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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).

20 matching student topics

Displaying 1 - 12 of 20 matching student topics

Biorefinery applications for near- and super-critical extraction

Ever wondered how decaffeinated coffee is made? It's made using an advanced extraction process called supercritical fluid extraction.Nearcritical and supercritical fluid extraction is a clean, 'green' extraction process with potential application to the extraction of a wide range of high value food, fine chemical and pharmaceutical products from existing agricultural, food industry and biorefinery feedstocks.However, the specific extraction conditions for any given product need to be carefully tailored to the specific feedstock to ensure maximum extraction efficiency at the lowest …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Environmental technologies
Molecular design and synthesis
Sustainable environments
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Whole genome sequencing of global and Australian Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains associated with cystic fibrosis

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common cause of chronic airway infection in cystic fibrosis (CF).The genetic mechanisms underlying chronic-stage adaptations, such as the switch to mucoid phenotype, have been well established for many years. However, little is known about the genetic variability between clonal P. aeruginosa CF strains.The objective of this study is to investigate the genetic divergence of several lineages of P. aeruginosa CF strains.

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

CRISPRs from Australian thermophilic microbes

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short repeats of base sequences. Each repeat is followed by short segments of 'spacer DNA' from previous exposures to a bacterial virus or plasmid.CRISPRs first evolved in bacteria as a weapon for fighting against viruses. When a virus attacks a bacterial cell, it injects it's own DNA into the bacterial cell. The bacteria cell responds by deploying CRISPR, which consists of a RNA strand associated with an …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Nanoscience
Genetics and biotechnology
Data science
Information science
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Culturomics of new extremophiles from Australia and their genomes

99% of the microbes that exist in any given environment have eluded culture under laboratory conditions. The 1% of microbes that have been cultured over the past 100 years are analogous to the unwanted weeds in a garden.However, a fraction of these 1% are very useful in commercial and industrial biotechnology, and impact our daily lives, for example in the manufacturing of alcohol, enzymes, food additives, antibiotics/antimicrobial agents, citric acid, amino acids, yoghurt, cheese and as molecular biology tools. …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Nanoscience
Genetics and biotechnology
Data science
Information science
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Bioconversion (fermentation) of Syngas to useful bioproducts

Copious amounts of syngas (H2, CO and CO2 to a limited extent) is discharged in the air during petroleum refining, steel milling, and in the production of carbon black, coke, ammonia, and methanol. These green house gasses can be converted to useful products such as ethanol, butanol, acetic acid, butyric acid, and methane by microbial fermentation.Mesophilic acetogens which fix carbon dioxide using the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway, and include Clostridium carboxidivorans P7, Clostridium ljungdahlii, Clostridium autoethanogenum, Eurobacterium limosum, and Butyribacterium methylotrophicumare amongst …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Energy and process engineering
Genetics and biotechnology
Data science
Information science
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Cloning of genes of industrially important thermostable enzymes from thermophilic bacteria isolated from the Great Artesain Basin of Australia

DNA polymerases used in the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) are heat stable enzymes produced by extremophilic microbes and have a wide range of applications in molecular biology.Heat stable enzymes referred to as extremozymes also have potential applications in the food and chemical industries due to the much faster reaction rates of chemical / enzyme reactions at high as opposed to ambient or mesophilic temperatures. In other cases, there is a decrease in viscosity at high temperatures e.g starch, which renders …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Nanoscience
Genetics and biotechnology
Data science
Information science
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Genus Caloramator, model thermoanaerobes for studies on speciation and biofilm development in the Great Artesian Basin ecosystem

The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is the largest, multilayered, deep and naturally heated subsurface aquifer in the world (storage capacity of 1012m3) which provides the outback communities with an important water resource. The GAB has five stratified layers of different geological ages and in between these layers is the flowing aquifer waters. These aquifers are recharged along the Eastern Queensland Great Dividing Range from rain water percolation and flows underground at an average flow rate of 1 -2 m/yr until …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Data science
Information science
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Insights into insect epigenetics using next generation mass spectrometry approaches

Epigenome is the term that describes an array of reversible chemical modifications that decorate nucleic acids and the surrounding histone proteins. These modifications act as a molecular switch that turns on and off gene expression by influencing chromatin packaging. They have been proposed as key factor contributing to pest insect adaptation to environmental factors such as developing resistance to pesticides.Modern mass spectrometry instrumentation and novel mass spectrometry data acquisition strategies, such as SWATH-MS, allow for relatively inexpensive and ultrasensitive histone …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences

Staphylococcus aureus and metal ion homeostasis – role in pathogenesis

Pathogenic bacteria acquire transition metals for cell viability and persistence of infection in competition with host nutritional defences. The human host employs a variety of mechanisms to stress the invading pathogen including the delivery of cytotoxic metal ions and the withholding of essential metal ions.Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for a diverse range of infections and continues to be a significant global health care challenge. To be a successful pathogen, S. aureus must sense and respond to changing environmental stresses. A …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Proteomic and metabolomic characterisation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is associated with persistent lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. P. aeruginosa experiences complex physiological and morphological changes in the CF lung, and life-long persistence of P. aeruginosa in the CF lung requires sophisticated, habitat-specific adaptation of the pathogen. The objective of this study is to investigate proteomic and metabolomic changes of P. aeruginosa CF strains in various culture environments. …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours

Phylogenetic comparison between clonal P. aeruginosa strains and global, clinical strains of P. aeruginosa

QUT researchers have recently sequenced the genomes of a selection of clonal P. aeruginosa strains that are know to cause severe hospital-acquired infections in the United Kingdom and Australia.The phylogenetic relationship between these strains and other global, clinical P. aeruginosa strains is unclear.

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Biomedical engineering and medical physics
Genetics and biotechnology
Study levels
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

Mushroom proteins and medicinal compounds from waste

Australia generates thousands of tonnes of organic waste residues related to agriculture (e.g. sugar and cotton industries). These are generally unsuitable as bacterial growth substrates, but can be utilised by fungi. Fungi have developed an array of enzymes that allow them to access cellular building blocks and energy stored in recalcitrant carbon or ligno-cellulosic/hemi-cellulosic waste material.The aim of this project is to harness the fungi’s ability to access this carbon and generate fungal biomass (mycelia), fruiting bodies (mushrooms) and bioactive …

Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Disciplines
Biomedical engineering and medical physics
Energy and process engineering
Genetics and biotechnology
Environmental technologies
Environmental technologies
Sustainable environments
Study levels
PhD
Master of Philosophy
Honours
Vacation research experience scheme

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