The University of Sydney
SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES EUPDATE
WEBSITE CONTACT US
OCTOBER 2013
INTRODUCTIONS
 PHD    |  
Natasha Hardy
Natasha (Tash) Hardy will be working with seals for her PhD. Having completed a BSc(Adv) degree, majoring in geography and biology, she did Honours with Maria Byrne. “I was researching the effects of climate change stressors on larval development in several temperate and tropical echinoid/sea urchin species from eastern Australia,” Tash said.
Natasha (Tash) Hardy will be working with seals for her PhD. Having completed a BSc(Adv) degree, majoring in geography and biology, she did Honours with Maria Byrne. “I was researching the effects of climate change stressors on larval development in several temperate and tropical echinoid/sea urchin species from eastern Australia,” Tash said. “I had a particular focus on larval thermo-tolerance and the potential for range expansion.”

Tash has now begun her PhD with Will Figueira. “I am researching the impacts of apex predators on marine community dynamics: specifically researching Australian (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) and New Zealand (Arctocephalus forsteri) fur seal diet, trophic linkages between predators and prey, and impacts for marine reserves in temperate ecosystems of southeastern Australia,” she said, explaining her project. Tash will conduct her research on the south coast of NSW – mostly in the Jervis Bay and Batemans Bay/Montague Island areas.

When asked why she has chosen to pursue a career in biological research, Tash said “because of the opportunities to appreciate and discover the wondrous biodiversity of living things and natural systems in beautiful remote places, the opportunity to go down a road less travelled and finally, sharing similar perspectives and acting on them through research with an inspiring community of thinkers and/or dreamers such as myself.”
Event image 17754
 PHD    |  
Melanie Laird
Doctoral candidate, Melanie Laird, is once again joining the Thompson lab - also under the supervision of Professor Chris Murphy (Medicine) and Dr Bronwyn McAllan (Medicine). Having completed a BSc(Adv)(Hons) degree last year, she is back again for more pregnant marsupials investigations.
Doctoral candidate, Melanie Laird, is once again joining the Thompson lab - also under the supervision of Professor Chris Murphy (Medicine) and Dr Bronwyn McAllan (Medicine). Having completed a BSc(Adv)(Hons) degree last year, she is back again for more pregnant marsupials investigations. “My Honours project looked at how the uterus of a marsupial (the fat-tailed dunnart) prepares for implantation in early pregnancy,” said Melanie. “Implantation is a necessary step in the evolution of live birth so I'm interested in comparing strategies for implantation in different live-bearing animal groups.”

This interest in implantation is being carried forward into her PhD research. “My PhD project will focus on the role of uterine changes in the evolution of mammalian live birth,” she said “I aim to understand if the changes I found in the fat-tailed dunnart, which also occur in live-bearing reptiles and eutherian mammals, are conserved across multiple marsupial lineages.” If these changes are conserved, Melanie thinks they may be essential for mammalian pregnancy to occur. “I'll also study pregnancy in the egg-laying monotremes to determine whether uterine changes are a unique feature of live-bearing mammals, or if evolution of these changes may be a prerequisite for mammalian live birth.”

“What excites me most about biology is how many important evolutionary questions are still unanswered. I'm really interested in using broad-scale comparisons of diverse animal groups to answer these questions, and I'm hoping my PhD project can fill in some big gaps!”
Event image 17758
 PHD    |  
Kianoush Nikoumanesh
Kianoush (Kia) Nikoumanesh has just begun his PhD studies with Jenny Saleeba. He joins the School of Biological Sciences from the University of Tehran, Iran, where he completed a master’s degree. “I studied fruit tree breeding and physiology for my master’s degree,” said Kia.
Kianoush (Kia) Nikoumanesh has just begun his PhD studies with Jenny Saleeba. He joins the School of Biological Sciences from the University of Tehran, Iran, where he completed a master’s degree. “I studied fruit tree breeding and physiology for my master’s degree,” said Kia. “My background is in agriculture, particularly horticultural sciences. I have professional experiences in fruit crops and medicinal plants.”

