Experts available for media commentary

October 31, 2014

A range of Murdoch experts are available for commentary this month on key topics including: the G-20 Summit, food waste, bushfires, humpback whale migration and strandings, drama and it's role in education, dog drownings and stess management.

Find the full list of Murdoch experts by category here, or contact a member of the Media and Communications team for more information.

G-20 Summit

The G-20 Australia summit will be the ninth meeting of the G-20 heads of government and will be held in Brisbane on November 15 & 16.

Dr Ian Cook
Senior Lecturer in Politics, Dr Cook, is an expert in Australian politics and an experienced media commentator on international political issues.

Professor Mark Beeson
A Professor of International Politics, Professor Beeson is centred on the politics, economics and security of the broadly conceived Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Jeffrey Wilson
Dr Wilson is a Fellow of the Asia Research Centre and Lecturer in International Political Economy in the School of Management and Governance. He was an invited delegate to the G20 Youth Forum this year. He says the G20’s impressive declaratory record on energy cooperation hides serious practical shortcomings.

Food Waste forum

Murdoch University is hosting a forum to address global issues of food wastage.  The forum theme is Waste in Food Value Chains: Opportunities for Technological, Policy, and R&D innovations for minimising and utilising food waste.

The forum will feature six national and international experts and is a joint collaboration between Murdoch University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

Professor Shashi Sharma
Professor Sharma is the Chair of Biosecurity and Food Security at Murdoch University. He says two billion people in the world do not have access to nutritious food or are starving.  He says at the current rate of growth 230,000 people are born each day.  We can address some of the problem by stopping food loss or wastage.  Australians waste $8 billion worth of food every year with a large amount of the waste occurring at consumer and retail levels.

The environmental impacts of bushfires

Dr Joe Fontaine
As the seasonal focus shifts to summer and bushfire preparedness, Murdoch researcher Dr Joe Fontaine can provide expert commentary on the environmental impacts of bushfires. His recent research includes investigating bushfire threats in urban areas of Perth by mapping the amount of weeds in bushland areas; the interaction of fire and maintenance of biodiversity (both plants and wildlife) in forests and shrublands of western North America and WA; and assessing bushfire threats and the impacts of shortened fire intervals in WA.

Humpback whale migration and stranding

Professor Lars Bejder
Peak humpback whale southern migration off Perth takes place in late October, early November.  Professor Bejder is currently quantifying calf suckling rates and measuring the possible impacts of coastal development on female humpback whales and their calves as they migrate along WA’s north-west coast.  He can also discuss humpback whale migration and stranding in general terms.

Drama and its future in education

Kirsten Lambert
Murdoch PhD student Kirsten Lambert is researching neoliberalism and the arts.  In an age of education budget cuts and focus on subjects that result in high tertiary entrance marks, drama is being increasingly removed from the curriculum. Twenty-three per cent of schools in the UK have dropped drama and Australia is following in a similar pattern.  After conducting research in government, catholic and independent schools in Western Australia, Kirsten has found that Arts as a subject area is not being taken seriously, that drama is being “squeezed” out of the curriculum and that drama represents a safe haven for a lot of students, in particular those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Dogs and swimming pool danger

During the warmer months there is a greater risk of drowning in dogs that have access to swimming pools.  Many dog owners may not realise they need to be watching out for their pets like they do their children when it comes to safety around water. They often believe dogs have a natural ability to swim, but this is not always true. Similar to children, pets should never be left unsupervised around deep water. Unsecured solar pool blankets can be a hazard as dogs falling into the water can get trapped and disoriented making it hard for them to find the steps to get out of the pool. In addition, the weight of the blanket can push them under the water.

Dr Melissa Claus
Dr Claus is a Lecturer in Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Critical Care within the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. Her clinical interests include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, pulmonary pathology, electrolyte disorders, and life-saving techniques involving extracorporeal circulation.

Dr Jill Griffiths
Dr Griffiths is the Veterinarian Supervisor of the Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre (MPEC). The Centre team of over 50 staff consisting of two board-certified specialists in emergency and critical care medicine, emergency and critical care residents, intensive care veterinarians, consulting veterinarians and a team of registered veterinary nurses supporting either ICU, consulting or triage.

National Psychology Week
9 – 15 November 2014

National Psychology Week aims to increase public awareness of how psychology can help people and communities lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives. The focus this year is on helping Australians manage stress and increase their wellbeing, and to recognise when professional help is needed.

John Gardiner
Mr Gardiner is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Exercise Sciences and teaches an undergraduate unit in Health and Wellbeing. John Gardiner’s areas of expertise include the psychological impact of traumatic injury and chronic illness on children and adolescents; and the management of severe emotional and behavioural disorders in schools.

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