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JUNE 2012
WELCOME
Professional Staff
Ganden Ukyab
Staff changes in the Administration team have seen Ganden become the new first point of contact for the School office. This administrative assistant role was previously held by Alex Kyriazis, who has moved into the executive assistant role while Rosie Scaravilli is on leave. Ganden will be in this casual role until the end of semester one.
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Visitors
Jayme Prevedello
Jayme is visiting Australia, and Chris Dickman’s lab, from the University of Rio de Janeiro, where he is a PhD student. Jayme is undertaking a five month internship and hopes to complete ‘a review summarising current knowledge regarding bottom-up regulation of small mammal populations.’ In addition, he will be using Chris’ expertise to help analyse data collected in Brazil.
Jayme Prevedello
Jayme is visiting Australia, and Chris Dickman’s lab, from the University of Rio de Janeiro, where he is a PhD student. Jayme is undertaking a five month internship and hopes to complete ‘a review summarising current knowledge regarding bottom-up regulation of small mammal populations.’ In addition, he will be using Chris’ expertise to help analyse data collected in Brazil. ‘The review paper will be presented as the first chapter of my thesis, and the data to be analysed will form the core of two chapters of my PhD thesis,’ said Jayme. ‘The main reason [I came to the School of Biological Sciences] was the high quality of the research carried out by Chris Dickman’s Lab, and the expertise of Chris on the subject of my thesis.’

Previously Jayme completed an MSc in ecology, also at the University of Rio de Janeiro. His master’s research was focused on forest fragmentation, specifically evaluating the factors affecting the ability of small mammals to move between forest fragments in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. But his PhD work focuses on the importance of keystone resources for vertebrates in forest ecosystems. Jayme says, ‘I’m evaluating how small rodents respond to experimental addition and removal of seeds of the Brazilian Pine (Araucaria angustifolia).’ This work is important because Brazilian Pines are a critically endangered tree in southern Brazil.

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Postgraduate students

Ella Brear

Ella is a recent graduate from the School of Biological Sciences (BSc Hons, 2012), who enjoyed her honours project so much she returned for a PhD! Ella majored in microbiology and plant science and completed her honours year with Dr Penny Smith and Professor Robyn Overall.

Ella Brear

Ella is a recent graduate from the School of Biological Sciences (BSc Hons, 2012), who enjoyed her honours project so much she returned for a PhD! Ella majored in microbiology and plant science and completed her honours year with Dr Penny Smith and Professor Robyn Overall. Ella’s PhD research is a continuation of her honours project. She will be studying the symbiotic system between the soybean plant and its nitrogen fixing bacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum. The presence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots means that soybeans, like other legumes, do not require costly nitrogen fertilisers.

Ella’s focus, in studying this system, is on the proteins of the symbiosome membrane. This membrane is a plant derived membrane that forms a nutrient regulating interface between symbiotic partners. A number of candidate proteins have been identified and Ella will be characterising their role in the regulation of this symbiosis. She hopes that a better understanding of this system will lead to plants that are better able to make use of their bacterial symbionts – an important aim in a world with an increasing population.
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Kate Chamberlain
Kate comes to the School of Biological Sciences having completed a degree in molecular biology from Murdoch University and an honours project at the West Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, also at Murdoch University. Kate’s honours work was in plant pathogens. She focused on host changes in gene expression and metabolism caused by a bacterial pathogen.
Kate Chamberlain
Kate comes to the School of Biological Sciences having completed a degree in molecular biology from Murdoch University and an honours project at the West Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, also at Murdoch University. Kate’s honours work was in plant pathogens. She focused on host changes in gene expression and metabolism caused by a bacterial pathogen.

Lured to the east coast for her PhD, Kate’s research work is under Professor Peter Waterhouse and Dr Andrew Eamens (Sydney Medical School). Her project will examine molecular interactions in plants. Specifically, she is attempting to uncover the role of double-stranded RNA binding proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana (commonly called thale cress). In addition, Kate is looking at double-stranded RNA binding proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana (an Australian native and close relative of tobacco). Kate hopes this work will give us a more thorough understanding of plant RNA silencing pathways which control growth and development, virus defence, and stress responses.
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Timothy Lee
‘Every day I go to work, I learn something about the natural world that makes me say "wow!"’ said Tim. This love of biology was nurtured at the School of Biological Science, where Tim completed an honours year with Dr Nate Lo, Dr Simon Ho and Dr George ‘Buz’ Wilson (Australian Museum) to earn his BSc (Adv. Hons) degree. His honours work was on the phylogeography of terrestrial isopods.
Timothy Lee
‘Every day I go to work, I learn something about the natural world that makes me say "wow!"’ said Tim. This love of biology was nurtured at the School of Biological Science, where Tim completed an honours year with Dr Nate Lo, Dr Simon Ho and Dr George ‘Buz’ Wilson (Australian Museum) to earn his BSc (Adv. Hons) degree. His honours work was on the phylogeography of terrestrial isopods.

