Science

May 2019

Putting the spotlight on the environment: celebrating International Biodiversity Day
22 May 2019
International Day of Biodiversity on May 22 – a part of the United Nations’ awareness day calendar – is an annual event that aims to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. UNSW...
Birdwatchers boost NSW economy
21 May 2019
A group of birds that are not usually found in Australia attracted hundreds of birders to a relatively remote town on the north coast of NSW, resulting in a significant boost to the Australian...
Scientists find ‘molecular destruction code’ for enzyme involved in cholesterol production
17 May 2019
A team of UNSW scientists at the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences led by Professor Andrew Brown have shown how a key enzyme that contributes to cholesterol production can be...
Predator exposure can help vulnerable species survive in the wild
15 May 2019
Exposing vulnerable species like the bilby to an environment with predators before releasing them into the wild could help improve the species’ ultimate survival, new research by UNSW ecologists has...
How does Shorten's electric vehicle sales target stack up?
13 May 2019
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten last month revealed his party’s plan to have half of new cars sold in 2030 be electric vehicles (EVs). But is this realistic?The answer is yes, and ultimately it...
Labor commits $15m for National Health and Climate Centre at UNSW
9 May 2019
A new UNSW Sydney centre that will investigate the major health risks Australians face from climate change will receive $15 million in funding under a Labor government.Matt Thistlethwaite, MP for...
UNSW rocketry team over the moon about successful launch
2 May 2019
A group of UNSW Science and Engineering students celebrated its highest achievement after competing in the inaugural Australian Universities Rocket Competition (AURC) over the Easter weekend.As part...

April 2019

Don’t even think about it: why thought control is so difficult
30 April 2019
Whatever you do, don’t think about a red apple.Chances are, when you read the sentence above, that’s exactly what you did do. But not to worry, that’s quite a normal reaction for our chattering human...
Mentoring and allowing serendipity is the key to great science: Sir Fraser Stoddart
26 April 2019
Sir Fraser Stoddart – Scottish chemist, 2016 Nobel Laureate and UNSW Sydney SHARP Hire – does not want to be remembered just for his research.“In the fullness of time, I don’t want to be remembered...
Taking sustainability to the next level
23 April 2019
The size and complexity of the waste challenge facing society dominated discussion at the first stakeholders’ meeting of the newly announced Circular Economy Innovation Network (CEIN).The CEIN is an...
Huge feral-free safe haven ready for return of missing desert mammals
22 April 2019
One of the largest rabbit-free areas in Australia has been created in Sturt National Park in far western NSW in a major project preparing to reintroduce locally extinct mammals like the bilby to...
UNSW alumnae off to Antarctica with women leadership program
15 April 2019
A STEMM education advocate and a biophysical chemist are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition that will place them in the company of future female leaders … and penguins.Dr Jeanette McConnell...
STEM is worth investing in, but Australia’s major parties offer scant details on policy and funding
12 April 2019
This article is part of a series examining the Coalition government’s record on key issues while in power and what Labor is promising if it wins the 2019 federal election.Evidence from around the...
Project to bring Sydney Rock Oyster reefs back from extinction receives ARC funding
12 April 2019
Projects working with marine scientists and experts to bring the Sydney Rock Oyster reefs back from extinction, redefining the static museum visit into an interactive experience and building more...
Dogged researchers show that dingoes keep feral cats in check
8 April 2019
A UNSW Sydney study has ended an argument about whether or not dingoes have an effect on feral cat populations in the outback, finding that the wild dogs do indeed keep the wild cat numbers down.In a...
Whooping cough evolving to beat antibiotics and possibly vaccine
5 April 2019
A new strain of Bordetella pertussis – the bacterium that causes whooping cough – has become resistant to antibiotic treatment and may also be resistant to the vaccine used in China. A UNSW Sydney...
Maths whiz solves 48-year-old multiplication problem
4 April 2019
A UNSW Sydney mathematician has helped solve a decades-old maths riddle that allows multiplication of huge numbers in a much faster time.Associate Professor David Harvey, from UNSW’s School of...
UNSW academics honoured in national awards for teaching excellence
2 April 2019
Academics from Science and Art & Design have taken out accolades in the 2018 Australian Awards for University Teaching.Associate Professors Elizabeth Angstmann and Kim Snepvangers will be...
Scientists prove that binary stars reflect light from one another
2 April 2019
One of the first things we learn in astronomy is that some of the objects in the sky (the Sun and the stars) produce their own light, whereas others (the Moon and the planets) are only visible...

