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OCTOBER 2012
INTRODUCTIONS
Academic
Professor Eddie Holmes
NHMRC Australia fellow, Professor Eddie Holmes, joined the School of Biological Sciences on October 1st. Eddie works on virus evolution using a bioinformatics approach. His introductory seminar, Life on the Edge – the evolutionary biology of viruses, will be held on 2 November at 1pm.
Professor Eddie Holmes
NHMRC Australia fellow, Professor Eddie Holmes, joined the School of Biological Sciences on October 1st. Eddie works on virus evolution using a bioinformatics approach. His introductory seminar, Life on the Edge – the evolutionary biology of viruses, will be held on 2 November at 1pm.

Eddie will be working closely with the Sydney Emerging Infections and Biosecurity Institute. For more information about his appointment read the news article here.

Eddie will be physically placed in the Macleay building, next to Peter Waterhouse’s office. While some of his laboratory group from Pennsylvania State University have already arrived, most will be coming in the following weeks and months. Keep a look out and say ‘hello!’
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Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Arianne Cease
After witnessing firsthand the devastation and destruction of a locust plague, Dr Arianne Cease decided to study sustainable locust outbreak prevention. Her PhD research was completed at the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. “Broadly, I'm interested in how land management practices influence locust outbreaks and plasticity,” said Arianne.
Dr Arianne Cease
After witnessing firsthand the devastation and destruction of a locust plague, Dr Arianne Cease decided to study sustainable locust outbreak prevention. Her PhD research was completed at the School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. “Broadly, I'm interested in how land management practices influence locust outbreaks and plasticity,” said Arianne.

At the University of Sydney Arianne will be working on a number of projects involving locusts and nutrition, in both lab and field settings. “In terms of answering questions about nutrient balancing and locust phase polyphenism, Steve Simpson's behaviour and physiology group is the lab to work with.”

Arianne joins the Simpson Lab as a postdoctoral fellow where she intends to expand upon some of her PhD findings. “In my dissertation research I focused on an acridid species in China - Oedaleus asiaticus,” said Arianne. “We found that that heavy livestock grazing promoted outbreaks by lowering plant nitrogen content to a favourable level for this species.” This research was published this year in Science. “Moving forward, we will test if a similar pattern is happening for closely related species in Senegal (O. senegalensis) and Australia (O. australis).” For more about Arianne and her work read her graduation profile or The New York Times Green blog.

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PhD Student
Mang Shi
Mang Shi is the first of Professor Eddie Holmes’ laboratory group to arrive at the University. “I have a broad interest in various topics of molecular evolution but use viruses as my model organism,” says Mang.
Mang Shi
Mang Shi is the first of Professor Eddie Holmes’ laboratory group to arrive at the University. “I have a broad interest in various topics of molecular evolution but use viruses as my model organism,” says Mang.

Mang completed his BSc and MPhil degrees at the University of Hong Kong. He then accepted a position as guest researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA. Mang went on to start his PhD with Eddie at Pennsylvania State University and is moving his candidature to the University of Sydney to follow his supervisor. “Currently, I'm working on the patterns and determinants of cross-species virus transmission and emergence.”

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FAREWELL
Christine Newman
Christine Newman leaves the School after nearly 21 years of service - having joined on the 25th of November 1991. Christine’s expert knowledge of plants has been invaluable. She juggled glasshouse maintenance, the growth cabinets and the normal practical work tasks.
Christine Newman leaves the School after nearly 21 years of service - having joined on the 25th of November 1991. Christine’s expert knowledge of plants has been invaluable. She juggled glasshouse maintenance, the growth cabinets and the normal practical work tasks.

