhagen. The aim of these visits was to improve the Faculty international network collaboration setting-up for student exchange. For example, Utrecht has new horse facilities which cost about €250 million. Copenhagen companion animal clinic located in Frederiksberg employs 250 staff, has 24,000 cases a year, opened 24/7, and has an outstanding set-up for clinical rotations.

I am extremely satisfied with my time in Germany and my original expectations were exceeded.

In addition Alex went to Berlin from Wed to Friday last week for the Humboldt annual meeting. Lots of networking there. He had the chance to meet and chat with Germany Federal President Joachim Gauck about his research project at the presidential Bellevue palace.

On Friday morning the Australian Ambassador hosts all Australian Humboldtians for a breakfast.

It was a very valuable week.

Alex is very proud to be a Humboldtian and would like to thank his collegues for the support along these years.

Alex will be off to Copenhagen next Monday. We look forward to the next installment of his trip.
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Congratulations to...
Tamara Leahy
Please join me in congratulating Tamara Leahy.

Tamara has just been awarded a “Meat & Livestock Association (MLA) New Scientist Award” for best presentation at the Society of Reproductive Biology conference 2015.

She has also won an International Research Collaboration Award to bring Dr Bart Gadella across from the University Of Utrecht, Netherlands in 2016.

This comes hot on the heels of a Laffan fellowships!

Well done Tamara! We are very proud of you!
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We are seeking a new Chair of the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). If you are enthusiastic and motivated to improve your understanding of the ethical use of animals in teaching and research, are seeking to play an important service role, and want to be familiar with the latest cutting-edge research then this position may interest you.
The AEC provides general oversight of all matters pertaining to animal research ethics, including review of animal research ethics applications, monitoring and inspection of ongoing research, provision of education and training on animal research ethics, and the development of procedures and guidelines for animal research.

The role of the Chair is to guide the work of the committee and to promote animal ethics to ensure the ethical and humane care and use of animals used for scientific purposes in the University. Working with a dynamic team you will demonstrate enhanced communication and leadership skills, which allow you to engage with a range of eminent researchers.

Applicants should have an active interest in animal ethics and a sound understanding of the principles underpinning ethical research.

This position is only open to current University of Sydney Academic staff or affiliates. Preference will be given to candidates who are senior staff members of the University (eg Associate Professor or Professor) or hold an equivalent affiliate appointment and who have demonstrated leadership skills and previous relevant experience including chairing committees.

Veterinary Clinicians and Specialists (professional staff) are also eligible to apply, and would receive funding to provide locum relief for the 1-1.5 days per week required for this role.

Further information:-
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Research project needs your help
Understanding ("Indian") myna bird (Acridotheres tristis)
With some collaborators, we are currently running a research program on the nutritional ecology of common myna birds. We are seeking volunteers that have common myna birds in their gardens and may want to be involved in the project. 

Please see the flyer attached for more details. 

Our aim is to understand more about the diet and nutrient selection of a highly successful invader: the common ("Indian") myna bird (Acridotheres tristis).

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Conferences, workshops......
Quarantine stations

You (and your families) are welcome to join Kathy and Siobhan at the Quarantine station at North Head on Sunday 20th September – an awesome setting for our talks on infectious disease -  website:

The talks will be held in the Cumpston Room (A2) at Q Station. As this is a Community Day at the Quarantine Station, please be sure to arrive as early as possible for the start at 2.00pm.

The program for 20 September will be posted on the Q Station website: You can book online there for the Q Station talks. Otherwise, you can be put on the email list for the monthly lectures by contacting: Sydney Q Station CR <>, or call 02 9466 1500.
Public Health Conference
Different perspectives, working together

The field of public health brings together expertise in a wide range of domains including epidemiology, policy, health promotion, chronic disease prevention and ethics.  The strength of public health research rests in how teams of individuals bring their own different perspectives with the aim of collaborating and working together to discover and share ground breaking research to improve population health and well-being.
Full Program details
Postgraduate Conference
Held at Camden in the Liz Kerohan Conference Centre on Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th October 2015.

Some of the Highlights for 2015:-

Day 1
1 minute Poster presentation - with over 40 students in this category it will be highly competitive and of course very entertaining!

Day 1
1 minute Poster presentation - with over 40 students in this category it  will be highly competitive and of course very entertaining!

Inspirational speakers :
Dr Darryl D'Souza, GM Research and Innovation Australia Pork Ltd
Prof Alicia Jenkins, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Sydney Medical School
22 presentations from Early and Final career students!
30 Poster presentations!

Day 2
28 presentations from Early and Final career students!
15 poster presentations!
Inspirational speaker :
Dr Philomena Renner head of Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Emergency animal diseases - AAHL Symposium
The Management and staff at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) would like to invite yourself, and the veterinary school’s staff and post graduate students to our annual symposium “Recent advances in emergency animal diseases” to be held at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong on October 28th and 29th.
The Management and staff at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) would like to invite yourself, and the veterinary school’s staff and post graduate students to our annual symposium “Recent advances in emergency animal diseases” to be held at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong on October 28th and 29th. 

Further details about the symposium are available

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