Suitably qualified, high-achieving Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students have the opportunity to pursue research in key strategical priority agricultural scientific fields. The QAAFI adviser will decide in consultation with DHDR if eligible current and future QAAFI domestic and international students should be nominated for a UQ Graduate School scholarship.  The QAAFI scholarship committee may rank these nominees higher, but this does not guarantee success during UQ Graduate School’s assessment across the Science Cluster.
Please contact the relevant QAAFI researcher to discuss project opportunities and visit the UQ Graduate School’s competitive scholarship rounds website if they agree to nominate you for a UQ scholarship.

Explore strategic priority research areas and a chance at a UQ scholarship:

3. Animal Science

Improving beef production through management of plant toxins

This project area seeks to mitigate the effect of plant toxins in livestock thru application of microbiology and analytical chemistry in isolating rumen microbes capable of degrading plant toxins (for use as preventative probiotics), and investigating toxin absorbents and/or biopolymers to foster toxin-degrading microbe populations. Contact: A/Prof Mary Fletcher, A/Prof Athol Klieve.

Improving intensive beef production through better health management

This project area seeks to mitigate the effect of respiratory diseases on the productivity of beef cattle intensive production systems.  The work covers both viral and bacterial pathogens and involves intensive production systems, and includes classical bacteriology, molecular biology, microbiome work, genotypic and phenotypic characterization of antimicrobial resistance and microRNA profiling. Contact: A/Prof Pat Blackall, A/Prof Tim Mahony, Dr Conny Turni, Prof Ala Tabor.

Biomarkers and accurate phenotyping for selecting resistance to cattle ticks, buffalo flies and buffalo fly lesions

This project incorporates several PhD options including phenomics and genetics/genomics to develop practical methods of selecting cattle with enhanced parasite resistance. Accurate measures of ectoparasite phenotyping underpins the omic approaches of this research. In addition, to identify biomarkers associated with ectoparasite resistance - bovine skin and blood samples will be compared using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. Contact: Prof Ala Tabor, Dr Peter James, Professor Ben Hayes

Improving rumen efficiency in cattle

This project area aims to elucidate physiological process governing rumen efficiency in cattle, and to develop practical tools to monitor efficiency when feeding low-protein diets. Opportunities for PhD research in areas of advanced cattle nutrition, microbiome, stable isotopes, nitrogen recycling, and use of spectroscopy are available. Contact: Dr Luis Prada e Silva, Dr Rob Dixon