Tim has now begun a PhD candidature, again with Nate and Simon. ‘You might say I'm a bit unadventurous - but really it's because I enjoy working with them a lot!’ he exclaimed. His PhD research will mainly focus on caste and sex determination in termites. This important research topic has recently won Tim a three-year grant from the Australian Biological Resources Study.
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Lizzy Lowe
Lizzy completed a BSc in zoology and biochemistry from the University of Western Australia. She then undertook an honours year project at the Centre for Integrative Bee Research studying immunity in honey bees. Lizzy has now joined Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli’s insect ecology lab for her PhD studies.
Lizzy Lowe
Lizzy completed a BSc in zoology and biochemistry from the University of Western Australia. She then undertook an honours year project at the Centre for Integrative Bee Research studying immunity in honey bees. Lizzy has now joined Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli’s insect ecology lab for her PhD studies.

Lizzy will be investigating how urbanisation in the Sydney area influences spider assemblages*. ‘This is fantastic because it allows me to get out and visit some of the great urban bush land and national parks in the Sydney area,’ she said. This project is co-supervised by Dr Shawn Wilder.

*For the uninitiated, a spider assemblage is not a meeting where the spiders get together to discuss the decline of the neighbourhood but refers to the groupings or guilds of spiders. The expectation is that different areas will have different guild assemblages i.e. more ground hunters than web builders.
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CONGRATULATIONS
Faculty of Science Prize Night
The Faculty of Science Prize night was held on Tuesday 15th May. By all reports an excellent night, in which, several biology students were awarded. Including James (Teddy) Herbert-Read, who received the Science Postgraduate Prize for Academic Achievement and Isabella Loughland, winner of a Biology Entrance Scholarship.
The Faculty of Science Prize night was held on Tuesday 15th May. By all reports an excellent night, in which, several biology students were awarded. Including James (Teddy) Herbert-Read, who received the Science Postgraduate Prize for Academic Achievement and Isabella Loughland, winner of a Biology Entrance Scholarship. Pictured here with Associate Professor Ashley Ward, Isabella is studying both Concepts in Biology and Human Biology this semester and will major in Biology.
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SIMS Opening
The Sydney Institute of Marine Science’s $20 million upgrade was officially opened on the 17th of May. The research facilities at Chowder Bay were refurbished and new laboratories, research vessels, lecture theatres and accommodation for scientists have been developed. The facilities were opened by science minister Chris Evans.
The Sydney Institute of Marine Science’s $20 million upgrade was officially opened on the 17th of May. The research facilities at Chowder Bay were refurbished and new laboratories, research vessels, lecture theatres and accommodation for scientists have been developed. The facilities were opened by science minister Chris Evans. Guests from the University of Sydney included Professor Ann Brewer (Deputy Vice-Chancellor - pictured) and Professor Trevor Hambley (Dean of Science). The School of Biological Science’s Dr Will Figueria (pictured) was on hand to explain the experiments his lab is undertaking at the facility. Actually, Will is one of the few researchers to be already up and running in the laboratories at Chowder Bay. But no doubt the centre will be full of experimenting soon!

See the Media section of this newsletter for more.
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NOTICES
Draft change management document
A draft Change Proposal for the School technical team has now been released. Four staff have indicated their interest in taking a voluntary redundancy and this has been taken into consideration in development of the Draft Proposal. The Head of School and staff have met to discuss the draft. The next step is to incorporate feedback on the draft proposal and revised position descriptions to develop a Formal Change Proposal.
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CONTENTS
Welcome
Congratulations
Notices
Celebrating 50 Years: Alumni Party slogan competition
Media
Events
Stay connected
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: ALUMNI PARTY SLOGAN COMPETITION
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Many thanks to all the people who participated in the competition to design a slogan for the Annual Alumni function for 2012. The winning entry is: Celebrate Biology: your natural selection.
Many thanks to all the people who participated in the competition to design a slogan for the Annual Alumni function for 2012. The winning entry is: Celebrate Biology: your natural selection. Other favourites included Big Biology Birthday Bash, The Golden Age of Biology, The golden days of biology: 50 years of a journey shared, Fifty and Fabulous Festivity – Celebrating Fifty Years of Biology and Its Gold for Biology. The winner of the coveted box of chocolates was the ever funny Dr Dieter Hochuli.
MEDIA
SBS News | SIMS
Last 50 years were Australia’s hottest: study

SMH | SIMS
Students come face to tentacle with harbour life

Mosman Daily | SIMS
“World-class” marine research centre opens in Mosman

Herald Sun | SIMS
Seals take part in climate research

The World Today ABC Radio National | Rick Shine
Fears for the yellow spotted goanna

Daily Examiner, Grafton | Outreach
GATS Science Discovery Program
EVENTS
Wednesday 6 June, 8am-2pm
Transit of Venus
Thursday 14 June, 9am-4.15pm
Postgraduate research showcase
Wednesday 8 August, 5.45pm-7.45pm
Murray Lecture: Crowd Control
STAY CONNECTED
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