March 2019

UNSW research has the highest impact on society, new assessment shows
29 March 2019
Off the back of outstanding results in the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) analysis, UNSW Sydney has topped all Australian universities for...
Nothing compares to the humble frog
29 March 2019
Dr Jodi Rowley has dedicated much of her career to illuminating what she calls ‘the black hole’ in the world’s knowledge of amphibian life in South-East Asia. Her original impetus started following...
UNSW Science leads the way in research excellence, says ERA analysis
28 March 2019
Research from UNSW Sydney is among the best in the world with the University receiving more top ratings in broad fields of research than any other Australian university in the 2018 Excellence in...
When the student is the scientist: gaming brings STEMM to life
26 March 2019
The complex challenges of teaching evolutionary biology to students – from primary school to university level – propelled UNSW Sydney Associate Professor Michael Kasumovic to turn to gaming...
The sky should be the limit: meet the researcher working towards new horizons for women in astronomy
22 March 2019
As an observational astronomer, Associate Professor Sarah Brough looks to the stars for answers – but that wasn’t always crystal clear.  After completing...
UNSW researcher wins ARC grant to study world’s most vulnerable ecosystems
19 March 2019
A UNSW Sydney project to tackle one of the world’s most difficult environmental problems has received a $779,000 grant in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding.Professor...
Future Minds Lab investigates the thinking that will change how we work
15 March 2019
Most businesses need to innovate to guarantee long term success. But what does true innovation look like? Understanding the science behind innovation, and what makes some start-ups thrive and others...
What an effective Murray-Darling water policy should look like
14 March 2019
Rivers running dry, algal blooms, more fish kills and towns running out of water will all continue to plague the next NSW government if it persists with the same, inadequate policies on water...
Universities welcome NSW government backing for Sydney Quantum Academy
12 March 2019
The NSW government has announced support for the establishment of a new Sydney Quantum Academy with $15.4 million in funding, bringing together four leading universities in NSW.The Sydney Quantum...
Flow the STEM to get young women into well-paid jobs of future
8 March 2019
We live in an age of incredible change and enormous possibility. The boundaries of human knowledge are expanding at an unprecedented rate, and with them, the pace of technological innovation is...
MIND over Mediterranean: Australian study suggests MIND diet reduces the risk of dementia
7 March 2019
Following a diet designed to increase brain health in the long term appears to reduce the odds of cognitive impairment and disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a study led by...
Sea ice plays pacemaker role in abrupt climate change
7 March 2019
The growth or shrinkage of sea ice is often viewed as a symptom of climate change, but new research shows it may have played a more causative role in abrupt climate changes thousands of years ago.The...
Our brains reveal our choices before we’re even aware of them: study
6 March 2019
A new UNSW study suggests we have less control over our personal choices than we think, and that unconscious brain activity determines our choices well before we are aware of them.Published in the...
UNSW team helps revolutionise eye care for millions
5 March 2019
A group of UNSW Sydney academics have formed a partnership with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to train optometrists and transform access to eye care services for thousands of people...
All creatures great and small: celebrating World Wildlife Day
4 March 2019
World Wildlife Day on March 3 in the United Nations calendar is a global annual event that raises awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. Through their work, UNSW Sydney researchers are...

