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Research Funding Provided by: Australian Government
Research Funding Provided by
Australian Government

Australian Research Council

Environmental Futures Network
Environmental Futures Network
The University of Adelaide
North Terrace Campus
Darling Building
South Australia 5005

Phone: +61 8 8303 3952
Facsimile: +61 8 8303 4364

Network News & Events 2009

Workshop notices, posted Nov 09

1) The Adelaide Phylogenetics Conference (formerly Mathematical & Evolutionary Biology) and Phylogenetics Workshop return in 2010.  These two successful events, initially funded by the Network return in 2010 due to strong demand.   

When:  Phylogenetics Workshop Conference, Pt Elliot, SA 12-16 April, 2010 and The Phylogentics Workshop 6-10 April, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace Campus.
Aim(s):    The Conference series aims to bridge the current gap between evolutionary biologists and mathematicians in Australia, and overseas, by providing a relaxed, informal setting to encourage the discussion of new results and methods.  The conference is designed to allow maximum student/academic interaction, and contains a session on the analysis of datasets during the meeting itself.
The training workshop features an intensive 5 day hands-on training from 4 international experts, in leading software packages for the analysis of genetic data.
Details: As seating is limited (50 places for the Conference and 20 for the training workshop) early registration is strongly advised. For further details, visit the official website >>http://www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/events/biomaths10/ 

2) Terrestrial Archives of Past Climate and Biodiversity Change: Defining the environmental backdrop to human colonization of Australasia.  This workshop is jointly funded by the Network,  Australian Institute of Nuclear Science (AINSIE), and The Australian National University.

When: February 2nd-6th 2010 ,The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Aim(s): The workshop will cover various aspects of terrestrial palaeoecology/palaeoclimatology from a variety of contexts within Australasia. The workshop will be opened with talks from guest speakers, Prof John Dodson (ANSTO) and Assoc Prof Julian Sachs (University of Washington). The workshop is intended to be hands on, with the latest advanced techniques in molecular biomarkers, stable isotopes and fossil proxies explored. Attending post-graduate students will be given background readings on each subject in order to get them up to speed before the workshops proceed.
Details: A number of grants, funded by AINSE are available for Australian or NZ post-graduate students to attend the Workshop, contact Rhiannon Still or for more information about the workshop please contact Mat Prebble, ANU. 

Program

Tuesday 2nd Feb, Coombs Lecture Theatre, ANU-Opening Symposium with talks by invited speakers:

  • Prof. John Dodson (Palaeoecology, ANSTO, Lucas Heights, Australia)
  • Assoc. Prof Julian Sachs (Palaeoclimatology, University of Washington, Seattle)

Wednesday 3rd Feb, Brocks Biogeochemistry Lab, RSES, ANU

  • Molecular biomarkers overview: Dr Jochen Brocks (ANU)
  • Lipid biomarkers and hydrogen isotopes: A/Prof Julian Sachs (U. Washington)
  • Charcoal and stable isotopes: Dr Evelyn Krull (CSIRO)
  • Soil and stable isotopes: Prof Michael Bird (JCU)
  • Linking sedimentology and stable isotopes: A/Prof Henk Heijnis (ANSTO)
  • Speleothems and stable istopes: Dr Tezer Esat (ANSTO)
  • Phytoliths and stabel isotopes: Dr John Carter (Victoria University, NZ)

Thursday 4th FEb Archaeology and Natural History Lab

  • Palynology: Dr Simon Haberle, Dr Mike MacPhail, Dr Janelle Stevenson (ANU), Dr Janet Wilmshurst (Landcare, NZ)
  • Plant Macrofossils: Tara Lewis (Monash), Dr Matt Prebble, Dr Nick Porch (ANU)
  • Phytoliths: Dr John Carter (Victoria Univesrity, NZ), Dr Doreen Bowder (ANU)
  • Diatoms: Jan Finn (ANU)

Friday 5th Feb, morning Archaeology and Natural History Lab

  • Quaternary Entomology: Dr Nick Porch (ANU)
  • Fungal Spores and NPPs (non-pollen palynomorphs): Sue Rule (ANU/JCU), Dr Jamie Wood, Dr Janet Wilmshurst (Landcare NZ)

In the afternoon, Coombs Lecture Theatre

  • Closing Symposium: Modelling and integrating multiple proxies for past climate and biodiversity change - led by Prof James Shulmeister (U. Queensland)

Saturday 6th Feb

  • Field trip: Coring in the alpine lake district, Kosciusko National Park, NSW. Let by Prof Geoff Hope, Dr Simon Haberle (ANU) and Dr Ken Green (NSW Parks)
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Funding announcement, posted Oct 09. The ECR Round 8 funding call outcome:

