Science

Research Highlights

 

UNSW Australia is committed to research excellence, and UNSW Science is renowned for its successful record in both discovery-driven and problem-oriented research.

Through creative collaborations with leading research institutes across the globe, UNSW Scientists aim to create knowledge for the benefit of the planet and develop innovative solutions to the world’s most daunting challenges.

The diversity of research conducted at UNSW Science ranges from discovering new species, to developing models for predicting climate change to informing strategies for treating human disease.

Here are some of our research highlights: 

 Our planet and beyond

 People and health

 Innovation and technology

 

Fighting the war on waste
Waste microfactories are revolutionising recycling as the world’s waste crisis continues to escalate.
Innovation and technology
Building a STEM future
As a leading authority in marine ecology, Professor Emma Johnston is a prominent advocate for more women at the top tiers of science.
People and health
Leading “the space race of the 21st century”
UNSW Sydney – and Australia – is at the forefront in the quest to develop the world’s first commercial scale quantum computer.
Innovation and technology
App helps ecologists map vulnerable ecosystems within minutes
A mapmaking app created by UNSW scientists harnesses the power of Google and NASA to empower ecologists to create a view on ecosystems without any specialist equipment.
Innovation and technology
The new technology has the potential to determine the levels of microRNA from just a finger prick blood test. Picture: Shutterstock
Blood-borne cancer detection receives gold-plated boost
Scientists will be able to detect cancer earlier from blood samples after advances were made in detecting microRNA molecules using gold-plated nanoparticles.
Innovation and technology
Scientists enlist public to help restore vital sea grasses
Scientists are asking local communities to help restore endangered Posidonia seagrass meadows by collecting shoots that naturally become detached after large storms.
Our planet and beyond
Echidna quills can now be analysed to determine if a specific animal is being illegally trafficked.
Cracking illegal wildlife trade
Scientists have developed a revolutionary way to determine if animals are being illegally trafficked.
Our planet and beyond
One application of the new super desiccant could be removing smells from shoes. Image: Shutterstock.
Soaking up the water and the sweat – a new super desiccant
UNSW scientists have developed a new carbon-based material that could revolutionise moisture control in applications as diverse as electronics, packaging, air conditioning – and keeping footwear fresh.
Innovation and technology
Tropical tree mortality: why trees die
Scientists have shed light on tropical tree deaths – with results predicted to have important implications for managing forest biodiversity.
Our planet and beyond
Solving the lead problem in drinking water
UNSW material scientists address the problem of lead leaching into the drinking water of Australian households by creating a new, lead-free brass alloy that will be used to make plumbing parts.
Innovation and technology
Best hope yet for aluminium-ion batteries
UNSW Sydney’s Dr Dong Jun Kim has led a team of researchers to show rechargeable aluminium-ion batteries are a possibility with a future in renewable energy storage.
Innovation and technology
Scientists crack genetic code of cane toad
A group led by UNSW's Peter White has unlocked the DNA of the cane toad. The world-first genome will help scientists understand how the toad spreads, how its toxin works, and provide new avenues to try to control its population.
Our planet and beyond
Toxic algal bloom test takes the guesswork out of water monitoring
Understanding the mechanisms of toxin synthesis has enabled UNSW researchers to create an innovative molecular test that can predict the likelihood of algal blooms with global implications for human and ecological health.
People and health
The cobalt threshold
How research in the UNSW Chemical Sciences has helped protect animals by informing regulatory limits of cobalt and arsenic in the racing industry.
Innovation and technology
Towards zero hunger
A UNSW scientist’s fish farming expertise is helping increase nutrition and provide a steady income, as well as a host of other benefits, for people in PNG and Vietnam.
People and health
Safeguarding the health of our rivers and wetlands
Three decades of surveying waterbirds in Australian rivers and wetlands by Professor Richard Kingsford has strongly influenced national water management policy and practice.
Our planet and beyond
Regional modelling improves climate change preparedness
The highly successful NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling project has enabled organisations to plan for future climate change in a consistent and systematic way.
Our planet and beyond
Natural preservative set to revolutionise food industry in Indonesia
UNSW research has helped commercialise a 100% biodegradable, natural chitosan product that preserves food for longer, reduces food waste and increases the income of smallholder farmers.
Innovation and technology
The mathematics of disease
Researchers from UNSW, and their partners in academia, government and industry, are using contemporary mathematical modelling to help in the fight against HIV.
People and health
Giving the gift of sight in PNG
Eye care research highlights the widespread problem of vision impairment in communities in Papua New Guinea, and advocates for the provision of widespread optometry services.
People and health
Nothing compares to the humble frog
Dr Jodi Rowley explains why frogs are so vital for healthy ecosystems, how she is working to conserve them and the positive impact she has already made to the study of amphibians in Southeast Asia.
Our planet and beyond
Help for children with severe behavioural problems
Help for children with severe behavioural problems
Innovative therapy for children with severe conduct issues promises profound benefits for families, schools and society at large.
People and health