Christine will be missed, not only by her team, but the School at large and we wish her well in her retirement.
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Crystal Choi
Our librarian, Crystal Choi, has left to head up the library at Newington College. We thank Crystal for being so pro-active in her efforts on behalf of the School of Biological Sciences.
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CONGRATULATIONS
Great Southern Land
After the success of Great Southern Land, Professor Steve Simpson is now a famous TV personality. This ABC1 documentary series, hosted by Steve, takes a view of Australia from above. Steve scales trees, jumps out of planes and pilots glider planes – not a bad effort for a man afraid of heights.
After the success of Great Southern Land, Professor Steve Simpson is now a famous TV personality. This ABC1 documentary series, hosted by Steve, takes a view of Australia from above. Steve scales trees, jumps out of planes and pilots glider planes – not a bad effort for a man afraid of heights. Already being compared to Attenborough, Steve’s first TV series is sure to shoot him to stardom.

Two more episodes are still to screen on Sunday 7 and 14 October, but the first two Great Australian Bite and Tug of War can be watched on iview.
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The Meaning of Life exhibition
A new exhibition celebrating 50 years of the School of Biological Sciences has opened at the Macleay Museum. Entitled The Meaning of Life, this exhibition is a retrospective of the research, social events and student life of the School. It will run until 8 March 2013.
A new exhibition celebrating 50 years of the School of Biological Sciences has opened at the Macleay Museum. Entitled The Meaning of Life, this exhibition is a retrospective of the research, social events and student life of the School. It will run until 8 March 2013.

The exhibition was launched at a VIP event by the Chancellor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir. Also speaking at the launch were science journalist and ABC Radio personality, Professor Robyn Williams, and Head of School, Professor Robyn Overall. The event was attended by academics, alumni, university heads of schools and deans, as well as our friends from the Australian Museum, the Royal Botanical Gardens and in government.

The Head of School, Professor Robyn Overall, thanks all the contributors to the exhibition, in particular Jude Philp and Tony Gill from the Macleay Museum, exhibition designer Virginia Buckingham and School photographer Malcolm Ricketts.

The Meaning of Life will be open exclusively for the School on the night of 19 October 2012 for the 50th birthday party

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Best student poster presentation
Marine Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences continues its demonstration of excellence with PhD candidate Clarissa Fraser winning first prize for best student poster presentation at the European Marine Biological Symposium in Norway. This prize was judged by a panel of academics and awarded by the MARS network (the European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations).
Marine Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences continues its demonstration of excellence with PhD candidate Clarissa Fraser winning first prize for best student poster presentation at the European Marine Biological Symposium in Norway. This prize was judged by a panel of academics and awarded by the MARS network (the European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations).

The title of Clarissa’s poster was Trying to fit in - limpet orientation in a biogenic habitat. Changes in orientation, to position their bodies to face a particular direction, is one way animals respond to their environment. Clarissa presented results that showed orientation changed with habitat. “My study found that the frequency of limpets orientating head downwards varied with barnacle cover,” said Clarissa. “After the removal of barnacles a greater proportion of limpets orientated head downwards.”

Why a limpet would want to orient downwards, is a topic for further study. But Clarissa thinks the limpets, “are trying to obtain the best body fit to the substrata but others have suggested that a downwards orientation may reduce desiccation/thermoregulation stress and assist in more efficient removal of waste products.” This award carried with it a €200 prize. Congratulations Clarissa!
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British Ecological Society
Associate Professor Ross Coleman has been selected as a British Ecological Society Review College member. The British Ecological Society is the world’s oldest ecological society and this appointment to the Review College will utilise Ross’ knowledge, experience and expertise in the assessment stages of grant applications.
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THANKS
New microscopes installed and in use
The new first-year microscopes have now been installed and are getting rave reviews from Living Systems students. The optics are “amazing” and many students are emailing images to themselves and exclaiming over organelles they previously could not identify.
The new first-year microscopes have now been installed and are getting rave reviews from Living Systems students. The optics are “amazing” and many students are emailing images to themselves and exclaiming over organelles they previously could not identify.

Head of School, Professor Robyn overall said, “I’m really impressed with how the technical staff have made those practicals work.” Matt Austin and the technical team have done a wonderful job. 
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Acting Heads of School
Many thanks to Clare McArthur, Chris Dickman and Ben Oldroyd for filling in as acting Head of School during Robyn Overall’s annual leave.
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NOTICES
Work Health and Safety
Work Health and Safety this month reminds us to throw out broken glassware immediately, in the wake of an incident in another School. In addition, caution should be used when opening old filing cabinets. The old design can be unstable when all drawers are open and it is possible for the filing cabinet to collapse on the user.
Work Health and Safety this month reminds us to throw out broken glassware immediately, in the wake of an incident in another School. In addition, caution should be used when opening old filing cabinets. The old design can be unstable when all drawers are open and it is possible for the filing cabinet to collapse on the user.