12 applications in total were received by the Network. Total number of proposals funded were 10, one not being eligible and the other suited the Network's WGP scheme and was re-submitted and subsequently funded. For a list of funded proposals please click here

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The Network is pleased to announce another ECR call for funding. Funding call, posted May 09

Eligibility: under this scheme, an ECR is defined as someone who is enrolled for a research higher degree, or is less than 5 years post PhD.
Funding is to be used during the period July - November/December 2009. Interested ECRs wishing to apply must be a member from any one of the Network's contributing institutions, of which a listing is provided here
Application form download here. Advert/conditions click here
Closing date for applications is 1st June, 2009 in word format please, to maria.lekis@adelaide.edu.au. Announcement of successful applications is expected late June 2009.

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Annual General Meeting notice, posted Mar 09

The Network is holding its Annual General Meeting, Tuesday 24th March in Adelaide 11am-5pm. All members are welcome, but RSVP essential.
Enquiries and RSVPs to the Network Administrator please.

Draft Agenda
11-1pm: Network Business: Budget, Activity post ARC Funding, Activities for remaining use of funding, etc. Venue: Darling Building

1pm: Lunch

2-4pm: Project presentations (15min+5min questions) by Network project conveners. University of Adelaide Campus

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Notice of EFN Workshop, posted Jan 09. 'Methods in Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution' 13-17 April, 2009 Adelaide & Conference on Mathematical & Evolutionary Biology, 20-24th April, Pt Elliot, South Australia

The Network is pleased to support a phylogenetics workshop, hosted by the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at The University of Adelaide.

This workshop will feature hands-on training from 4 international experts, in leading software packages for the analysis of genetic data and is targeted to early career researchers (2nd or 3rd year Postgraduate Candidates or Postdocs in the early stages of their career), and will be mostly practical and take place in a computer lab setting.

Presenters are: Dr Alexei Drummond, University of Auckland (bioinformatics and coalescent methods and covering the program BEAST); Professor Peter Lockhart, Massey University (molecular evolution, phylogenetics); Professor Mark Pagel, University of Reading (comparative phylogenetics and the mode and tempo of gene evolution); and Christian Anderson, (Serial SimCoal and the newly released Bayesian Serial SimCoal, which is useful for both contemporary and ancient samples).

To register, please visit the official website >>> http://www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/biomaths/. Registration closes 2 March, 2009
Early registration is encouraged as there are only 20 places available.

Funding is available for travel assistance (up to $200 per applicant ) for 5 eligible EFN members. To be eligiable, you must be a PhD Candidate and a member of a cash contributing institution to the Network. See here for listing.

Enquiries: to the Network Administrator - maria.lekisATadelaide.edu.au
bio Maths conference

Workshop attendees are encouraged to attend and present at the conference, refer below

The Mathematical & Evolutionary Biology Conference follows the successful inaugural meeting held in Blanche Cave, Naracoorte in 2008 and in a change to last year's format we have added an associated Phylogenetics Workshop as mentioned above. This conference series aims to bridge the current gap between biologists and mathematicians in Australia, and overseas. The emphasis is on the development and application of advanced new analytical methods, and building trans-disciplinary collaborations and designed to allow maximum student and academic interaction.

Registration is now open and for full details, please visit the official website here:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/events/biomaths/

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Notice of EFN Workshop, posted Jan 09. Workshop: Geochronology dating methods and their applications in Australasian palaeoenvironmental and archaeological research, 2-8 February, 2009.

The Network is pleased to support a second workshop aimed at early career researchers in archaeology, palaeontology, quaternary sciences, environmental sciences and earth sciences. This workshop will include four days of lectures by visiting specialists, one day of hands-on laboratory preparation of samples for radiocarbon and OSL/TL dating; and a two day field trip to the Naracoorte region to experience first hand techniques for OSL and TL sampling collection (participants can elect to attend only some of the different components). Places for the lecture component are unlimited, however owing to logistical constraints there are limited places for the laboratory training day and field trip (these places will be filled on a first come, first in basis).

It has been specifically designed to provide ECRs and other participants with the chance to learn from, and network with, leading experts in a range of geochronology fields from around Australia and abroad. Participants will gain a solid understanding of the basic theory and methodology of a range of dating techniques (OSL, TL, ESR, U-series and radiocarbon) useful for establishing chronological frameworks for the reconstruction of palaeoenvironments and the interpretation of archaeological sites, as well as hear case study presentations in which applications of these dating techniques are discussed.

