Lunch time talks

Person delivering talkJoin our researchers as they present some of the latest developments in their research in short, engaging presentations, followed by an opportunity to ask questions. A light lunch will be offered to attendees at the end of the second session.

If you are not located on the Albury-Wodonga Campus, you can view these talks via videoconference in the rooms noted below.

DateSpeakerTopicTimeLocationVideoconferencing at other campuses
28 August

Dr Michael Shackleton

DNA Barcoding Australia’s Macroinvertebrate Fauna

DNA barcodes can be used as a rapid and reliable way to identify organisms. Currently, there is much interest in incorporating DNA barcoding methods into freshwater macroinvertebrate surveys as a cost-effective way of generating high-resolution data. A major bottleneck in implementing DNA barcoding is the need for a comprehensive reference database that matches DNA barcodes to reference specimens.

Recently the Aquatic Invertebrates of Australia (AIA) DNA database was erected to serve as an open access reference database, but is, as yet, far from comprehensive. I will discuss how Australia is tracking in respect to the global effort in DNA barcoding, where our major gaps in data are, and how the AIA can help improve our efforts.

1 pm Boardroom Bendigo Campus - BUS 129

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201
28 August

Professor Nick Bond

Informing conversation of river ecosystems in the face of hydroelectric power development in Peru

Nick Bond has more than 20 years’ experience working on aquatic ecosystems. His primary research interests are in the effects of flow variability on stream biota, and integrating this knowledge into catchment scale restoration and environmental flow planning. His work has informed multiple aspects of water management in Australia, especially within the Murray-Darling Basin, and he has also worked on rivers in Asia and South America.

His work in Peru will be the focus of his talk.

1.30 pm  Boardroom

Bendigo Campus - BUS 129

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

29 August Dr Aleicia Holland        

Dissolved organic carbon quality in Australian Freshwater and its effect on metal toxicity

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) plays an important role in the environmental toxicity and chemistry of aquatic ecosystems, and this interaction is driven by both the composition and concentration of the DOC present. DOC composition depends on the source of the organic carbon to the aquatic environment, and as such is often defined as: allochthonous (terrestrially-derived), and/or autochthonous (microbially-derived).

DOC often consists of three main dominant components (humic acids, fulvic acids and proteins). DOC can also be characterised based on its aromaticity, and molecular weight. It is widely accepted that DOC influences toxicity of contaminants such as metals in aquatic environments in a concentration dependent manner.

However, information regarding the effect of differences in DOC composition on metal toxicity is still poorly understood. Given that no two waterways contain the same DOC, this poses a significant challenge when trying to estimate toxicity of a certain metal. Information regarding the types of DOC commonly found within Australian and Brazilians waters and their effect on metals is currently limited.

This talk will focus on the effect different Australian and Brazilian DOC’s have on toxicity of metals such as Cu and Ni within freshwaters.

1 pm  Boardroom 

Bendigo Campus - BUS 129

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

29 August

Dr Gavin Rees

Life on the rocks and logs in rivers: its key to the river’s ecology

Often, people figure that the things that grow on the rocks and logs of rivers is little more than slime that is slippery and annoying when you try and walk over river rocks.

Researcher at the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research are particularly interested in what’s in that slime (or biofilm as we call it) and how the biofilm organisms respond to environmental conditions, particularly different and modified flow conditions. The more we examine what’s there, the more we have come to learn that biofilms are an important community of organisms , and that biofilms have an important role in providing the necessary food resources for larger organisms such as fish.

1.30 pm Boardroom

Bendigo Campus - BUS 129

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

30 August

Assoc. Professor Irene Blackberry

Co-designing future rural dementia care: what is the role of technology to support carers?

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. There are nearly 500,000 Australians being diagnosed with dementia and the number is projected to increase. Dementia places a substantial demand on carers. Our research is directed towards supporting carers of people with dementia and the rural communities in which people with dementia age-in-place. Carers in rural communities are targeted because this group is often disadvantaged and have less access to support services.

This presentation will highlight our innovative and collaborative research program in improving dementia care in rural communities using technology including Delphi-based community consultation, development and trialling of service navigation and networking (SENDER) smartphone app, mapping and network analyses of dementia services and our work in progress to establish a virtual dementia friendly communities across 12 rural communities in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia will be presented.

1 pm Boardroom  

Bendigo Campus - CLT

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

30 August Dr Sue Hodgkin

Rural  Workforce Challenges in Community Aged Care

The Australian community aged care sector is facing a growing workforce crisis, particularly in rural and regional areas. Its predominantly female workforce is ageing, and recruiting younger, skilled workers is proving difficult.

The service sector too, is proving highly complex and diverse as a result of contemporary aged care service reforms as well as ongoing difficulties in providing services to the growing numbers of older people living in Australia’s rural areas. Despite these multiple challenges, there is a gap in research that explores how rural aged care services manage their day-to-day requirements for skilled workers across the diverse service sector.

This presentation will discuss a research project funded by the IRT and in partnership with Riverina TAFE. It examines service managers' conceptualisations of the barriers faced in attracting a suitable community care workforce.

1.30 pm Boardroom

Bendigo Campus - CLT

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

31 August Dr Clare Wilding

Well Ageing Vision and Engagement (WAVE): community consultation and supporting well-aging in Wangaratta

In partnership with Northeast Health Wangaratta, the John Richards Initiative has been undertaking a community consultation with older people and service providers in Wangaratta and its surrounding small townships and rural areas. There have been four stages of community consultation asking older people and service providers about what is important to them to keep healthy and well as they age and how can older people be supported to age well? We received 260 postcard responses from older people and people who care for older people.

More than 60 people participated in two world café meetings. Interviews were completed with 29 service providers working in 14 organisations in Wangaratta. Fifty older people from the small townships of Whitfield, Eldorado, and Peechelba/Boorhaman and 60 older people in Wangaratta participated in community meetings. We found that older people need and want information about health and community services, opportunities for social participation, housing, and actions they can take to enhance their health. They also need services that are affordable, easily accessible, and locally-available.

The next phase of this project will be to establish and evaluate an information and education hub targeted for older people.

1 pm Boardroom

Bendigo Campus - MLT

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201

31 August Dr Jennifer Jones

The widow’s might: Marriage, widowhood and female family economic headship in the Australasian colonies, 1859-1899’

Jennifer will talk about how migrants to the Australian goldfields managed female family headship before and after widowhood, in the context of separate ‘spheres ideology’ and in isolation form traditional sources of support.

1.30 pm Boardoom

Bendigo Campus - BUS 129

Melbourne Campus - BS1 201