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Posts Tagged ‘UQ Science’

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

UQ serves up new Food Science Innovation Precinct

Australia’s food-centric culture—illustrated by the popularity of dining out, healthy eating and television cooking shows—will benefit from a new $1-million facility at the University of Queensland.

UQ is serving up a smorgasbord of opportunity for the food industry with the opening of the new Food Science Innovation Precinct at the St Lucia campus.

 UQ serves up new Food Science Innovation Precinct

Study food science at the new UQ Food Science Innovation Precinct (Photo credit: UQ)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said UQ had worked hard to position itself as a research powerhouse in areas such as agriculture, land management, genetics and chemistry, which all feed into food innovation.

“UQ has the largest university food research capability in Australia and ranks at number seven in the world for agriculture research,” he said.

“The Food Science Innovation Precinct is the icing on the cake. It will give students access to world-class training, innovations and facilities, and will ultimately help food companies create more innovative products.”

The Food Science Innovation Precinct has two state-of-the-art laboratories—a food-grade laboratory and an analytical laboratory for chemical and microbiological analysis.

Master of Food Science students will have the opportunity to work on a range of projects, including

  • cholesterol-lowering baked goods and dairy foods
  • ultra-low-fat cheese that tastes like full-fat cheese
  • 3D printed fruits
  • fresher milk produced without heat pasteurisation
  • new Omega-3 and probiotic foods and drinks

UQ Business School Entrepreneur in Residence and UniQuest Commercial Director (Food) Cameron Turner said the new facilities would allow students to work on research projects in collaboration with food companies.

“The food industry in Australia is rapidly growing and evolving, largely driven by consumers who are willing to pay for taste and convenience and are better informed about health and nutrition through media channels,” Mr Turner said.

“There’s also an increased awareness of functional foods and the importance of our gut microbiota, and rising opportunities in Asia, particularly China, for Australian-made foods.

“All of these factors create excellent opportunities for food manufacturers, retailers and our researchers.”

UQ announced in November a project to investigate if friendly bacteria could be introduced to bagged salad leaves to help ward off salmonella and listeria outbreaks.

UQ Master of Food Science and Technology

The Master of Food Science and Technology will cover the integrative disciplines of food science and food technology. In this program, you will gain a comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge within fields of food science and food technology, and you will have the opportunity to apply these in either a research project or an industry placement.

Program: Master of Food Science and Technology
Location: St Lucia Campus, Brisbane
Duration: 1.5 years
Semester intakes: February and July
Application deadline: May 30 (July intake); November 29 (February intake)
Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in food science, food technology, science or engineering (in food science or technology) or an approved discipline. GPA of 5 or above on a 7-point scale.

Apply to the University of Queensland!


Would you like more information about studying food science? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Sciences Degrees Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Introducing the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Resources and energy, climate change, urbanisation, population growth, conservation and sustainability will be areas of focus for a new University of Queensland school.

Introducing the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Professor Aitchison is head of the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Photo: UQ)

The UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences came into being on Jan. 1 and now combines UQ’s School of Earth Sciences and the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

Professor Jonathan Aitchison, who will head the new school, said it would be an interdisciplinary powerhouse of academic expertise, developing practical solutions to big issues.

“The school will give greater breadth and depth to the study of earth and environmental sciences, greatly benefitting students, strengthening research capacity, and will provide greater disciplinary coherence and opportunity,” said Professor Aitchison, the Head of UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

“It makes sense to bring earth and environmental sciences together in the university.

“The new school is a recognition of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of geological and geographical sciences, environmental management, coastal processes, urban planning and safety science.”

Professor Aitchison said UQ had a strong international reputation for excellence in earth and environmental sciences.

It ranks number 1 in Australia in life sciences in the Times Higher Education Ranking and number 12 globally, number 32 internationally in geography, and is in the world’s top 100 Earth and Marine Sciences institutions in the 2016 QS rankings by subject.

“The combined staff of the new school are recognised as experts in their fields,” Professor Aitchison said.

“They conduct pure and applied research with strong links to our industry, government and university partners who have provided excellent support over many years.

“In addition, our people have a strong reputation for quality teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students in all discipline areas across the new school.”

Professor Aitchison said integrated teams of earth scientists, physical and social scientists, environmental management specialists, health and safety experts, and urban planners would work together to generate new knowledge and opportunities for further discovery.

