Below is a list of prospective project supervisors in the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. 
Please contact the researcher directly to discuss postgraduate (PhD and MPhil) or undergraduate (Honours or Undergraduate Research Program) research opportunities.

(Last updated: 06-08-20)

Researcher Key interests/research areas Suited to students studying Location
A/Prof Olufemi Akinsanmi Research area is plant pathology. The research on diseases of tree nuts including macadamia is designed to understand the ecological bases of plant diseases, and plant-pathogen interaction at the whole-organism level. We use the information to identify the window of opportunity for the development and application of innovative practical solutions.

Plant Science, Agriculture, Microbiology, Biotechnology

Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
Prof Mike Bell   Plant science UQ 
A/Prof Patrick Blackall Use of both molecular and conventional bacteriology to problems linked with bacterial pathogens of domestic livestock (including food-safety organisms) and native animals.  Techniques used range from whole-genome sequence analysis to PCR to phenotypic tests for antimicrobial resistance.  Work covers improved diagnostic tools, population dynamics and characterisation of novel organisms.

Agriculture
Animal science
Microbiology
Food science

UQ 
Prof Andrew Borrell Crop physiology and modelling, cereal genetics, sorghum, rice, wheat, barley

Genetics
Plant science

Hermitage Research Station
Warwick
A/Prof Bhagirath Chauhan Weed ecology and biology, herbicide use, management of herbicide-resistant weeds, non-chemical weed management options, integrated weed management systems using agronomic and varietal components, tillage systems, and conservation agriculture systems. Agriculture
Ecology
Plant science
UQ Gatton campus
Dr Karine Chenu

Crop physiology in winter cereals (wheat and barley). Understanding plant response to heat and drought. Characterisation of genotypic variability. Development of high-throughput phenotyping method. Identification of genetic controls of adaptive traits.
Crop modelling. Development of Gene-to-Phenotype model. Exploration of novel combinations of genotypes, environments and management practices in changing environments.

Plant Science
Agriculture
Genetics

Toowoomba (Leslie Research Centre) and
UQ Gatton campus
Dr Jack Christopher My research group aims to improve wheat yield and yield stability in the face of climate change. We work on ways to develop wheat crops that are better adapted to environmental stresses including water-limitation, frost, heat and sodic soils.  We study the physiology of the plants to identify mechanisms by which plants can better adapt to these stresses.   We then develop selection strategies to select for the desirable traits.  These will allow breeders to develop higher-yielding cultivars with more stable yield under adverse environmental conditions. Plant Science
Agriculture
Genetics
Toowoomba (Leslie Research Centre)
Dr Lilia Costa Carvalhais Biology, distribution and epidemiology of banana diseases to 1) develop molecular diagnostic assays to prevent new incursions and further spread, and 2) identify the best management strategies. Diseases include banana Fusarium wilt, banana wilt associated phytoplasma (BWAP), Black Sigatoka, Eumusae leaf spot, Moko (Bugtok), banana blood disease, Xanthomonas wilt and Freckle. Plant Science
Agriculture
Genetics
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park

A/Professor Daniel Cozzolino

Expertise in the use of infrared sensors and chemometrics for the analysis of a wide range of agricultural products and foods. Current research focuses on the use of infrared sensors to monitor the composition of foods in the whole value chain - “plate to paddock”, evaluation of sensors targeting authenticity and provenance of foods, development of high throughput phenotyping tools.

Agriculture
Food science
Chemical Sciences
Animal Science

UQ St Lucia Campus and Health and Food Sciences Precinct, Coopers Plains

A/Prof Liz Dann

Identifying and understanding plant pathogens and the diseases they cause, particularly in avocado. Eg. Phytophthora root rot, black root rot, fruit postharvest diseases anthracnose and stem-end rot. Integrated disease management strategies, including improvement in soil health and evaluating new management tools. Utilising inherent plant defence mechanisms for disease control

Agriculture
Plant science
Soil science
Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
A/Prof Ralf Dietzgen Plant virus epidemiology and control studying the molecular interactions between viruses, their host plants and insect vectors. Focus on negative-sense RNA viruses in horticultural crops including plant bunyaviruses and rhabdoviruses, High throughput sequencing for virus detection, virus characterization and taxonomy. Viral protein expression and intracellular localization & interactions. Biochemistry and molecular biology
Bioinformatics
Microbiology
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Andre Drenth   Plant science Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
Dr Joe Eyre  

Plant science
Soil science

UQ Gatton campus
A/Prof Mary Fletcher Organic and analytical chemistry for identification and analysis of natural toxins in plants, fungi and agricultural products. Focus on toxins from pasture plants that can impact on livestock health and also have the potential to form residues in agricultural products and pose a risk to consumers.

