Honours Presentation awards 2016

On the 10th of November 2016, the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology gathered to recognise the research presentations of students graduating this year. Honours students had the opportunity to present their work to staff from the discipline across several seminars. These presentations formed an important part of their Honours assessment.

Students were thanked for their participation, and for the high quality of presentations in 2016. Four students were selected for the Disciplines annual Honours awards:

Matthew Cosgriff

Subha Nasir-Ahmad

Monica Vogiatzis

Bronte Black

Top row: Students and staff standing together. Bottom row: Prize winners recieving their awards

Top row: 2016 Honours students, and supervising staff. Bottom row: Matthew Cosgriff and Jonathon Stone, Subha Nasir-Ahmad and Bogdan Dreher, Monica Vogiatzis and John McAvoy, Bronte Black and Kevin Keay (Head of Department)

The Discipline of Anatomy and Histology congratulates our graduating students and warmly encourages anyone interested in Honours to be in contact with us.

Honours contact
Paul Austin

+61 2 9351 5061

Post Graduate contact
Frank Lovicu

+61 2 9351 5170

Jia Hao Yeo's research paper is front cover of 'Microscopy and Microanalysis'

Jia Hao Yeo photo portrait

Jia Hao Yeo

Jia Hao Yeo, who is a PhD Candidate at the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology, had his research paper accepted into 'Microscopy and Microanalysis' (published by the Cambridge University Press). The paper is a collaboration with Bronwyn McAllan and Stuart Fraser.

The work titled "Scanning Electron Microscopy Reveals Two Distinct Classes of Erythroblastic Island Isolated from Adult Mammalian Bone Marrow" was also featured as the cover image for the April 2016 issue of the journal.

The research focused on furthering understanding of 'Erythroblastic Islands'. These clusters are not well understood but are known to have an impact on blood disorders. Jia's research discovered that there are two distinct classes of these multicellular clusters and there is a suggestion that these may play distince roles in red blood cell production.

The abstract is available online:

Microscopy and Microanalysis front cover April 2016

Jiao Hao Yeo's cover image

Volume 22, Issue 02 - April 2016
Erythroblastic islands are multicellular clusters in which a central macrophage supports the development and maturation of red blood cell (erythroid) progenitors. These clusters play crucial roles in the pathogenesis observed in animal models of hematological disorders. The precise structure and function of erythroblastic islands is poorly understood.

Here, we have combined scanning electron microscopy and immuno-gold labeling of surface proteins to develop a better understanding of the ultrastructure of these multicellular clusters. The erythroid-specific surface antigen Ter-119 and the transferrin receptor CD71 exhibited distinct patterns of protein sorting during erythroid cell maturation as detected by immuno-gold labeling. During electron microscopy analysis we observed two distinct classes of erythroblastic islands. The islands varied in size and morphology, and the number and type of erythroid cells interacting with the central macrophage. Assessment of femoral marrow isolated from a cavid rodent species (guinea pig, Cavis porcellus) and a marsupial carnivore species (fat-tailed dunnarts, Sminthopsis crassicaudata) showed that while the morphology of the central macrophage varied, two different types of erythroblastic islands were consistently identifiable.

Our findings suggest that these two classes of erythroblastic islands are conserved in mammalian evolution and may play distinct roles in red blood cell production.

Daisy Shu tops thousands of international entries to win ARVO M-I-T 'Lens' award

Daisy Shu portrait

Daisy Shu

The Discipline of Anatomy and Histology congratulates Daisy Shu on her win at the 2016 'Annual Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting'.

Daisy presented a poster on her research - titled 'Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-7 modulates TGFß-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of lens epithelial cells' in Seattle, WA, USA. Her work was selected for the Members-In-Training (MIT) Poster Award judging session, where she won the best poster for the 'Lens' section.

This is the second year in a row that a student from the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology has won the award. The 2015 awardee was Fatima Wazin.

The meeting took 6,200 entries for its various competitions from almost 11,000 researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO has a stated mission to advance research around the world for the understanding of the visual system as well as for preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

'Nature' publishes work from Anatomy and Histology student Kennedy Wolfe

Kennedy Wolfe of the Integrative Biology and Evolution of Marine and Freshwater Invertebrates Laboratory is part of the team whose work was published in Nature this month.

The new findings from fieldwork undertaken at the University of Sydney’s One Tree Island Research Station provides fresh evidence that ocean acidification resulting from carbon dioxide emissions is already slowing coral reef growth.

Kennedy is a PhD student under the supervision of Maria Byrne. The lab has many projects focusing on the understanding of various marine animals and the pressure of changing climate conditions.

The waters around One Tree Island research facility

One Tree Island researchers collecting data

FROM: http://phys.org/news/2016-02-ocean-acidification-coral-reef-growth.html

One Tree Island reef with researchers visible in the distance

New findings from fieldwork undertaken at the University of Sydney’s One Tree Island Research Station provide fresh evidence ocean acidification resulting from carbon dioxide emissions is already slowing coral reef growth.

It is estimated that 40 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as the result of human activities – including the burning of fossil fuels - is absorbed by the ocean. There, the chemistry of seawater becomes more acidic and corrosive to coral reefs, shellfish, and other marine life. This process is known as ‘ocean acidification’.

Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to the ocean acidification process, because reef architecture is built by the accretion of calcium carbonate, called calcification, which becomes increasingly difficult as acid concentrations increase and the surrounding water’s pH decreases. Scientists predict that reefs could switch from carbonate calcification to dissolution within the century due to this acidification process.

In the first experiment to manipulate the chemistry of seawater in the ocean, a team of researchers brought the pH of a reef on One Tree Island closer to what it would have been in pre-industrial times, based on estimates of atmospheric carbon dioxide from that era. They then measured the reef’s calcification in response to this pH increase. They found calcification rates under these manipulated pre-industrial conditions were higher than today.

The team was led by Rebecca Albright and Ken Caldeira from Stanford University and included the Disciplines PhD candidate Kennedy Wolfe, who was instrumental to the fieldwork undertaken to create these findings.  

Previous studies have demonstrated large-scale declines in coral reefs over recent decades. Work from another team led by Caldeira found rates of reef calcification were 40 percent lower in 2008 and 2009 than during the same season in 1975 and 1976. However, it has been hard to pinpoint exactly how much of the decline is due to acidification and how much is caused by other anthropogenic stressors like ocean warming, pollution, and over-fishing.

“Our work provides the first strong evidence from experiments on a natural ecosystem that ocean acidification is already causing reefs to grow more slowly than they did 100 years ago,” Albright said. “Ocean acidification is already taking its toll on coral reef communities. This is no longer a fear for the future; it is the reality of today.”

Increasing the alkalinity of ocean water around coral reefs has been proposed as a geoengineering measure to save shallow marine ecosystems. These results show this idea could be effective. However, the practicality of implementing such measures would be almost impossible at all but the smallest scales.

 “The only real, lasting way to protect coral reefs is to make deep cuts in our carbon dioxide emissions,” Caldeira said. “If we don’t take action on this issue very rapidly, coral reefs—and everything that depends on them, including both wildlife and local communities—will not survive into the next century.”

One Tree Island is a unique reef ecosystem that, at low tide, forms a ponded lagoon surrounded by a coral reef edge. “This habitat is ideal for experiments like these, allowing researchers to monitor reef response to changes in seawater conditions enclosed within the lagoon”, Wolfe said. “We manipulated the current conditions of seawater by scooping 15,000 litres of water into a tank similar in shape to a large inflatable pool. We then pumped the water onto the reef, measuring the difference in response between present-day water and pre-industrial conditions.”

The research was supported by the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research.