Opportunity: Postgraduate Research Internship in Office of the Chief Scientist for Australia


Location: Canberra, ACT

Duration: 5 months

Proposed start date: Monday 4th June 2018

Applications close: 28 May 2018

Keywords: Analytical skills, Data Visualisation, Report writing, Communication, Team work, Multidisciplinary

Please note: Due to project requirements, students must have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.


The Office of the Chief Scientist supports Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO in his role in providing high-level independent advice to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on matters relating to science, technology and innovation. The Chief Scientist is also an advocate for Australian science domestically and internationally.

A STEM literate and capable workforce is a key component to Australia’s present and continued prosperity and is a significant policy priority of the Australian Government. The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) is one of the primary sources of advice and evidence on Australia’s STEM workforce.

In 2016 the OCS released for the first time a comprehensive examination of Australia’s STEM workforce using the 2011 Census that mapped the outcomes and trajectories of STEM qualified graduates in both higher education and vocational education and training (VET).

The release of the 2016 Census provides an opportunity to both update the previous work and to advance the evidence base for areas of specific policy interest through examining the role of the STEM workforce. The OCS will be working towards the production of the second edition of the Australia’s STEM Workforce report by the end of 2018.

The OCS is seeking a PhD graduate that can provide a high level of analytical capability to undertake a significant part of the analysis and production of the report, working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Find out more here.

CIE Seminar Series 2018: Mitochondria, life-histories, and the evolution of sex differences

SPEAKER: Assoc. Professor Damian Dowling, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University

DATE: Friday, 18th May 2018

TIME: 1:30pm

LOCATION:  Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207 (green room)

Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood –Burwood Corporate Centre; and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.19 (fishbowl)

External visitors – wish to join us and connect to our seminars?
External parties may connect to the live seminar via *N SEBE VMP LES Seminars 52236958@deakin.edu.au [ID.36958] via the methods listed below:

  • For external guests, you can connect as a web guest by clicking HERE. If using Chrome you it will prompt you to install the Cisco Jaba Plugin, then it will prompt you to download the extension which you will need to install. Once this has been installed, you will have a black screen with a call button. You will just need to click call and it should connect into the VMP.
  • For Deakin staff and students, please join via Skype for Business (Lync) – if you have office installed you may already have Skype for business or Lync installed. You just need to look for it on the start menu. If you find it, you can log into skype using your Deakin email and password and then dial 36958.
  • Could not log in? More info on how to connect is available HERE or HERE.
  • Please note that connection is only available while a seminar is taking place.

As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone – thank you!

ABSTRACT. In my research group, we are interested in the contribution mitochondrial genomes make to the evolution of life-histories. There are strong theoretical reasons to believe that mtDNA sequences will accumulate functional genetic variation (i.e. genetic variation that changes the phenotype) under both non-adaptive and adaptive processes. Furthermore, maternal inheritance of the mitochondria should hypothetically render mitochondrial genomes prone to the accumulation of sex-specific variation, via alleles that are benign or advantageous to females, but outright harmful to males. This has beencalled the “Mother’s Curse” effect. In this seminar, I will present studies from my group that suggest mutation accumulation and adaptation both play a role in shaping patterns of mitochondrial sequence variation. I will present experimental support the Mother’s Curse effect, including evidence that mitochondrial haplotypes are sexually antagonistic (haplotypes that are good for females are bad for males). I will discuss the implications of our findings for our understanding of key biological concepts, including the evolution of sex differences, adaptation under sexually antagonistic selection, and the capacity of our native flora and fauna to cope with ever increasing climatic stress.

BIO. Damian Dowling is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow, at the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University. He completed his PhD studies in 2004 at the University of Melbourne, before embarking on postdoctoral research at Uppsala University in Sweden, working with Professor Göran Arnqvist, and then the University of Western Australia, with Professor Leigh Simmons. In 2009, he was awarded a Monash University Research Fellowship, and moved back to Melbourne. In 2010 he was awarded an ARC Australian Research Fellowship, and then a Future Fellowship commencing in 2017. Damian is the theme leader for Evolution, and has taken on the role of Director of Research, in the School of Biological Sciences. He is an evolutionary ecologist by training, who is broadly interested in adaptation under sexual selection and sexual conflict, and the evolution of ageing. In recent years, he has been fascinated by the possibility that the mitochondria might play a role in mediating these processes.

For more info: http://www.damiandowlinglab.com/

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via ondi.crino@deakin.edu.au.

Event: Curating the Future feat. Prof Marcel Klaassen, National Wool Museum, 18 May

Curating the Future, National Wool Museum, Geelong.
Friday 18 May 2018, 10AM to 11.30AM

To celebrate International Museum Day, the National Wool Museum will host a special panel discussion on the topic, “Curating the Future”. Professor Libby Robin, Australian National University, will deliver an address on the topic and continue the discussion with ecologist Professor Marcel Klaassen, Deakin University and the National Wool Museum’s Senior Curator, Dr Luke Keogh.

The talk is free and open to the public. It will be followed by morning tea and a special tour of the new exhibition Spidergoat and the Insect Electro. Please RSVP online at https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/nwm/calendar/item/8d5b042a55ba519.aspx

Event: Confessions of a Bird Nerd, June 4

Sean Dooley “There’s no such thing as a birdwatching comedian”.
Mon. 4 June 2018, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm AEST
Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre (BCC), 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125

Sean Dooley has been looking at birds since the age of ten. And getting funny looks for looking at birds from pretty much the same age. Join him on a journey that takes him from the rainforests of Queensland to some of the finest sewage farms this country has to offer, from the embarrassment of being outed as a bird-nerd in front of his year seven classmates to the only slightly less embarrassment of outing himself as birder on national television, as he takes an in depth look at how we look at birds and what birds mean to us.

About the Speaker: When asked what he wanted to be when he left school, Sean Dooley was told by his careers guidance counsellor in no uncertain terms that, “There’s no such thing as a birdwatching comedian.” Sean went on to write for TV comedies such as Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, perform a solo shows (including one about birdwatching) in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and has written about his experiences in breaking the Australian twitching record for seeing the most birds in one year, in his book, The Big Twitch. Sean is currently editor of Australian Birdlife magazine and known throughout the Australian media as “The Bird Man”. Follow him at @twitchathon 

More information and book tickets here.