Science Matters is the Faculty of Science's Newsroom

We hope that through this medium alumni, staff, students and supporters will be able to keep in touch with what is happening in the Faculty Science at UWA.

These are exciting times for the Faculty of Science and we hope you will be able to share in this excitement and that you will be able to follow where we go over the next few years.

Professor Tony O'Donnell, Dean

Groundwater

Computer modelling to protect populations from groundwater contamination

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

A team of scientists including The University of Western Australia has developed a computer model that can analyse and predict arsenic groundwater contamination, which can poison drinking water.

Sanitiser

UWA sanitiser to protect most vulnerable from COVID-19

Friday, 27 March 2020

Some vulnerable groups such as the elderly, small businesses and people in self-isolation from COVID-19 will be provided with hand sanitiser through a new initiative led by The University of Western Australia, in collaboration with UWA’s local Federal MP, Celia Hammond.

Toilet roll

Tissues, paper towels and wipes can block toilets if flushed

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Waste water engineering researchers from The University of Western Australia have emphasised the importance of only flushing toilet paper down the toilet, instead of using alternatives such as tissues, which could compromise WA’s sewerage infrastructure.

physical distancing

Staying connected while we practise social distancing

Monday, 23 March 2020

With people being asked to limit their contact with others to minimise the spread of COVID-19, a researcher from The University of Western Australia has suggested ways people can ensure they still stay socially connected without face-to-face contact, and look after their mental health.

Surgical team

Making team briefings happen in operating theatres

Friday, 20 March 2020

Getting the whole medical team together in one room for a pre-surgical list meeting sounds like a no-brainer but a new study published in BMJ Open has found that medical staff face many barriers to holding team briefings.

Amie

Students to tackle global challenges through Forrest scholarships

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Seven students have been awarded prestigious Forrest Scholarships to carry out research at The University of Western Australia. Their research will be focused on developing solutions to complex global challenges. They join another scholarship recipient who will study at Curtin University and one who will study at Murdoch University.

Mine

$30 million boost for sustainable mine closure in regional Australia

Friday, 13 March 2020

A national consortium jointly led by The University of Western Australia and University of Queensland has secured almost $30 million from the Federal Government to support regional Australian communities facing local mine closures.

Bushfire

Scientists uncover how invasive plants gain a head start after fire

Thursday, 12 March 2020

New research from The University of Western Australia has shed light on why some invasive plants make a better comeback after a fire, outstripping native species in the race for resources.

Marine heatwaves

New study reveals hidden impact of marine heatwaves

Monday, 9 March 2020

A new study by an international team of researchers including The University of Western Australia reveals the worst marine heatwave ever recorded off Western Australia was responsible for a massive loss of genetic diversity in underwater forests.

Wheat

Genetic diversity improves yield in hybrid crop varieties

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Researchers from The University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture and University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute have discovered that high levels of genetic diversity and dominant genes in grain crops such as wheat, barley or rice leads to the production of greater yields in hybrid varieties.

UWA

UWA achieves strong results in QS Rankings

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

The University of Western Australia achieved outstanding results in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject Area, maintaining its top ranking in the State with the highest number of subjects ranked in the top 100 globally. The QS Rankings ranked 1,368 universities globally. 

Drought

Experts warn Australia at risk from drought, rising water levels

Friday, 28 February 2020

Leading water and coastal engineering experts from The University of Western Australia warn one of the biggest risks facing Australia is water security, with some regional towns experiencing water shortage to the point where they are unable to respond to bushfires and coastal areas at risk from rising sea levels.  

Fish catches

Illicit seafood trade costing up to $26 billion each year

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Up to 14 million tonnes of unreported fish catches are being traded illicitly every year, costing the legitimate market between $14 and $26 billion in trade annually, researchers from The University of Western Australia and the University of British Columbia have found.

Education awards

UWA's top teachers recognised in Australian Awards for University Teaching

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Four academics from The University of Western Australia have been presented with awards to recognise their innovative and engaging contributions to student education in the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Software

Software gift to boost students in earth sciences

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Students and staff from The University of Western Australia’s School of Earth Sciences will benefit from a donation of important research software MoveTM, valued at £1,341,962.

Dirk Zeller

Recreational fishers targeting more sharks and rays

Thursday, 30 January 2020

A new study by an international team of scientists including researchers from The University of Western Australia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe in Brazil and the University of British Columbia has revealed an increase in the fishing of threatened sharks and rays.

Brendan O'Leary

Plants and animals sense nutrients the same way

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Researchers at The University of Western Australia have discovered that plants and animals use the same signalling process to manage their nutrient levels. The knowledge could help improve the use of energy in crops, leading to better yields in the future.

Tallon Island

Coral helper stays robust under ocean acidification

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at The University of Western Australia (Coral CoE at UWA) and the Victoria University of Wellington have found Crustose Coralline Algae, crucial to the survival of coral reefs, may be able to resist the impacts of ocean acidification caused by climate change. 

Arman

Seven UWA high achievers awarded Fulbright scholarships

Monday, 20 January 2020

A talented musician, a computer science student who studied how artificial intelligence can be used to solve complex medical problems and an oceanographer researching ways to harness energy during severe weather events are among seven researchers and graduates from The University of Western Australia who have received 2020 Fulbright scholarships.

Credit National Science Foundation, LIGO, Sonoma State University, A. Simonnet

UWA scientists crunch the numbers on a huge neutron star collision 3.4 times heavier than the sun

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Scientists at The University of Western Australia have contributed to a new study with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav) revealing a possible collision of two neutron stars 3.4 times heavier than the sun.