Current collaborative research projects and consulting pieces would continue as usual and new projects would begin as funding and support becomes available.

“By providing a new academic structure for these related disciplines we will provide opportunities to improve end-to-end delivery of services and research outcomes,” he said.

“This benefits industries, government, university partners, and communities, and continues availability of state-of-the-art facilities for industry and research project work.”

Professor Aitchison is a geologist and an expert in plate tectonics, palaeontology and geo-microbiology.

University of Queensland Environmental Science Degrees

Master of Agribusiness
Master of Agricultural Science
Master of Conservation Biology
Master of Conservation Science
Master of Environmental Management
Master of Geographic Information Science
Master of Integrated Water Management
Master of Mineral Resources
Master of Responsible Resource Development (Environment)
Master of Rural Development
Master of Sustainable Energy


Find out more about your study options at the new UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Barrier Reef rodent is first mammal declared extinct due to climate change

University of Queensland and Queensland Government researchers have confirmed that the Bramble Cay melomys—the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef—is the first mammal to go extinct due to human-induced climate change.

In a newly published report, the scientists conducted a comprehensive survey in 2014 but failed to find any trace of the rodent.

Barrier Reef rodent is first mammal declared extinct due to climate change

The Bramble Cay melomys (Photo: UQ)

The rodent was known only to live on a small (4 ha) coral cay, just 340m long and 150m wide in the Torres Strait, between Queensland in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“Because a limited survey in March 2014 failed to detect the species, Bramble Cay was revisited from August to September 2014, with the explicit aims of establishing whether the Bramble Cay melomys still persisted on the island and to enact emergency measures to conserve any remaining individuals,” Dr Luke Leung of the UQ School of Agriculture and Food Sciences said.

“A thorough survey effort involving 900 small animal trap-nights, 60 camera trap-nights and two hours of active daytime searches produced no records of the species, confirming that the only known population of this rodent is now extinct.

“Anecdotal information obtained from a professional fisherman who visited Bramble Cay annually for the past 10 years suggested that the last known sighting of the Bramble Cay melomys was made in late 2009.”

Dr Leung said the key factor responsible for the destruction of this population was almost certainly ocean inundation of the low-lying cay, very likely on multiple occasions, during the past decade, causing dramatic habitat loss and perhaps also direct mortality of individuals. The cay sits at most 3m above sea level.

“Available information about sea-level rise and the increased frequency and intensity of weather events producing extreme high water levels and damaging storm surges in the Torres Strait region over this period point to human-induced climate change being the root cause of the loss of the Bramble Cay melomys,” he said.

Dr Leung said the fact that exhaustive efforts had failed to record the rodent at its only known location and extensive surveys had not found it on any other Torres Strait or Great Barrier Reef island gave him confidence in the assertion that Australia had lost another mammal species.

“Significantly, this probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change.

“However, new information is provided in support of a previously presented hypothesis that the Fly River delta of Papua New Guinea is a possible source of the original melomys population on Bramble Cay, so the Bramble Cay melomys or a closely related species might occur there. “

Dr Leung said it could be premature to declare the Bramble Cay melomys extinct on a global scale.

The study was led by Ian Gynther from Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and in partnership with UQ researchers Natalie Waller and Luke Leung.


Are you interested in studying climate change and other environmental sciences programs at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Study bioinformatics at UQ

What is bioinformatics? Generally speaking, it’s the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes. Bioinformatics involves the application of computer technology to manage and understand biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development.

Study bioinformatics at UQ

Study bioinformatics at UQ

Postgraduate study in bioinformatics at the University of Queensland will prepare students for a highly rewarding career in an industry that’s shaping the future of modern science. As it is a new and growing area, there is a world shortage of trained bioinformaticists and computational biologists.

Graduates can find employment in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, research organisations and governments in roles such as

  • bioinformatician
  • biomedical computer scientist
  • biostatistician
  • clinical data manager
  • geneticist
  • medical writer/technical writer
  • research scientist
  • software/database programmer

UQ offers the following postgraduate program in bioinformatics, which will enable students to broaden and add computational analysis to their skill-set:

Program: Master of Bioinformatics
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 1.5 years
Application deadline: November 29

The Master of Bioinformatics (#24) is designed for biological sciences, computing and mathematics graduates who wish to increase their technical and research skills in core areas of bioinformatics, to update their knowledge of recent technologies and methodologies, and to obtain practical laboratory and computational skills through immersion in a research laboratory. The program enables candidates to develop and effectively use best bioinformatics practice to solve complex scientific problems. It will also provide a preparation for entry into a Research Higher Degree program.

