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Exploring global viral diversity with conserved sequence tags

Viruses control much of the world indirectly through infection of microbial cells. Modern metagenomics provides the raw data to investigate their dynamics and patterns of co-occurrence with the microbial hosts, but extracting signal from these datasets at the large scale remains challenging. Marker-gene based approaches, such as SingleM, have shown great promise for microbial data, converting metagenomic datasets into community profiles by concentrating on reads which derive from conserved sections of prevalent genes.

Study level
PhD
Faculty
1043076
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

Interaction design for enhanced science communication and citizen science

Science communication is typically done by scientists, but interaction designers and artists have the capacity to create for people's engagement. Technology and design for active engagement, such as embodied interaction design, can leverage people's understanding and engage them in more effective and sustainable behaviours. For example, invasive mosquitoes are one area of citizen science that poses significant risk to our environment and health in SEQ yet is little understood by the general population. Mosquito borne disease is a major killer …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice
School
School of Design

Cyber-security aspects of battery storage systems

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are a key energy storage component in various electrical and electronic systems such as mobile phones, electric vehicles and grid storage. A properly designed battery management system (BMS) is crucial to guarantee the safety, reliability, and optimal performance of the battery as well as to interconnect the battery systems with each other and external systems through communication channels. However, security threats of the Li-ion battery systems are often overlooked by BMS developers in the design phase. The …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics
Research centre(s)

Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices

Exploding shallow marine volcanoes: investigating the petrology of the 2019 pumice raft-producing eruption from Volcano 0403-091, Tonga

More than 21,000 km of submarine volcanoes front subduction zones, many of which lie in shallow water close to inhabited areas. Eruptions at these volcanoes can be explosive and may have significant impacts on nearby communities, or generate pumice rafts that prolong impact at remote locations. For the first time, samples of a shallow marine explosive eruption have been collected from the buoyant pumice raft and from the seafloor at the vent of Volcano 0403-091, Tonga.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science
Centre for the Environment

Estimating the evolutionary history of plasmids and viruses

In the case of cellular life - bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes - determining the 'tree of life' is a comparatively well-studied problem.This vertical evolutionary history can be estimated using concatenated gene phylogenies, where single copy marker genes are concatenated into a single multiple sequence alignment which is then used in a phylogenetic tree reconstruction algorithm.Viral genomes and plasmid sequences, meanwhile, are more challenging to fit into a phylogenetic framework.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
1043076
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

Symbiosis in microbial ecosystems

Soil systems are fundamentally important to the health of our planet, but the complexity of soil microbial communities makes them particularly challenging to study. Soil systems are amongst the most diverse microbial ecosystems on Earth in terms of the number of microbial species (and strains) present within individual samples, and in the breadth of functions encoded. Beyond complexity measured by counting distinct community members, interactions between microbial species including symbiosis, parasitism or commensalism are widespread and yet barely studied.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
1043076
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

The efficacy of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in community sport

Organised sport is primarily community based in Australia; and the benefits of sport participation to individuals and communities are well documented. However, there is also evidence that participating in organised high-performance sporting programs is associated with psychological distress, elevated relative to community norms, which would usually warrant a need for care by a health professional. As such a case for improvement in mental health education and practice in sporting communities exists.Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a standardised, psychoeducational programme …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
1043076
School
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Statistical methods for detecting Antarctic ecosystems from space

Satellite images are a frequent and free source of global data which can be used to effectively monitor the environment. We can see how the land is being used, how it’s being changed, what’s there – even where animals are in the landscape. Using these images is essential, particularly for regions where data is expensive to collect or difficult to physically access, like Antarctica. In Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, satellite images can be an easy and quick way to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

The role of vaginal co-infections in pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Group B Streptococcusi (GBS; Streptococcus agalactiae) is a leading pathogen that is responsible for neonatal meningitis and sepsis. Up to 40% of pregnant women have asymptomatic vaginal colonisation, and this can lead to chorioamnionitis, premature rupture of membranes and urinary tract infections, while vertical transmission from mother to baby can cause pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and death of the neonate.There is increasing evidence that reproductive tract coinfections withGBS are occurring (eg. HSV, Candida albicans, Mycoplasma spp.), and maycontribute to poor pregnancy …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
1043076
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

Designing interactive art experiences that engage people with the issues around aged care

BackgroundThis PhD, concerned with the creation of interactive art works and funded through an ARC/QUT scholarship, is part of a larger ongoing project: ARC Discovery DP210100589 "Amplifying the Impact of the Royal Commission into Aged Care" (CI's Miller, Holland-Blatt, Thompson Seevinck, Gott.)About the Discovery project (the PhD study context)"The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a singular opportunity to reform Australian aged care and redress the marginalisation of aged care residents—a vulnerable demographic whose voices too often …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice
School
School of Design
Research centre(s)

Design Lab

Ecological interactions in Antarctic ecosystems

Antarctic and sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are dominated by mosses, lichens, invertebrates and some vascular plants. Marine vertebrates (penguins, seals, seabirds) also play an important role in driving terrestrial processes. All these species are influenced by many environmental and biotic factors, including interactions between species. Determining the impacts of climatic and environmental change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biodiversity requires greater understanding of these interactions.Ecological data on species interactions and the drivers of these interactions are an essential part of Antarctic and …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Evaluating the challenge of ‘fake news’ and other malinformation

Encompassed by the disputed term ‘fake news’, overtly or covertly biased, skewed, or falsified reports claiming to present factual information present a critical challenge to the effective dissemination of news and information across society.This ARC Discovery project in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre conducts a systematic, large-scale, mixed-methods analysis of empirical evidence on the dissemination of, engagement with, and impact of ‘fake news’ and other malinformation in public debate, in Australia and beyond. It takes a triangulated approach, combining …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice
School
School of Communication
Research centre(s)
Digital Media Research Centre

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