Monash University Biological Society


Newsletter 6.0


1.0 Postgraduate BBQ

Our first BBQ of the semester will be a super special event!

In addition to grabbing the usual free food and drinks you can also strike up a great conversation with the Masters and PhD students of Biology at Monash who will be coming out of their research burrows to establish communication with the grassland dwelling sub-species known as Homo Booblawnis*.

The postgraduates  hope that these communications will prove to be of great benefit to the survival of the individuals of H. Booblawnis who hope to permanently fill a niche in the larger world of Doing Science.

When: This Friday, 8th August

Time: 12-2pm

Where: Boob Lawn, near the 1st Year Chem Labs 

See you Friday!

2.0 Photo and Drawing Competition

Our annual photo contest will be closing this coming Monday 11th of August (start of Week 3), so if you haven't already entered a photo in one or more of the following categories, then hop to!

Categories: Fauna, Flora/Fungi, Landscape, Funny, Biological Society Event, Nature Sketch, Biological Diagram.

For more information on the conditions of photo entry go here:

Enter your photos here:

All the photos will be presented and awards given to the best judged photos on Wednesday 20th of August 12- 2pm (Week 4) in the Campus Centre Cinema.

Join our facebook event:

3.0 Regent Honeyeater Planting 2014

It's that time of year again to get out your Tree Hugging Pants and Gloves and head up to Benalla for the Tree Planting Weekends!

The first one is earlier than last year, so we won't be running this as an official Biol Soc camp. **The first official Tree Planting Camp will take place in Week 4 (See Tree Planting in Benalla #2)**

However, if you can't wait that long then please follow the link below if you and friends wish to attend this coming weekend, which has all of the contact details and information.

4.0 Vice-Chancellor's Professorial Fellows Speaker Series

Making a difference through public sector service”

Monday 11 August, starting 12.15pm sharp

Featuring Adam Fennessy Secretary of DEPI

“Entrepreneurship isn't just for entrepreneurs: A spotlight on innovative thinking and prudent risk-taking:”

Wednesday 27 August, starting 12.15pm sharp

5.0 Science Careers and Industry Week

August 25 - 29

Biology day is Tuesday 26 August

Science Student Learning Lounge

Ground floor, Building 26

6.0 Volunteer Opportunity

Hi everyone! Fariba Pakdel is a PhD student looking for keen volunteers to help out in her lab and field research. She is examining the allelopathic potential (plants producing chemicals that stop/minimise the growth of other primary producers) of macrophytes (freshwater plants both native and invasive) on green algae and cyanobacteria. She is also looking at the macro/micro invertebrate biodiversity within macrophyte beds.

Lab works include:

· Washing and autoclaving glassware

· Incubating plants and looking after them

· Culturing algae

· Counting algal cell density using microscopes and haemocytometer

· Identifying and counting invertebrates

Outdoor experiment is conducted in the Jock Marshal Reserve:

- Looking after plants in mesocosms

- Collecting invertebrates

This is a great opportunity for people to become more familiar with lab spaces and learn/practice lab techniques. It's also a great way to learn more about water plants and algae, things that most people know very little about but are incredibly interesting and vital in aquatic ecosystems.

If you're interested in volunteering with Fariba, please contact her at

Thanks everyone!

7.0 The Orangutan Project  

Ecologist Dr Ian Singleton works in Sumatra, Indonesia to rehabilitate orangutans and safeguard their threatened habitat.

On 22 August, get down to the Eureka Hotel on Church St for a chance to network with him and his team, as well as learn about the experience of protecting orangutans from extinction.

Tix $5 online, with canapes and raffle prizes!...

Highly recommended!


8.0 Latham’s Snipe: Honours Project opportunity: Fed Uni

A multi-scale investigation into the patterns of habitat use by Latham’s Snipe and their response to urban development at a key wetland site in south-western Victoria.

Please contact Birgita Hansen ( for further information.

Latham’s Snipe is a cryptic, migratory shorebird that breeds in Japan and spends its non-breeding season in eastern Australia. Due to its reliance on specific wetland habitat, it is threatened by wetland loss throughout the region. One of the key sites for snipe is the Powling Street wetlands, which regularly holds between 0.1 and 1 % of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway population, suggesting it is internationally important for the conservation of the species. However, this site is located in an urban matrix and is currently threatened with a proposed housing development, which will result in the loss of the site’s ephemeral wetlands. This loss of habitat combined with increased disturbance to roosting and foraging birds is expected to reduce the suitability of the site for snipe, potentially resulting in a decline of this population.

The objectives of this study are to undertake surveys of Latham’s Snipe at multiple scales (site-scale and region-scale) to determine patterns of habitat use and estimate relative carrying capacity of the site.

Research questions:

1. How do the spatial patterns of habitat use by Latham’s Snipe at Powling Street wetlands vary over the non-breeding season?

2. What is the relative importance of the Powling Street wetlands complex to Latham’s Snipe, compared to other wetlands in the Port Fairy region?

We are seeking an enthusiastic and self-motivated undergraduate student to undertake this honours research project. The student will work with staff at Federation University Australia and the South Beach Wetland and Landcare Group to undertake targeted surveys, behavioural observations and data analysis of Latham’s Snipe during the 2014-2015 spring / summer season

9.0 Community Bat Projects

The Organ Pipes NP and Wilson Reserve (Ivanhoe) bat box projects are two great community science projects on microbats. Once a month on Saturday for Wilson Reserve and Sunday for Organ Pipes NP, bats are collected from their boxes for counting and measuring. These two projects are your best chance to get acquainted with a variety of Victoria’s adorable microbats. It’s a lot of fun and since they are microbats you will only have to surrender small amounts of blood .

For more information contact Robert Bender

Wilson Reserve bat box, Irvine Rd car park (Melway 31 G11): September Saturday

Next Organ Pipes NP: September Sunday

10.0 Field Naturalist Society of Victoria

The FNCV is one of our partner organisations and at a 134 year old it is Victoria’s premier naturalist organisation. Each of their 8 interest groups (Botany, Fauna, Fungi, Geology, Marine, Microscopy, terrestrial Invertebrates) holds a regular monthly seminar meeting as well as research and collection trips. This is a great organisation for furthering your knowledge of Victoria’s environment, to network with professionals and to gather practical experience. There is lots of choice in what to do, so come on down and join us. The club hall is a street away from Blackburn railway station and only 30 minutes via the 703 bus from Clayton campus. The bus also stops at Blackburn station.

The next event is Monday the 14th for the Marine groups meeting on Research Diving.

Don’t miss it.

11.0 Website, Facebook page, and contact details

Website -

Facebook -

Enquiries -

Event registration -