Research highlights

With an outstanding international research profile, our students have access to World Heritage rainforests, reefs, beaches, estuaries, large rivers, mountains and national parks as part of their living laboratories for learning and research. Our research strengths include the protection and sustainability of the world’s precious marine environments, and helping to transform the forestry, mining and agriculture industries.

In the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) results, Southern Cross achieved an ERA-5 result of 'well above world standard' (the highest possible) in 12 Science and Engineering categories including Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Science and Management, Ecology, Zoology, Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Crop and Pasture Production, Fisheries Sciences, Forestry Sciences, Civil Engineering and Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy.

Higher Degrees by Research with Southern Cross

We offer a number of Higher Degrees by Research with research supervision available in a broad range of areas. Staff and students have access to our state-of-the-art facilities including research centres and laboratories. Marine science researchers and students have access to the University’s National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, also home to the Solitary Islands Aquarium.

Ahmed Thabet

“My students and I are designing parts of aircrafts and developing high-resistance carbon fibre and aluminium composite laminates for airplanes and satellites.”

No.1 in Australia

We're rated No.1 in Australia for Engineering teaching quality, skills development, learning resources and overall experience (GUG 2023)

Excellence in research

‘Well above world standard’ in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 national report.

Strong industry links

Preferred partner for significant industry sponsored research, with strong links in the public and private sectors.

Protecting our native animals – research profile Ross Goldingay

Associate Professor Ross Goldingay is passionate about animals. One of his innovations was to propose a specific crossing structure for gliding mammals, using power poles, which is now in use on major highways. He is also investigating the use of nest boxes as a way of protecting threatened species.

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.

Engineering & IT research

Browse through our current engineering and IT research projects and find out more about our passion for research while fostering yours. If you’re looking for a project to get involved in or learn more about simply contact the staff member working on that project.

Engineering & IT research
Male mechanical engineering student in lab using engineering research equipment

Marine Science research

Our focus on the future is evident through our marine science research projects. Got an interest in marine science? Look through the variety of projects our team are working on to see what you could be involved in.

Marine Science research
Researcher looking at a flask of green liquid

Earth Science research

Dig up the dirt on our Earth Science research projects. It has never been more crucial to invest in research in this field. Southern Cross University is a world leader in Earth Sciences and we’re keen to further the understanding of the natural world.

Earth Science research
Professor Ed Burton working in lab with soil samples