Goodbye Hello! Welcome to the new COMBINE committee

It is with a mixture of sadness and pride that I’d like to use this post to introduce the new COMBINE committee for 2015-2016, thus ending my time as President of COMBINE, the ISCB Regional Student Group for Australia.

The current national committee have done a great job, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Harriet Dashnow (Secretary), Tim Rice (Treasurer) and Thomas Coudrat (Media & Comms) for their time in leadership positions. In the last year, COMBINE has gone from strength to strength and I think this is no small part due to the work of rest of the committee.

Of particular pride is the expansion to states outside Victoria, and the network we’ve established through National teleconference meetings we have held over the last year. On a monthly basis, we’ve had students and ECRs from Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane (and occasionally New Zealand!) join in calls to plan our world domination modest ambitions for a national network of students and ECRs in computational biology and bioinformatics. If you are interested in joining in these calls, email to find out how you can join in!

We’ve also been active holding events and bringing students together at various conferences:

The local branch events and participation in nation calls is due to the effort put in by local leaders including Steve Pederson (Adelaide), Guillaume Bernard (Brisbane), Adam Taranto (Canberra), Jack Simpson (Canberra), David Clarke (Canberra), Kevin Murray (Canberra), Scott Ritchie (Melbourne), Westa Domanova (Sydney) and Aidan O’Brien (Sydney). Their leadership is of equal importance to the success of COMBINE.

There are lots of exciting events on the pipeline, including the 2015 COMBINE symposium in Sydney (preceding the ABABCS conference). Training has continued to be a big part of what COMBINE does; both in providing basic and advanced scientific computing training. We’ve added a new leadership position this year to co-ordinate and promote these events, which will include webinars and more Software Carpentry workshops.

I’d now like to introduce the new committee and thank them for offering to lead COMBINE. Special mention goes to Harriet Dashnow, who after a year of fantastic effort as Secretary has volunteered for more as President! The new committee is:

  • President: Harriet Dashnow
  • Secretary/Vice-President: Westa Domanava
  • Treasurer: Jane Hawkey
  • Web & Comms: Zoe Dyson / Andrew Lonsdale*
  • Training: Scott Ritchie

I’m also really pleased with leadership positions starting to spread around the country, with Westa Domanava agreeing to both chair the COMBINE Symposium and take a leadership position; and the overall gender ratio in the leadership group. I think both these things reflect the positive future that COMBINE and bioinformatics and computational biology have in Australia.

Welcome to the new committee!


Andrew Lonsdale (@lonsbio)


* You’ll notice I’m hanging around to help out with the Web & Comms. Being involved in COMBINE is a great experience, and once you get started, it’s hard to stop. I’d encourage research students at any stage of their studies to get involved. The benefits to your CV, professional and personal network cannot be underestimated. If you need convincing, consider this:

You’re going to procrastinate from doing research with something, that something may as well help your career!

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