Research highlights

With a 30 year history of excellence in teaching and research, Southern Cross University's School of Environment, Science and Engineering has an outstanding international research profile.

The World Heritage rainforests, reefs, beaches, estuaries, large rivers, mountains and national parks provide living laboratories for learning and research.

The School is a highly successful competitor for large Australian Research Council grants, and a preferred partner for significant industry sponsored research.

In the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 national report, the University received the top rating of 'well above world standard' in many specific fields. We also achieved a rating of 'above world standard' in many fields. For more information visit ERA outcomes.

Research in the School is supported by its three key research centres.

School staff also engage in research activities through several bodies associated with the School.

Staff and students work in state-of-the-art facilities at Lismore campus which includes specialised laboratories for environmental chemical analysis, microscopy, aquaculture, geographic information systems and remote sensing, phytochemistry, natural products pharmacology and molecular genetics.

Marine science researchers and students have access to the University's National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour.

The School's research success is enhanced by strong links with public and private sector organisations and community agencies within Australia and overseas.

The postgraduate research conference Research in Science, Engineering and the Environment (RISE) is held annually.

If you are interested in undertaking research within our School, we offer higher degrees by research and can provide research supervision in a broad range of areas. Enquiries are welcomes and applications can be made at any time of the year. For more information, visit our higher degrees by research page.

Protecting our native animals - Associate Professor Ross Goldingay

I'm one of those people that has grown up being a bit obsessed about animals so, I like to see animals out in the wild and I guess just see biodiversity and take it in.

I'm fairly passionate about individual species so there's a number of species that I've done research on over a number of years. A lot of the work I've done has focused on particular threatened species so there's always that challenge of trying to find out something that can assist the long-term conservation of that species.

One of my innovations is to propose a specific cross structure for gliding mammals and it took probably more than a decade to get anyone interested in that idea which is to use power poles which are basically just dead standing trees that gliding mammals can climb and glide between and now that has become the standard sort of wildlife crossing structure that's been installed on by the Hume Highway and the Pacific Highway and our ongoing research has shown that not only will gliding mammals use those poles but they will use them fairly regularly to cross over roads.

We've done a lot of work looking at how species can utilise nest boxes, so a lot of the animals that we work a lot of the mammals require tree hollows for there survival and in a lot of landscapes the abundance of trees containing hollows has declined.

The work that we're doing is trying to understand the ecology of those species so we can understand why they might have declined in abundance and so that we can identify different management actions that can allow those species to be conserved over time so that they are and around for future generations because we don't want to actually have a loss of biodiversity over time we want to be able to protect what we've currently got and hopefully to bring those species back to high levels of abundance so that they could be delisted.