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Student topics

Explore topics that we're looking for students to research, and discover the fields that our students are currently working on.

Within each School or discipline, you can find topics at your study level: PhD, Masters, Honours or the Vacation Research Experience Scheme (VRES).

54 matching student topics

Displaying 1 - 12 of 54 matching student topics

Optimally scheduling management when climate windows are closing

Delays in acting in collapsing ecosystems can be catastrophic. With every passing year, the chances that the ecosystem has progressed past some point of no return increases. Yet the research and development needed to develop a new technology can take a long time. Balance between these two dynamic processes is needed to determine the optimal length and effort for developing new technologies. This project will develop a method for finding the optimal schedule for developing technological readiness, social acceptability, a …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Environmental technologies
Data science
Business process management
Information science
Applied and computational mathematics
Statistics and operations research
Environmental technologies
Sustainable environments
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Optimal guerilla conservation

Guerilla conservation is the use of illegal activities to positively or negatively alter a region’s biodiversity. Famous examples include the “direct action” activities of Sea Shepherd (e.g., damaging whaling vessels), or the practice of “tree spiking” that was common in the forest wars in the temperate rainforests of Tasmania and the Pacific Northwest in the USA.In recent years, guerilla conservation actors have attempted to achieve their aims by releasing new species into ecosystems. Examples include the release of foxes into …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Applied and computational mathematics
Statistics and operations research
Study levels
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Fractional dynamic models and numerical simulation for MRI to probe tissue microstructure in human brain

Mathematical models have continually been developed to improve our understanding of physical and biological processes.In magnetic resonance imaging, mathematical models and their parameters play a key role in associating information between images and biology, with the overall aim of producing spatially resolved maps of tissue property variations. However, models which can inform on changes in microscale tissue properties are lacking.We will develop new mathematical tools for mapping tissue microstructural properties via the use of space-time fractional calculus methods.The tools developed …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Fractional dynamic models for viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluid

This project aims to develop a mathematical framework to investigate the memory effect and anomalous diffusion in viscoelastic, non-Newtonian fluids.We aim to generate new knowledge on the formulation and estimation of the multi-term fractional space-time models governing the flow and heat transfer of these fluids, based on recent advances in fractional calculus, computational methods and statistical techniques.We expect to uncover a new and efficient computational system to model the thermal properties as well as new insights into the mechanisms for …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Active-transport mechanisms for robust biological patterning

The underlying mechanisms that generate shapes and patterns in biology are characterized by a remarkable robustness, despite the uncontrollable parameter variability. More than half a century ago, Alan Turing published a landmark mathematical study entitled “The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis” to explain how patterns in biology could be produced via certain classes of reaction-diffusion systems.This mathematical theory proposed the novel idea that two homogeneously dispersed “morphogens” - chemicals that determine a cell’s fate or characteristics - can autonomously generate spatial …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Mathematical models of cellular communication networks

Inside each living cell are vast networks of interacting proteins. These protein networks allow the cell to monitor and interpret its environment, and turn this information into a set of instructions that tell the cell what to do – when to divide, when to move/migrate, when to make new proteins, when to switch to an alternative energy source, etc. Although the human genome has now been sequenced, giving us the full set of instructions (genes) contained within the DNA molecule, …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Creation of fibre meshworks at moving interfaces

Extracellular matrix (ECM) secreted by cells is composed of a meshwork of fibres infiltrated with proteins and/or minerals. This fibre meshwork often matures after its creation by rearranging its structure, e.g. according to local mechanical clues, or by the infiltration of new molecules [1]. In this project, the fibre meshwork will be represented by a continuous tensorial field [2].ReferencesBidan C et al. Gradual conversion of cellular stress patterns into pre-stressed matrix architecture during in vitro tissue growth, J R Soc …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Stochastic patterns of tissue inclusions

Biological tissue growth involves the secretion of new tissue (extracellular matrix, collagen fibers) by cells. This secretion incorporates scattered inclusions such as proteins and minerals into the new tissue. During bone tissue growth, some of the tissue-secreting cells themselves become incorporated into the new tissue. The distribution of these tissue-embedded cells is believed to influence subsequent tissue growth processes.

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Biomedical engineering and medical physics
Applied and computational mathematics
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Collisions with evolving surfaces

The density of impacts of particles colliding with an evolving surface is of particular interest for several industrial and biological applications. These include etching and deposition processes [1], the incorporation of molecules in a tissue during its growth, budding cell membranes, and biological tissue growth [2]. Impacts on an evolving surface are generated unevenly depending on the relative velocity between the particles and the surface. The distribution of impacts further evolves in a curvature-dependent manner due to the local distortions …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Optimal sampling and control of spatial populations in real time

Note: There is a top-up scholarship funded by CSIRO available for this project for one PhD student who holds a QUT scholarship, an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship, or some similar scholarship. This top-up provides additional stipend ($7,000 per annum) and generous support costs (including travel).Animals do not follow simple paths when they move through heterogeneous landscapes, so modelling and managing their populations is a complex mathematical problem. In order to optimise planning of population management, we must …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Environmental technologies
Applied and computational mathematics
Statistics and operations research
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

How to measure a halo

Conservation fences are a new and challenging method of protecting Australian threatened mammal species, as evidenced in a recent article in The Conversation.At present, fences protect populations of native species behind their walls. In future, we want to use these fences as source populations to restock the surrounding landscape. Extra animals that can't fit into the small space offered by the fences would be released into the surrounding landscape. These released animals would create a "halo-effect", where the benefit of …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Applied and computational mathematics
Statistics and operations research
Study levels
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

How many species have been saved by national parks?

National parks are the cornerstone of modern conservation efforts. They now cover more than 10% of the Earth’s land surface, and are found on every continent (and sea) on the planet.We can prove that these national parks stop human destruction of habitat, and we can prove that they benefit the lives and livelihoods of people who visit and surround them. However, we cannot yet prove that they have stopped the extinction of a single species. This is not because we …

Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences
Disciplines
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Data science
Applied and computational mathematics
Statistics and operations research
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

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