Biochemistry and molecular biology
Chemistry
Chemical sciences

Health and Food Sciences
Precinct, Coopers Plains
Dr Geoffry Fordyce Northern Australia beef cattle Animal science UQ St Lucia campus
A/Prof Andrew Geering

Plant pathology with a focus on tropical and subtropical food and lifestyle horticultural industries. Research on both viral and fungal pathogens, covering the full spectrum of science, from host-pathogen interactions, to diagnostics, taxonomy and epidemiology.

Plant science UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Barbara George-Jaeggli Increase crop yields in variable environments, be it through pushing the yield ceiling up genetically or identifying optimal agronomic practices to ensure yield potentials are achieved in growers' paddocks. Using molecular techniques, plant and crop physiological experimentation, proximal and remote sensing and crop modelling to study individual traits at the leaf, plant and crop level. Plant science Hermitage Research Station
Warwick
Prof Mike Gidley

Plant-based foods – the structural basis for nutritional properties such as satiety, digestion rate and microbial fermentation. Dietary fibre – classification of food and feed ingredient properties based on molecular characteristics. Gut fermentation – identification of food and ingredient factors that influence human gut microbiome development and fermentation outcomes.

Biochemistry and molecular biology
Chemical science
Food science
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Bob Gilbert Researches the relationships between two glucose polymers, starch and glycogen, whose structure has a major impact on nutrition, diabetes and obesity. Food science UQ St Lucia campus/China
Prof Ian Godwin Biotechnological tools for crop improvement, with emphasis on the sustainable production of grain crops. A major focus is on the improvement of crops for food, feed and bio-industrial end-uses Plant science UQ St Lucia campus
A/Prof Jim Hanan My research area is in the development and application of computational modelling, mathematical, and computer visualisation approaches and techniques that facilitate the study of physiology, morphogenesis and ecology of plants and trees. Agriculture
Computational science
Mathematics
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Craig Hardner Genetics, breeding and physiology of horticultural crops including (i) international collaborations in global genomic prediction in mango, avocado, citrus apple, (ii) conservation and genetics of macadamia, and (iii) quantitative genetics of auto-polyploids. Agriculture
Genetics
Plant science
Statistics
UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Ben Hayes Genetic improvement of livestock, crop,
pasture and aquaculture species'
Animal science UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Alice Hayward

Plant tissue culture with a focus on developing real-world industry platforms for new crops including avocado and duboisia. Genetics and genomics of avocado with a special interest in small RNA regulation of gene expression and exploring new tools such as exogenous RNAi and CRISPR

Genetics
Plant Science
Agriculture
UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Robert Henry DNA-based methods for identification of plants and their pathogens, development of molecular markers for plant breeding and the genetic transformation of plants, application of DNA technology to the improvement of the quality of crops and agricultural and food products. 

Genetics
Plant science

UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Lee Hickey Genetics and plant breeding research focussed on Australia’s most important cereal crops wheat and barley. Undertaking research to understand the genetic control of key traits like drought tolerance and disease resistance and new plant breeding technologies.  Agriculture
Genetics
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Peter James Biology and population dynamics of livestock pests and parasites; development of controls based on natural plant extracts, fungal biopesticides and entomopathogenic nematodes

Animal science
Ecology
Veterinary sciences

Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
Prof David Jordan Sorghum breeder and field crop geneticist Plant science Hermitage Research Station
Warwick
Prof Timothy Mahony Molecular virology revolving around improving viral disease control in production animals such as cattle and poultry. Characterising the molecular interactions between invading pathogens and the subsequent host responses with the goal of developing a new vaccine and diagnostic technologies. Animal science UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Deirdre Mikkelsen Investigating the fermentability of cell wall components as potential prebiotics; developing molecular microbiology techniques to investigate gut microbe-dietary fibre interactions, and investigating the breakdown of model plant cell wall components using molecular microbiology techniques and stable isotope tools. Food Science Microbiology UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Neena Mitter