Apply to a University of Queensland science degree!


Contact OzTREKK for more information studying science at the University of Queensland. Contact Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at 1-866-698-7355 or shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

UQ scientists win Women in Technology awards

An environmental scientist and a gut pathogen researcher from the University of Queensland are among the high achievers who have been celebrated at the Women in Technology Awards.

UQ Science degrees

Dr Wilson’s research informs conservation spending at global, national, and local levels (Photo credit: UQ)

Dr Kerrie Wilson from the UQ School of Biological Sciences won the Life Sciences Research Award for her research having a “major influence … on conservation policy internationally.”

Angie Jarrad from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience won the PhD Career Start Award for her research to develop new antibiotics.

WiT president Fiona Hayes said the awards highlighted Queensland’s “inspiring” depth of talent.

“Every entrant is making a difference in technology and life sciences,” she said.

“The professionalism, intelligence and ambition of these women is just extraordinary.”

The awards, spanning nine categories,  are in their 18th year.

“Every year the awards grow—in status, nominations, support from sponsors and attendees,” Ms Hayes said.

“Pioneering lifesaving medical research, developing vaccines and medicines, driving global conservation and running successful and innovative businesses—these women are leading the way in technology and life sciences.”

Ms Hayes said Dr Wilson’s research informed conservation spending at global, national, and local levels.

“The underlying theory and data from Kerrie’s work has had broad implications for how the sector operates and has since been used by CSIRO, state and federal environment departments, and non-government organisations,” she said.

UQ Science degrees

Angie Jarrad (Photo credit: UQ)

“Kerrie is the UQ node leader of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and is regularly engaged in scientific and community service roles ensuring that her research directly translates into practical outcomes.”

Ms Hayes said Angie Jarrad was a passionate researcher with more than eight years’ experience in biological and chemical sciences.

“Angie’s research is focused on the development of antibiotics to fight gut pathogens,” she said.

“She has skills in drug discovery, organic synthesis and microbiology as well as in project management, communication and writing.

“Angie is a Young Science Ambassador for the ATSE Wonder of Science program and an IMB Science Ambassador.

“Her PhD research is focused on developing novel antibiotics to fight anaerobic bacteria. Angie is also an Australian Postgraduate Award recipient.”


Contact OzTREKK for more information studying science at the University of Queensland and about how you can study in Australia! Email Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

UQ honorary doctorate for conservationist Terri Irwin

Conservation advocate Terri Irwin recently received an honorary doctorate recognising more than a decade of support for high-quality science at the University of Queensland.

UQ Chancellor John Story conferred the award of Doctor of Science honoris causa during the university’s July graduations.

University of Queensland sciences

Terri Irwin (Photo credit: University of Queensland)

More than 4300 students are graduating from UQ this season, joining more than 225,000 alumni in over 170 countries.

UQ Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Max Lu said Mrs Irwin provided opportunities to UQ PhD candidates, Study Abroad students, senior researchers and honours students through her role as owner-operator of Australia Zoo, its wildlife hospital, and three Queensland properties.

“Mrs Irwin has granted UQ students and staff access to physical, intellectual and financial resources that would otherwise be beyond their reach,” Professor Lu said.

Mrs Irwin’s contributions to public understanding of wildlife and wild places have added to the evidence-base for improved environmental management. Her work with saltwater crocodiles has dominated her public image, but her efforts encompass a wide range of species, including koalas and sea turtles.

“Australia Zoo has partnered UQ in three Australian Research Council Linkage projects, and Mrs Irwin has co-authored two peer-reviewed scientific papers and is currently a co-investigator on a Linkage project,” Professor Lu said.

“Since 2009 she has supported the annual Steve Irwin Memorial Lecture, one of the Faculty of Science’s most popular public lectures.

“Moreover, through her unique role in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Cape York Peninsula, Mrs Irwin enables researchers and students to continue the world’s largest crocodile tracking program.”

“While it is estimated that Australia Zoo’s investment in UQ research equates to more than $3 million over the past decade, the profile that the relationship delivers is of incalculable worth.”

Annually, Sunshine Coast landmark Australia Zoo attracts about 700,000 visitors—25 percent of them international—who can learn about the UQ links, and occasionally hear guest lectures from academics and postgraduate students.