For his PhD studies, Kia is investigating root system architecture in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana using molecular genetics and phenotyping techniques. ”Since my childhood I have been passionate about plant science,” he said. “During my life I have some influential people that set my ambitions towards biology.”

“I believe plant scientists in the 21st century are expected to play a more active role in delivering knowledge-based solutions to the public and policy makers. Considering the challenges that humanity faces in the near future - global warming, climate change and over population - higher education seems to be the solution for improving the quality of lives, especially in developing countries. Working on an extremely exciting project developed in Dr Saleeba's lab provides me with a unique opportunity to improve my knowledge and intellectual capabilities and also enables me to help people to improve their livelihoods in the future.”
Event image 17755
 POST-DOC    |  
Tulio Marcos Nunes
Dr Tulio Marcos Nunes, post-doctoral fellow with Ben Oldroyd, is researching the evolution of queen pheromones in stingless bees. Tulio has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a master’s degree in entomology from the University of Sao Paulo. He completed his PhD in chemical ecology at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Keele University (UK).
Dr Tulio Marcos Nunes, post-doctoral fellow with Ben Oldroyd, is researching the evolution of queen pheromones in stingless bees. Tulio has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a master’s degree in entomology from the University of Sao Paulo. He completed his PhD in chemical ecology at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Keele University (UK).

“During my PhD I discovered queen pheromones for stingless bees which prevent workers reproducing,” he said. “Since the stingless bee groups are very diverse in such aspects I'm now looking at how these pheromones evolved within the group.” Tulio will spend 6-months in the School of Biological Sciences looking at our native bees. “These bees separated from the Brazilian bees more than 80 million years ago. It will be great to compare their behaviour and chemical aspects with our Brazilian stingless bees.”
Event image 17756
 GENERAL    |  
Shawn Wang
Shawn is joining the School as a part-time casual web officer. He comes to us with both expertise and experience. “I finished my Master of Information Technology at the University of Sydney in June 2013,” he said. “I have been working for the Centre for Veterinary Education and the Faculty of Veterinary Science since November 2012.”
Shawn is joining the School as a part-time casual web officer. He comes to us with both expertise and experience. “I finished my Master of Information Technology at the University of Sydney in June 2013,” he said. “I have been working for the Centre for Veterinary Education and the Faculty of Veterinary Science since November 2012.”

Shawn will be working Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays – sharing his role with Izabella Pilch, who works Tuesdays and Wednesdays. “My role is Web Developer and my job is to develop web applications, perform regular website updates and server administration,” he said. “I started working for School of Biological Sciences in early September and it has been great!”

Please use the role-based email address, bio.eru@sydney.edu.au, to contact Shawn and Izabella.
Event image 17757
Back to top 
FAREWELLS
 POST-DOC    |  
Dr Jie Cui
Postdoctoral fellow in Eddie Holmes lab, Dr Jie Cui, will be finishing up his 12-month fellowship at the School at the end of October. When asked about his time in Biological Sciences he said, “My research highlights here have been that I have published two peer-reviewed papers, I have two papers under peer-review and I have established good collaboration relationships with several world-top research groups.”
Postdoctoral fellow in Eddie Holmes lab, Dr Jie Cui, will be finishing up his 12-month fellowship at the School at the end of October. When asked about his time in Biological Sciences he said, “My research highlights here have been that I have published two peer-reviewed papers, I have two papers under peer-review, two papers to be finished and I have established good collaboration relationships with several world-top research groups.”