Program (from 9 am til 5 pm each day)

Day 1 - General introduction and housekeeping; Radiocarbon Dating, with presentations from Dr Fiona Petchey (Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory), Dr John Tibby (Geographical and Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide - yet to confirm) and Dr Lynley Wallis (Dept of Archaeology, Flinders University)

Day 2 - OSL and TL Dating, with presentations from Sarah Rittner (Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University), Prof Nigel Spooner (Defence, Science and Technology Organisation) and Prof John Prescott (University of Adelaide)

Day 3 - ESR Dating, with presentations from Sarah Rittner (Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University), Renaud Joannes-Boyau (Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University) and Prof Rainer Grun (Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University). Please note there will be an informal dinner on this evening; further details will be provided at the workshop

Day 4 - U-Th Dating, with presentations from Renaud Joannes-Boyau (Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University), Dr Liz Reed (Flinders University/ SA Dept of Environment and Heritage), Dr Gavin Prideaux (School of Biology, Flinders University) and Prof Rod Wells (School of Biology, Flinders University)

Day 5 - Laboratory session including a tour of the OSL/TL lab at the University of Adelaide with Prof John Prescott, and sample pre-treatment for OSL/TL and C14 with Prof John Prescott, Sarah Rittner and Fiona Petchey

Days 6 and 7 - Field trip to Naracoorte Caves area led by Sarah Rittner covering practical aspects of field sampling for OSL and ESR dating of sediments.

Confirmed case study presentations:
Prof Rainer Grun - The role of ESR dating in the reconstruction of modern human evolution
Dr Gavin Prideaux - Dating megafaunal extinctions in southwest Western Australia
Prof Rod Wells - Dating dilemnas at the Rocky River megafaunal site, Kangaroo Island
Dr Lynley Wallis - OSL and radiocarbon sampling in archaeological sites: case studies from the Coorong and northwest Queensland
Dr Liz Reed - title yet to be advised

Location:
Days 1 - 4: Flinders University Bedford Park Campus (room to be advised);
Day 5: University of Adelaide City Campus (room to be advised):
Days 6 and 7: Field Trip to Naracoorte Caves and dunes (depart from Flinders University at 9 am Saturday morning, return by 7 pm Sunday evening)

Dates: This 7-day workshop will run from Monday 2 February until Sunday 8 February 2009.

Costs: A small fee will be charged for the different components of this workshop (a discount will be offered for participants from organisations that are members of the Environmental Futures Network - participant organisations are listed on the payment form; in addition, a travel rebate will be available to ECRs from participant organisations who travel interstate to attend the workshop - more information on this component is available by contacting Lynley Wallis). The fee will include lunch and morning/afternoon teas on lecture days, and costs associated with the two day field trip to Naracoorte.

Please visit here to submit your expression of interest in attending this workshop and/or to obtain a payment form (which includes a detailed overview of the fee structure).

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Network ECR funding outcomes, posted Jan 09. Call for ECR funding round 7 has now closed. A total of 18 applications were received, 8 applications were awarded funding to the total value ~$42,000, as follows:

  1. A. Smith, attend overseas workshop training in MARK, $2500
  2. R. Catullo, attend workshop, $1600
  3. I. Hagen, internation lab visit, US, $2500
  4. J. Metcalf, Phylogenetics Workshop, $13,500
  5. S. Rittner & R. Joannes-Boyau, Field sampling Workshop, $14430
  6. L. Triall, attend overseas workshop, $2500
  7. V. Thomson, research visit to Australian National Wildlife Collection, $2320
  8. M. Guzik, attend workshop, $2490

4 applications are still under review and 6 were ineligible.

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PhD opportunities, posted Jan 09. A PhD project is available for Australian (or New Zealand) residents.

A PhD scholarship is available, equivalent to the ARC APAI level (Aus $25,627), plus an additional top-up from an Industry Partner. This competitive scholarship will be available for a project to develop new methods to analyse and recover DNA from hair samples collected as forensic evidence, and from ancient specimens. The principal aim of the project is to
re-assess and re-design current approaches to the recovery and analysis of especially nuclear DNA from hair, developing and extending recent developments in forensics-PCR such as SPEX (Brotherton et al. NAR 2007), genomic library construction, and second generation sequencing.

The project is a collaboration with a number of University and Industry partners, and will be of immediate interest to Australian forensic scientists. The position will make use of the international quality ACAD facilities, and an extensive collection of ancient samples from around the world, and modern forensic material. The research requires exacting standards of laboratory practice and high precision analysis, with mathematical or analytical computing skills a distinctive advantage.
Desirable background: a degree in molecular biology, or similar, with high marks; a strong background in nucleic acids research; and experience with computer based analyses of DNA sequences. For expressions of interest, please visit website >>>http://www.adelaide.edu.au/acad/phd_projects/

Evolution the Festival, posted Jan 09. Melbourne Museum - February/March 2009

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of 'The Origin of Species'. To celebrate this defining time in history, Melbourne Museum will host a festival. Posted Jan, 09

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