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Science and Engineering a university for the real world

Overview

We are working towards a sustainable future by analysing genomes of Australian plants and animals and improving agricultural and industrial processes.

We are looking into real-world problems associated with food security, energy, health and the environment.

Our experts

Meet our experts

Professor Rob Harding
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Agricultural Biotechnology
Crop and Pasture Production
Microbiology
Email
Professor Martin Sillence
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Animal Production
Veterinary Sciences
Email
Professor Peter Waterhouse
Position
Australian Laureate Fellow
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research field
Other Biological Sciences
Email
Associate Professor Caroline Hauxwell
Position
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Microbiology
Agricultural Biotechnology
Ecology
Email
Associate Professor Matthew Phillips
Position
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Evolutionary Biology
Zoology
Email
Associate Professor Junior Te'o
Position
Associate Professor (Microbial Biotechnology)
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Industrial Biotechnology
Genetics
Microbiology
Email
Dr Marion Bateson
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Other Biological Sciences
Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Email
Dr David Hurwood
Position
Senior Lecturer in Ecology (Molecular Ec)
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research field
Genetics
Email
Dr Peter Prentis
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Evolutionary Biology
Genetics
Email
Dr Melody de Laat
Position
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Other Biological Sciences
Veterinary Sciences
Email
Dr Benjamin Dugdale
Position
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research fields
Microbiology
Agricultural Biotechnology
Manufacturing Engineering
Email
Dr Mark Harrison
Position
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Genetics & Biotechnology,
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences
Research field
Industrial Biotechnology
Email

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Real graduate

"I’m a senior entomologist with the Department of Agriculture. The department protects the environment and animal, plant and human health from the risk of exotic pests and diseases.

"I enjoy the interesting and challenging work, with a good mix of field, laboratory and office work. There’s always something new to learn in entomology and one of the most important things QUT taught me is critical thinking, and how to find and review information. It helped me get where I am today."

Tony Robinson

Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences)

Genomics laboratory

Our discipline uses Central Analytical Research Facility's (CARF) Genomics laboratory for conducting their research.

The equipment allows for a wide range of research applications, including:

  • quality control of genetic material
  • sample preparation
  • genetic sequencing.
Find out more about the Genomics laboratory

Projects

Gastrointestinal hormones: linking insulin dysregulation and laminitis

Project Leader
Dates

2018-2020

Project summary

This project aims to identify the earliest pathogenic factors of disease by investigating two key hormones, ghrelin and GLP-2, and whether a specific genetic mutation underlies insulin dysregulation.

Using innovative approaches the project will enable the identification of at-risk animals and pinpoint novel treatment strategies. In the long term improved disease treatment and prevention will reduce the suffering associated with painful and often lethal co-morbidities.

Geomolecular dating with biologically relaxed clocks, and mammal evolution

Project Leader

Dr Matthew Phillips

Dates

2015-2017

Project summary

This project aims to use DNA, fossils and biological cues to synergistically model evolutionary rate changes. Molecular dates allow direct comparison of evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes across the tree of life. However, current models struggle to identify the location and magnitude of molecular clock rate changes on phylogenies, often resulting in wildly inaccurate dates.

Expected outcomes include improved dating accuracy, and a novel statistical framework for morphological data, which allows fossils to be more accurately merged into the tree of life. In turn, the project aims to resolve intense debate on the origins of marsupial and placental mammals, and to trace the responses of these two groups to past environmental changes.

Generic delimitations in Rottboelliinae (Andropogoneae, Panicoideae, Poaceae) based on molecular and morphological data

Project Leader

Dr Tanya Scharaschkin

Dates

2014-2017

Project summary

This project will provide a reliable framework for classifying a group of widespread but understudied grasses, including some rare and threaten species. The number of genera and species in the subtribe Rottboelliinae is uncertain. Analysis of DNA sequences from multiple regions will inform the taxonomic revision of ~11 genera and 98 species. Diagnostically important characters will be identified for the creation of reliable identification keys.

This research will train a new agrostologist and enhance our understanding of the biodiversity of mesic to savannah grasslands. It will provide clarity to decision-making processes regarding conservation and management of rare and threaten species.

Understanding equine incretins: a novel approach to laminitis prevention

Project Leader

Dr Melody de Laat

Dates

2014-2016

Project summary

Laminitis is a crippling foot disease in horses which incurs significant economic and social costs. Recent studies have shown that persistently high insulin concentrations can trigger laminitis, and that high insulin levels are caused by the excessive release of hormones called incretins.

This project aims to determine the role of incretins and their receptors in causing abnormal equine insulin secretion. The distribution of equine incretin receptors will be described for the first time, and the consequences of incretin receptor binding will be characterised. Understanding equine incretin biology may lead to novel therapies for laminitis.

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