Knowledge seminars

Knowledge seminars

In 1990, monthly seminars were introduced at the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries to give staff an opportunity to talk about their work in a formal way and in doing so to develop confidence and, hopefully, improve on their skills in oral presentations.

The seminars also provide an opportunity to staff, industry groups and the public to learn about the diverse research and development activities that are conducted by staff.

Each year seminars are presented, one a month (March to November), on a variety of research/conference topics that researchers conduct during the course of their work. Seminars are usually conducted at Berrimah Farm.

During each seminar two members of the audience, chosen at random, score the speaker on his/her presentation. Marks are given for the organisation of the talks and for the style of presentation. Apart from determining the winner, the process helps in providing feedback to speakers so that they improve on their performance in the future.

The annual Knowledge Seminar Award is presented to the speaker with the highest marks for the year. To advertise seminars, a flyer is put on the department’s internet with the title, speaker and time of the seminar. Relevant external contacts are informed by email.

Seminar contact information

If you require further information or would like to be placed on the email list contact:
Technical Publications
John England Building
Berrimah Farm, Darwin, NT
Phone: (08) 8999 2313

Upcoming seminars

When: April to November 2016
Where: Larrakia Room, John England Building, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: To be confirmed

Once a presentation is confirmed more details will be made available. If you are unable to view the seminar in person a copy will be made available via the department's YouTube channel.

Previous seminars

Previous seminars can be viewed at:

Catch composition of a traditional Indonesian shark fishery operating off north-western Australia

When: Thursday 1 September at 3pm
Where: Conference Room, Fisheries, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Grant Johnson, Fisheries Research Scientist
Lindsay Marshall, Jenny Giles, Grant Johnson

For centuries Indonesian fishers have harvested marine organisms from waters off north Australia. This has continued under an Australian and Indonesian Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in 1974, that allows traditional Indonesian fishers access to 48,000 km2 off north-western Australia. In this area, known as the MOU Box, Indonesian fishers fish for sedentary organisms, finfish and sharks which are believed to have come under greater fishing pressure over the past decade. 

Establishing the catch composition in this fishery is challenging because the catch can only be inspected post capture and is retained as parts, such as fins. In this project novel techniques were used to identify all sharks on nine traditional Indonesian vessels operating in the MOU Box.

See the presentation

Be CrocWise

When: Monday 25 May
Where: Conference Room, BARC Hut, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Tom Nichols and Michael Barritt, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT

See the Be CrocWise presentation.

Cucumber Green Mottle Mosiac Virus (CGMMV)

When: Tuesday 6 January at 2pm
Where: Conference Room, West wing - Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Dr Aviv Dombrovsky of the Agricultural Research Organization - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, State of Israel

See the CGMMV presentation.

Arid rangeland breeding herd performance

Review of aspects of breeding herd performance from beef cattle projects on the arid rangelands of the Alice Springs district

When: Friday 21 November at 3.15pm
Where: Ground Floor Conference Room, John England Building, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Jocelyn Coventry

To effectively record the variability that is a feature of beef cattle herds on arid rangelands, sustained periods of objective data collection are required. This has been infrequently achieved on pastoral properties in the Alice Springs district of the NT, and has motivated review and analysis by Jocelyn Coventry in a master degree thesis. 

Using historical data from three primary beef cattle projects, these analyses enabled comparison with existing knowledge about beef cattle production on arid rangelands, and provided new information on reproductive performance, mortality, nutritional deficiencies, infestations and infections in continuously-mated herds of the Alice Springs district.

Jocelyn is a pastoral production officer working on beef cattle research with the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries in Alice Springs. This presentation provides both highlights from the thesis and reflections on beef cattle research in the area over the past 30 years.

See the breeding herd performance presentation.

A 10 year experience in the science/policy interface in animal health in Ireland

When: Wednesday 12 November at 10.30am
Where: Conference Room, West wing - Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Professor Simon More, University College Dublin, Ireland

Simon is also the director of the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, a national resource centre that provides policy advice and leads research on issues relating to the control of animal diseases.

Simon speaks about epidemiological support for the control and eradication of regulatory animal diseases; work in support of animal health Ireland; epidemiological support for a broad range of other animal health and welfare issues relating to emergency animal disease preparedness and response.

See the Irish animal health presentation.

Direct age determination in crustaceans is now possible: A novel technique

When: Friday 4 July at 9am
Where: Ground Floor Conference Room, John England Building, Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Darwin, NT
Speaker: Dr Raouf Kilada, University of New Brunswick (Saint John's), Canada

The department hosted Dr Raouf Kilada in Darwin courtesy of a Fisheries Research and Development Corporation visiting expert bursary. Dr Kilada’s research interests lie in the estimation of life history parameters (i.e. age, growth, maturity and mortality) of commercially important molluscs and crustaceans. 

His recent development of a validated method to age crustaceans has the potential to greatly improve our understanding of the biology, ecology and stock dynamics of this group of animals. Dr Kilada’s presentation formed part of a crustacean ageing workshop held at Berrimah Farm on 4-5 July 2014.

Presentation abstract

The detection and measurement of annual growth bands preserved in calcified structures underlies the
assessment and management of exploited fish and invertebrates populations around the world. However, the
estimation of growth, mortality and other age-structured processes in crustaceans has been severely limited by
the apparent absence of permanent growth structures. Dr Kilada reviews the application of the novel technique for the direct age determination in crustaceans. Besides the pilot study involving northern shrimp and snow crab, the method was applied successfully on other species such as the king crab in Alaska, squat lobster and nylon shrimp in Chile, and crayfish in Louisiana. 

The method has proved applicable in all species that were investigated. In the method, the detection of annual growth bands in calcified regions of two body structures in crustaceans was confirmed thus providing a direct method of age determination. Comparison of growth band counts with reliable,
independent measures of age indicates that the bands form annually and provide an accurate indicator of age in all of the species examined. Chemically-labeled growth bands were retained through successive molts, as was one of the two body structures containing the growth bands. Growth band formation was not associated with molting or previously-documented lamellae in the endocuticle. Sex-specific growth curves were readily developed from growth band examination in multiple species, suggesting that routine measurement of growth and mortality in decapod crustaceans should now be possible.

See the crustacean ageing presentation.

Last updated: 27 March 2018