Jie will be moving to Singapore to continue his research at Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School. “I'll miss the good quality-of-living in Australia, the goodness of Australian people, and the high-quality research environment provided by our School.” Thanks Jie, and good luck!
Event image 17759
Back to top 
CONGRATULATIONS
Prolonged PhD
A big congratulations to Leslie Edwards for submitting his PhD thesis. The title of his research work is Factors influencing fish assemblages in Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs).
A big congratulations to Leslie Edwards for submitting his PhD thesis. The title of his research work is Factors influencing fish assemblages in Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs). “It is a huge relief to be finished,” Les said. His candidature with the University of Newcastle began ten years ago, in 2003, under the supervision of Professor William Gladstone, Dr David Powter and Dr Tom Trnski. We look forward to calling him Dr Les soon!
Back to top 
NOTICES
External Interests Online
An online declaration process for External Interests is now available and needs to be completed by October 19th. Do I have to do this you ask?
An online declaration process for External Interests is now available and needs to be completed by October 19th. Do I have to do this you ask? This answer from the University: “All academic staff and affiliates and any general staff members or affiliates who are, or may be, involved in decision making on the University’s behalf are required to provide to their executive supervisor (dean, director or other chief officer of an administrative unit) an annual declaration of external interests.”
WHS
The High Risk WHS Audit of the School is taking place this month. The Safety Committee would like to thank everyone for their response to the WHS monthly focuses of Training Needs Analysis August and Pre-purchase Risk Assessment September.
The High Risk WHS Audit of the School is taking place this month. The Safety Committee would like to thank everyone for their response to the WHS monthly focuses of Training Needs Analysis August and Pre-purchase Risk Assessment September. Feedback is still being sought on how to make the pre-purchase risk assessment process useable.
Computer News
The great Desk-top Migration has begun. The aim of this exercise is to move from the old domain, Wallacedom, to the new. It will be a three-step two-month process involving Richard Khoury and Stephen Leonard from ICT.
The great Desk-top Migration has begun. The aim of this exercise is to move from the old domain, Wallacedom, to the new. It will be a three-step two-month process involving Richard Khoury and Stephen Leonard from ICT. Step 1: auditing the computers; Step 2: reporting back to the Head of School; Step 3: move fileshares to new domain. For more information please contact Richard and Stephen.

In other news, wireless internet will be installed in the Heydon-Laurence Building (A08) and the Badham Teaching Labs.
Who is Head of School?
Associate Professor Clare McArthur is acting Head of School until Robyn’s return on October 9th.
Back to top 
CONTENTS
Introductions
Farewells
Congratulations
Notices
Back to School
Media
Events
Stay connected
BACK TO SCHOOL
Event image 17753
The School of Biological Sciences invites current staff and research students to join our alumni at the annual alumni social.

Come Back to School - take a class, refresh your knowledge, run an experiment and then relax with a drink.
Bring along family and friends and share your University experiences. Lab work is more fun when there are drinks at the end (and no exams)!

VENUE Macleay Building and Botany Lawn, University of Sydney
TIME 4:30pm-7:00pm
RSVP Register at backtobiology.eventbrite.com.au by Monday 14 October. For more information call 02 9351 4543 or email biorsvp@sydney.edu.au
MEDIA
Australasian Science | Rick Shine
Shape Shifters

ABC NSW | Rick Shine
Professor Rick Shine on snakes, cane toads... and mentors

ABC TV | Rick Shine and Steve Simpson
Catalyst – Eureka Prizes Interviews

Courier Mail | Rick Shine
Deadlier snakes coming out to play as suburbs grow

ABC Radio NSW | Arianne Cease
Country Hour – Locusts prefer poor pastures: Sydney Uni research

The Conversation | Mathew Crowther
Australian endangered species: Carpentarian Rock-rat

ABC Darwin | Peter Banks
Morning Show with Kate O’Toole 30/09/13
EVENTS
18 October 2013, 4:30pm-7:00pm Botany Lawn and Macleay Building
Back to School – Annual Alumni social
24 October 2013, 6pm-8pm Law School LT 101
'More Than Honey' film screening and forum
STAY CONNECTED
> Past newsletters
Facebook Twitter Youtube
Copyright © 2013 The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 Australia. Phone +61 2 9351 2222
ABN 15 211 513 464 CRICOS Number: 00026A

Disclaimer | Privacy statement | University of Sydney