Plant tissue culture with a focus on developing real-world industry platforms for new crops including avocado and duboisia. Genetics and genomics of avocado with a special interest in small RNA regulation of gene expression and exploring new tools such as exogenous RNAi and CRISPR

Agriculture
Genetics
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Michael Netzel Understanding in vitro bioaccessibility as well as the much more complex in vivo bioavailability and metabolism of dietary phytochemicals are crucial in understanding and predicting their bioactivity and potential health benefits in humans. Food science Health and Food Sciences
Precinct, Coopers Plains
Dr Tim O'Hare Strawberry, stone fruit, plum Food science Health and Food Sciences
Precinct, Coopers Plains
Dr Luis Prada e Silva Ruminant nutrition, ruminant physiology, rumen microbiology, ruminant reproduction, forage management, molecular biology, and economics of cattle production systems to improve cattle productivity. Agriculture
Animal science
Biochemistry and molecular biology
Microbiology
UQ St Lucia and Gatton campuses
A/Prof RCN Rachaputi Pigeonpea, chickpea Plant science UQ St Lucia campus
Prof Daniel Rodriguez   Plant science
Soil science
UQ Gatton campus
A/Prof Eugeni Roura Mechanisms involved in sensing dietary nutrients and their involvement in appetite modulation and food/feed intake in humans, pigs and poultry. Food science and nutrition UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Heather Smyth Understanding consumer drivers of food quality in terms of composition, structure and sensory properties as well as understanding how human variation impacts perception. Heather works with a diverse range of products for example wine, coffee, native foods, honey, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts and meat.

Agriculture
Chemistry
Food Science
Psychology

Health and Food Sciences
Precinct, Coopers Plains
A/Prof Yasmina Sultanbawa Native Australian foods, microbiology Food science Health and Food Sciences
Precinct, Coopers Plains
Prof Ala Tabor The development of molecular diagnostic and genotyping methods to better identify pathogens; and the study of gene function in relation to virulence and host pathogenicity of infectious diseases, to develop new effective vaccines. Animal science UQ St Lucia campus
A/Prof John Thomas Identification and control of plant virus diseases, especially those affecting tropical and sub-tropical crops. These aims are achieved through molecular characterisation of viruses and the development of diagnostic assays, epidemiological studies and collaborations with plant breeders and tissue culture specialist. Plant science Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
A/Prof Bruce Topp Horticultural tree crop breeding with current projects on macadamia and peach breeding, macadamia wild germplasm and rootstock evaluation.  Projects available regarding fruit and nut quality evaluations, phenology, yield parameters, plant propagation, disease/insect resistance and pollination.  Studies will be conducted at the Maroochy Research Station located on the Sunshine Coast. Agriculture
Genetics
Plant science
Maroochy Research Station, Nambour
Dr Conny Turni Use of both molecular and conventional bacteriology to problems linked with bacterial pathogens of domestic livestock (including food-safety organisms) and native animals.  Techniques used range from whole-genome sequence analysis to PCR to phenotypic tests for antimicrobial resistance.  Work covers improved diagnostic tools, population dynamics and characterisation of novel organisms. Agriculture
Animal science
Microbiology
Food science
Ecosciences Precinct
Dutton Park
Dr Najeeb Ullah Qualify the impact of heat stress on wheat crops. Characterisation wheat germplasm for heat stress tolerance. Organ level and plant level physiological process contributing to heat stress tolerance. Testing of new field-based screening technique for heat tolerance in wheat.

Plant Science
Agriculture
Genetics

UQ Gatton campus
Dr Erik van Oosterom Research focuses on the crop physiological basis of abiotic stress adaptation (drought, heat) in summer cereals. Close linkages to UQ/DAF sorghum pre-breeding program connects this research to underlying genetic control mechanisms. Scientific insights gained are used in the improvement of crop simulation models that are used to inform breeding programs. Agriculture
Plant science
UQ St Lucia campus
Dr Barbara Williams Gut microbiota Food science UQ St Lucia campus