Mrs Irwin was made an Honorary Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her outstanding dedication to wildlife conservation and the tourism industry.

She has industry laurels including a Queensland Telstra Business Women award and a Marie Watson-Blake Award for outstanding contribution to Queensland tourism.

Mrs Irwin is also an Honorary Senior Fellow of the University of the Sunshine Coast.


Do you have any questions about studying science at the University of Queensland? Email OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

UQ Centre for Advanced Imaging officially opened

Science Minister Ian Walker officially opened the new Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus on Aug. 21.

The CAI brings together the skills of a critical mass of researchers and state-of-the-art research instruments to improve diagnostics of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, as well as joint degeneration and injury.

UQ Science Programs

St Lucia Campus, the University of Queensland

The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the flagship imaging facility was the only one of its type in Australia and one of only a handful of such centres in the world.

“The Centre has also allowed us to attract the world’s best and brightest minds and bring together the skills of a critical mass of researchers to tackle problems of global significance,” Professor Høj said.

“Scientists in collaboration with partners such as Siemens and Global Medical Solutions can now conceive of and conduct experiments that were previously near impossible to reach.

“This is leading to new insights into some of the key issues facing twenty-first-century healthcare, from earlier diagnosis to a clearer understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.”

Since the Centre became operational in August 2013, researchers have gained significant insights into heart disease and liver disease, and CAI researchers have become leaders in brain atlas creation.

Science Minister Ian Walker said investing in research and converting it into innovative solutions was one of the top 10 priorities of The Queensland Plan: a 30-year vision for Queensland.

“We’re investing in Queensland science because it has the potential to improve our quality of life,” Mr Walker said.

“One example of UQ success is the electromagnetic noise compensation technology, which improves the quality of images, now used in more than 10,000 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems around the world.

“The Queensland Government provided $4.75 million towards stage one of the Centre for Advanced Imaging, which places us at the forefront of medical imaging in Australia.”

The 5,500m2, $55 million CAI building was funded by the Federal Education Investment Fund in 2010 and contains over $50 million of imaging and spectroscopy equipment.

The CAI also hosts the largest node for National Imaging Facility, which is an Australian government initiative that connects state-of-art imaging capabilities across all mainland states in Australia.


Contact OzTREKK for more information studying science at the University of Queensland and about how you can study in Australia! Email OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

UQ pitch drop touches down

Remember when we invited you to become a part of UQ’s science experiment? Well, as Cyclone Ita hit northern Australia two weeks ago, a much slower collision occurred in the world’s longest-running lab project, the University of Queensland’s Pitch Drop Experiment! Finally!

University of Queensland Pitch Drop

Almost 25,000 people participated in the Ninth Watch

After a wait of more than 13 years, the ninth drop of pitch collided ever so slowly with the eighth drop in the bottom of the beaker.

The science experiment was set up in 1927 to demonstrate that solid materials—pitch shatters if hit with a hammer—can flow like liquids.

Pitch Drop custodian Professor Andrew White said seven drops had fallen between 1930, when the experiment began, and 1988, at an average of one drop every eight years.

“Two things changed after that—the 2000 (eighth) and 2014 (ninth) drop each took about 13 years to fall, and each collided into the decades-old pile of drops in the beaker before it could break away from the funnel,” he said.

The eighth drop ran into the seventh drop in 2000, but took almost 14 years to tip over.

“It was still connected to the ninth drop but almost broke free this year.

“The connection had become thin, stressed and light grey—but now that the ninth drop has run into it the whole cycle starts again,” Professor White said.

The stealthy collision is the latest trick by this evasive lump of tar. Until now, no one has ever seen a drop fall.

The former custodian of the experiment, the late Professor John Mainstone, missed observing the drops fall on three occasions—by a day in 1977, by only five minutes in 1988 when it was on display at the World Expo in Brisbane, and in 2000 when a webcam that was recording it missed the crucial moment when the drop fell during a 20-minute power outage.

The science experiment was subsequently put under constant surveillance, with three webcams trained on it to capture the ninth drop’s fall.

Nearly 25,000 viewers from 158 countries have registered to keep an eye on the ninth drop through the live web stream at www.theninthwatch.com.

Those who were watching when it collided will have their names recorded for posterity.

“To determine the actual moment, we’re going to analyse the video to see if and when the pitch motion slowed down, and hopefully we can let people know soon,” Professor White said.