February 2019

UNSW academics receive top honours from the Australian Academy of Science
28 February 2019
Two UNSW academics have been honoured by Australian Academy of Science for their research on the impact of ocean currents on the global climate and how forests evolve and vary across Australia....
UNSW Science graduate awarded Westpac scholarship
27 February 2019
Two outstanding UNSW students from Science and Medicine have been awarded Westpac Future Leaders scholarships worth up to $120,000 each to undertake postgraduate studies.Two outstanding UNSW students...
Topological defects could be key to future nano-electronics
22 February 2019
• Ferroic and multiferroic topological structures offer exciting potential in future nanoelectronics• Commentary piece published this week in Nature MaterialsThe connection from fridge magnets to...
Why does your work matter? Research summit asks global thought leaders to answer the big question
22 February 2019
More than 200 of the world’s brightest minds converged on UNSW Sydney this week for the 2019 Times Higher Education Research Excellence Summit: Asia-Pacific to explore powerful ways universities and...
 Technology to transform local manufacturing and waste comes to town
21 February 2019
We need to rethink our attitudes to the materials we discard and instead see them as renewable resources, says a UNSW leader in recycling who is taking vital new technology to rural NSW cities next...
 Introduced daisy changes its appearance on Australian beaches, defying evolutionary expectations
19 February 2019
A species of beach daisy from South Africa has undergone substantial and unexpected changes since arriving in Australia in the 1930s, a new study led by UNSW researchers has uncovered.The findings...
Building a STEM future
15 February 2019
As a leading authority in marine ecology, Professor Emma Johnston is a prominent advocate for more women at the top tiers of science.Professor Emma Johnston AO is one of Australia’s pre-eminent...
National centre of excellence in quantum opens at UNSW
15 February 2019
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW Sydney has been officially launched.The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre...
 Leading “the space race of the 21st century”
15 February 2019
UNSW Sydney – and Australia – is at the forefront in the quest to develop the world’s first commercial scale quantum computer.“We want to build not just a quantum computer,...
 Fighting the war on waste
15 February 2019
Waste microfactories are revolutionising recycling as the world’s waste crisis continues to escalate.Where do all our obsolete mobile phones, laptops and tablets go?Professor Veena Sahajwalla,...
Meet the scientist leading a tidal wave of climate change communication
13 February 2019
Professor John Church wants everyone to speak up about one of the biggest issues facing the world.Professor John Church – the world's top scientist in sea level research – has always...
Careful using that f-word to describe dingoes, study warns
13 February 2019
A UNSW Sydney study says more evidence is needed before declaring the dingo a feral animal, casting a shadow over state governments’ justification for culling Australia’s largest carnivorous mammal....
Cycling fatalities almost halved since introduction of mandatory helmet laws
8 February 2019
The evidence is in: Australian mandatory helmet laws brought in to reduce fatalities in cycling have worked, with a world-first study of such laws at UNSW Sydney showing they led to an immediate 46%...
UNSW Chemist Honoured in Auckland
4 February 2019
UNSW Chemist Alex Donald has been awarded the Bowie Medal – a national prize recognizing excellence in research in mass spectrometry by a mid-career scientist.Dr Donald, who applies and develops this...
Car crash deaths: speed limit in busy pedestrian areas too high
1 February 2019
In a bid to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian deaths, motor vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to go faster than 40km/h in high pedestrian active areas – preferably 30 km/h, a new UNSW Sydney study has...

January 2019

Pioneers in mental health, climate and ageing lead UNSW recipients of Australia Day honours
29 January 2019
Academics from Science and Medicine lead the list of UNSW Sydney alumni and staff recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours.Scientia Professor Helen Christensen FASSA FAHMS, the Executive...
Prouder than ever to be Australian
24 January 2019
Just under a year ago, I was one of eight nominees in the running for the 2018 Australian of the Year award and I was confident that I would not win. After all, awards of this nature are not usually...
Panic attacks tackled in one-week intensive online therapy
23 January 2019
Scientists from UNSW Science’s School of Psychology and St. Vincent’s Hospital are leading world-first research to learn more about a novel therapeutic approach for people who suffer from panic...
Think big, celebrated scientist tells new home Down Under
22 January 2019
Few countries have taken scientists to their heart like Australia has embraced Michelle Simmons. The British-born physicist is coming to the end of her term as Australian of the Year, a title that...
Environmental ‘timebomb’ warning for world’s groundwater reserves
22 January 2019
An international research team has, for the first time, provided a global insight into what will happen if our groundwater systems start to see changes in their replenishment.In a new paper published...
Cholesterol protein discovery raises hope for smarter drugs
18 January 2019
Scientists at UNSW Sydney have made a breakthrough discovery about cholesterol transportation in cells that opens the way for new drugs to increase the body’s ‘good cholesterol’ levels.And the...
World-renowned astrophysicist and champion of women in STEM joins UNSW
16 January 2019
Australia’s first ambassador for Women in STEM, astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, is joining UNSW as Professor of Practice in Science Communication. UNSW has also been named the host...
Faint stellar glow reveals the location of dark matter in galaxy clusters
11 January 2019
UNSW scientists have found a way for astronomers to map elusive dark matter – by using the light of lonely stars that drift freely in clusters of galaxies.The faint glow of the stars accurately...
Global sea level expert John Church wins leading climate change award
10 January 2019
The world’s top sea level expert, UNSW Sydney Professor John Church, has become the first Australian to win the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change for his work projecting...
Quantum scientists demonstrate world-first 3D atomic-scale quantum chip architecture
8 January 2019
UNSW researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) have shown for the first time that they can build atomic precision qubits in a 3D device –...