In other, less dangerous, news - WiFi is currently being installed in the Carslaw building and it has been requested for Science Road buildings.
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Sydney Student
Sydney Student goes live on the 26 November 2012 and all unit co-ordinators etc are asked to familiarise themselves with it. What is Sydney Student you may ask?
Sydney Student goes live on the 26 November 2012 and all unit co-ordinators etc are asked to familiarise themselves with it. What is Sydney Student you may ask? It replaces FlexSIS and a number of other smaller systems. This from the Sydney Student website: “Sydney Student is a new system that will enable students to carry out tasks such as enrolment, paying fees, checking exam results and accessing timetables through an integrated online portal. It will also provide staff with improved support to make clear decisions, reduce risks and spend more time on valuable activities.”

For more about training to use the Sydney Student program, see here.
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CONTENTS
Introductions
Farewell
Congratulations
Thanks
Notices
50th Birthday Party
Media
Events
Stay connected
50TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
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50 years young! The 50th birthday party for the School of Biological Sciences is being held on Friday 19 October 2012. All alumni, staff, research students and their families are invited to Celebrate Biology: your natural selection.
50 years young! The 50th birthday party for the School of Biological Sciences is being held on Friday 19 October 2012. All alumni, staff, research students and their families are invited to Celebrate Biology: your natural selection. A number of family-friendly activities are planned, with the museum open 4-8pm, balloon twisting 4.30-6.30pm, a jumping castle from 5pm, live music from 6pm and cake cutting at 7pm. So feel free to pop-in or stay for the whole event.

To save replying to the thousands of queries – ‘yes’ adults can go on the jumping castle, but not at the same time as the children.

Registration is open until the day before, make sure you print off your ticket and bring it along.
MEDIA
Australasian Science | Rick Shine
Toads caned by own poison

Courier Mail | Simon Ho
Around the traps: the bear facts

720 ABC Perth | Peter Banks
With Rachel Fountain 4/9/12

Channel 9 | Steve Simpson
National Nine News 6/9/12

Daily Telegraph | Steve Simpson
Birdseye view of our Great Southern Land a revelation

Canberra Times | Steve Simpson
Flying High

Narrandera Argus | Steve Simpson
Locuts try to avoid cannibalism

Centralian Advocate | Steve Simpson
Looking down on our Great Southern Land

Border Mail | Steve Simpson
Cloud Control

Border Watch | Steve Simpson
Flying High

Ballarat Courier | Steve Simpson
Cloud Control

West Australian | Steve Simpson
Looking down on Australia

Gold Coast Bulletin | Steve Simpson
Flying High on a rich heritage

612 ABC Brisbane | Steve Simpson
Great Southern Land – Steve Simpson

936 ABC Hobart | Steve Simpson
With Louise Saunders 20/9/12

ABC Darwin | Steve Simpson
With Kate O’Toole 20/9/12

666 ABC Canberra | Steve Simpson
With Louise Maher 21/9/12

774 ABC Melbourne | Steve Simpson
With Libbi Gorr 21/9/12

Illawarra Mercury | Steve Simpson
Puzzle from above

Courier Mail | Steve Simpson
Top view of our wide brown land

Sunday Territorian | Steve Simpson
Up, up and away

891 ABC Adelaide | Peter Banks
Smelling the rat

Australian Geographic | Rick Shine
Ask an expert

4BC Brisbane | Rick Shine
Toads, go West
EVENTS
Friday 19 October, 4pm-8pm
Celebrate Biology: your natural selection
Wednesday 24 October, 6pm-7pm
Light and photosynthesis
Wednesday 21 November, 6pm-7pm
Futurescapes: urban ecology in a changing world
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