“We look forward to observing what will happen next with the ninth drop.

“It may tip over quickly or it might slow right down and take years to break away from the imminent tenth drop,” he said.

UQ School of Mathematics and Physics

The School of Mathematics and Physics is a dynamic School within the Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland. They are committed to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement.

The school’s disciplines of mathematics, statistics and physics are internationally recognised and members of its academic staff are leaders in their respective fields. The school is also home to three ARC Centres of Excellence and numerous other research groups.


Learn more about UQ science programs! Contact OzTREKK for more information about science programs available at the University of Queensland and about how you can study in Australia! Email OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

UQ scientists work to drought-proof beer

University of Queensland scientists are helping to drought-proof barley—an ancient and important ingredient in beer.

University of Queensland science programs

Study agricultural science at UQ

Researchers at UQ’s Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) have identified “stay green” characteristics in types of barley.

They believe the discovery could help barley breeders develop barleys that are far less susceptible to environmental fluctuations such as drought and heat.

And from a brewer’s point of view, consistency is the key to a great brew—and a better product.

QAAFI’s Dr Glen Fox said sorghum breeders had long taken advantage of “stay green” characteristics for improved yield, and a similar trait in barley could present growers with an innovative way of responding to the challenges of climate change.

“Until now, no one had seriously looked at stay-green traits in barley,” he said.

“Sorghum and barley are distantly related plants which both evolved in the warmer parts of the world, so if we can help growers produce barley that is more in tune with what industry wants, we’re well on the way to improving productivity and profitability.”

“Each year Australia produces about two million tonnes of malting barley, and a good proportion of that is exported throughout Asia and the Pacific. Our team’s research has shown that normal grain development and starch composition can survive significant water and heat stress in selected barley lines.”

The QAAFI research paper published in the Journal of Cereal Science reports that preliminary studies have demonstrated that stay-green traits appear to be evident in barley, but more precise and detailed experiments would be required to better understand the genes that control this effect.

This isn’t the first time UQ Science has studied beer! Check out UQ brews knowledge among science students.


The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is a UQ research institute, comprised of three frontline centres, which was formed as a strategic alliance between the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government. QAAFI brings together scientists from across the plant, animal and food sciences, working closely with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).


Would you like more information about science programs at the University of Queensland? Are you interested in studying agricultural science in Australia? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady for more information science degrees at Australian universities about how you can study in Australia. Email Rachel at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

UQ climate change paper has the whole world talking

A University of Queensland researcher’s work has been ranked 11th in a listing of the world’s top 100 most talked about academic papers of 2013.

UQ Science

Study environmental science at UQ

Global Change Institute researcher John Cook’s paper on the scientific consensus on climate change was edged out of Altmetric’s top 10 by a paper on Sudoku.

Mr Cook led a global team of researchers in a study confirming scientists agree that global warming is a result of human activity and influence.

The research hit the spotlight partly as the result of a tweet by US President Barack Obama, whose Twitter account is followed by more than 31 million people worldwide.

The quiet and humble UQ scientist was inundated with interview requests after the tweet hit social media airwaves.

“It was an extremely hectic twenty-four hours,” he said. “I was getting calls from all over the world to do media interviews on the study.”

Mr Cook said the public attention on his research played an important role.

“Making the results of our paper more widely known is an important step towards closing the consensus gap and increasing public support for meaningful climate action,” he said.

The paper has been downloaded more than 124,000 times, more than any paper published by the Institute of Physics, a group that publishes more than 70 peer-reviewed journals.

According to Altmetric, which measures online chatter about academic papers, Cook’s paper also ranks in the top five per cent of all articles ever published.

It has been cited in a range of scholarly journals, including Australian Historical StudiesBioScienceEuropean Journal of Media Studies and Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

About the Global Change Institute

The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia, is an independent source of game-changing research, ideas and advice for addressing the challenges of global change. The Global Change Institute advances discovery, creates solutions and advocates responses that meet the challenges presented by climate change, technological innovation and population change.

About John Cook

John Cook is the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He created SkepticalScience.com, a website that refutes climate misinformation with peer-reviewed science. In 2011 Skeptical Science won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge. John has co-authored the college textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis, the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand and a number of papers on climate change and the psychology of misinformation.


Would you like more information about environmental science programs at the University of Queensland? Are you interested in studying science in Australia? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady for more information science degrees at Australian universities about how you can study in Australia. Email Rachel at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355.