The University of Sydney
Biological Sciences
September 2011
Postgraduate students
Aaron Greenville

Accomplished Rat Catcher, dedicated Research Assistant for the Desert Ecology Research Group and survivor of the infamous Simpson Desert floods of 2000 - aka Aaron Greenville - is semi-retiring his field boots to commence a PhD with his long-time mentors Chris Dickman and Glenda Wardle.

Aaron began his association with the Dickman Lab in 1999 when, as a third year student, he worked with Chris on a research project, which continued into an Honours year studying the tight habitat association of Lerista labialis with the dune crests of the Simpson Desert.

After Honours, Aaron worked off-and-on for Chris on various desert ecology projects before securing a full-time position of Research Assistant. In this role, Aaron assisted with ARC-funded projects by organising volunteers for desert trips, data analysis, GIS support and help with the day-to-day running of the research group.

For the next few years of his candidature, Aaron will be spending less time in the Desert and more time in the office thinking about how to build models of the factors (eg: climate, vegetation, predators and wildfire) that drive direct and indirect interactions of reptile and small mammal populations and assemblages, and determining how these change over space and time.
Photo of Aaron Greenville
Rebecca Stutz

Rebecca moved to Sydney from Perth in late August to start her PhD under the supervision of Clare McArthur and Peter Banks. She will be studying mammal browsing and is lucky enough to be doing field work at Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay. Rebecca is interested in how we can use associational refuges in plant communities to reduce browsing by swamp wallabies and promote the retention of eucalypt regrowth.

After completing undergraduate studies in conservation biology and environmental science at Murdoch University (WA), Rebecca did honours research examining the plausibility of applying a forest structural diversity index to the jarrah forest in south-western Australia, particularly its utility in facilitating offsetting decisions in this bioregion. Then, she worked in the Terrestrial Zoology department of the Western Australian Museum for three years and did two seasons of flatback sea turtle research in the north-west of WA. In July, she returned from a 9-month trip through the USA and Centroamerica, and is looking forward to the challenges of pursuing a PhD.
Photo of Rebecca Stutz
Bob Hunt

Bob Hunt is a new PhD student working under the supervision of Will Figueira. Bob's project is born out of an ARC Linkage partnership between the University of Sydney and two external bodies - the NSW Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust and the Fisheries Research Centre at Cronulla. His project seeks to improve management of recreational fisheries in Australia by developing model-based evaluation tools that can identify which strategies are most likely to achieve management objectives and to design surveys of recreational anglers that can accurately and precisely measure the performance of regulation change. By optimising the design of future recreational fishery assessment programs, Bob hopes his work will help reduce the cost of surveys and help provide an empirical mechanism to evaluate the impacts of management decisions (are objectives being met, both biologically and socially) and modify them as needed, thereby providing an improved outcome for both fish stocks and anglers.

Some people may remember Bob from his RA days with the EICC in 2000. He left us in 2003 to work in research support at the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre and spent the last five years working as an environmental scientist for Cardno Ecology Lab, a marine and freshwater ecology consultancy.
Photo of Bob Hunt
Professional staff
Zeinab Hazime

Zeinab has taken up the role of casual technical officer in the genetics team, working with Xiumei and Helen. Originally from Lebanon, she finished her Masters of Molecular Biotechnology at Sydney, which she followed with a research project in Peter McGee's lab last year. Zeinab is also familiar with work in the genetics team, having done casual work supporting genetics classes during her studies last year.

Photo of Zeinab Hazime
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Eureka Prize winner: Rick Shine
Rick Shine has been named the 2011 Eureka Prize winner for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research. Presented at an awards night on 6 September, Rick was part of a large group of University of Sydney finalists who all took out the top prize in their respective categories. Photo credit: 247Studios
Photo of Professor Rick Shine
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General staff review
Thank you to everybody who submitted feedback to Cindy Wilkinson, in mid-August, about the 2010 Biological Sciences review of administrative and technical staff. Following the feedback, Cindy has put in place some further activities which will be carried out over the next several months and will arrange a meeting of technical staff towards the end of the year to assess the impact of the review and consider what further follow-up action needs to be taken.
Remember to take your leave in 2011
Last year everyone was encouraged to take at least four weeks leave. This was to avoid the School (or research grants) being charged the equivalent of your salary for four weeks less the leave taken during the year. Conversely, for those who took more than four weeks of accumulated leave, the School (or research grant) was credited with an amount equivalent to your salary for the period of leave that you took over and above 4 weeks.

People did such a good job of this that the School made $83k from staff taking more than four weeks leave during the year and thereby decreasing their accumulated leave balances.

The same system is applying this year so please try to take your four weeks leave (or more) again in 2011.

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Biology Alumni Party
Saturday, 22 October | 11am - 6pm
Everybody is invited. Feel free to get together a group of SoBs contacts from the past and take them up to Warrah.

Warrah field station, 75 Crystal Ave, Pearl Beach

Please RSVP to Carla at:
Friday seminar
Friday 23 September | 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Phospholipase - cytoskeleton interactions in environmental stress signaling networks. Presented by Associate Professor Jan Marc (School of Biological Science, Sydney University)
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Biology Alumni Party at Warrah
Everybody is invited to the Biological Sciences' annual alumni event, held this year at the beloved Warrah field station on October 22. Enjoy a family-friendly day rekindling ties with former students and classmates in beautiful Pearl Beach. A tasty BBQ lunch will be provided as well as lots of fun activities, so please tell your SoBS contacts to join in the day.
Sydney Morning Herald | Rick Shine
Eureka Winners
Sydney Morning Herald | Rick Shine
New tool in cane toad fight
Saturday, October 22 | 11am
Biology Alumni Party
Friday, September 23 | 3:30pm
Friday Seminar
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