Faculty of Sciences
The Faculty was established in 2002, merging the considerable strengths and facilities of the previous Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the Faculty of Science, with locations at the University of Adelaide's city, Roseworthy and Waite campuses.
The Faculty is internationally renowned for excellence in research in such fields as biomedical sciences, agricultural, environmental and earth sciences and is a leader in emerging fields such as photonics.
The University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world. This is based on the Times Higher Education, QS and Jiao Tong Rankings.
The 2010 ERA results confirmed that the Facuty of Sciences at the Univesity is home to some of the highest quality research in the country. Scores of 5 were awarded to each of the following discipline, and sub-discipline, areas, indicating outstanding performance well above world standard (see more about ERA 2010):
- Physical Sciences (Astronomical and Space Sciences, Optical Physics)
- Earth Sciences (Geology)
- Environmental Sciences
- Evolutionary Biology
- Plant Biology
- Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences (Crop and Pasture Production, Horticultural Production)
- Medical and Health Sciences (Medical Microbiology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Oncology and Carcinogenesis)
Scores of 4 (performance above world standard) were also awarded to the following areas:
- Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics
- Environmental Science and Management
- Biological Sciences
- Biochemistry and Cell Biology
- Animal Production
In considering the national outcomes, the University of Adelaide is unsurpassed in:
- Physical Sciences
- Astronomical and Space Sciences
- Optical Physics
- Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics
- Evolutionary Biology
- Earth Sciences
- Environmental Sciences
- Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
- Soil Sciences
- Plant Biology
- Animal Production
- Crop and Pasture Production
- Horticulture Production
- Veterinary Sciences
- Medical and Health Sciences (BCH)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
The 2010 ERA results reiterate the world-class position of the Faculty of Sciences, and indicate the facilities, resources, research support and infrastructure in place, and under development, are optimal in fostering creative, innovative and highly respected research advances (see more about research facilities)
Research Institutes with links to the Faculty of Sciences
Research Centres with links to the Faculty of Sciences
Centre for Soil Plant Interactions
The Faculty consists of five schools. Each school comprises key discipline groups which reflect the research focus of the school.
The School of Agriculture, Food and Wine represents a world-class concentration of scientific research, education and product conferring capability, with infrastructure and resources distributed across the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide with a number of research partners.
The School is the centrepiece of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest collection of expertise in plant genomics, crop improvement, sustainable agriculture, animal science, dryland farming, horticulture, viticulture, oenology and wine business.
Core research areas within the school are:
The School has well-established links with the cereals, wine, horticulture, livestock and other relevant agricultural and horticultural industries, and with the following co-located industry partners on the Waite campus.
The School of Chemistry & Physics was formed in 2003 to consolidate the University of Adelaide’s broad-ranging and cutting-edge research in the fundamental disciplines of Chemistry and Physics. It is one of five schools in the Faculty of Sciences.
There are two disciplines, and several Research Centres within the School, all of which are located on the North Terrace Campus. The School has over 250 staff, comprising academic and professional staff, research staff, higher degree students, visitors and titleholders.
Research within the School is at the forefront of developments, generating high-profile media events and capturing international attention in the world's best research journals. The School's research groups receive extensive external funding and enjoy significant collaboration with researchers both nationally and internationally.
To conduct this research, the School has a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment, and IT infrastructure supported by technical and workshop staff. Supercomputing is supported by eResearch South Australia founded by academics within the School.
The School has a diverse program of research.
The School accommodates
The School has developed strong links with a variety of partner organisations including
From the most specific and intimate aspects of rock, mineral, plant, marine and animal subjects to projects with a wider landscape, continent or species focus and environmental factors and patterns affecting the entire planet, the world-class research and teaching conducted in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences (EES) covers a range of subject matter notable in its breadth and scale.
Established in 2002, EES brings together three main academic groups – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Geology & Geophysics and Landscape Science.
EES is one of five Schools in the Faculty of Sciences and consists of more than 500 people, including academic, research and professional staff, a large cohort of higher degree research students, and numerous titleholders and visitors.
The School has a world class concentration of scientific expertise and facilities and offers high quality research training at Honours, Masters and Doctorate levels. We host a large, vibrant group of graduate students and aim to prepare graduates for an exciting and diverse range of careers.
The School is a participant in two Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) – the recently formed Deep Exploration Technologies CRC and the South Australian Centre for Geothermal Energy Research, and is a key partner in the Arid Recovery ecosystem rehabilitation initiative and Marine Innovations SA (MISA).
The overarching aim of both teaching and research in the School is to better understand, manage and conserve our natural systems and resources - marine, freshwater, terrestrial, mineral – often with a multi-disciplinary approach that will assist in informing policy and decision making into the future. With biodiversity under pressure from excessive resource use, population growth, pollution and climate change, research in this area is more important than it has ever been.
A suite of strategically placed field stations on islands, on coasts and inland arid zones promote field research from early on in undergraduate teaching, and are regularly used by our postgraduates and research staff.Core research areas within the school are:
EES has a diverse program of research, which involves major collaborations with researchers nationally and internationally, and extensive external funding. The research interests in the discipline of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology are focussed on marine biology, terrestrial and freshwater ecology and study of taxonomy and systematics of organisms and their evolution. Landscape Science research has a focus on spatial technology and natural resource systems. The focus of research in Geology & Geophysics is in continental evolution, near surface geophysics, regolith geoscience and mineral exploration. The School has a wide range of equipment and facilities, including field stations, some of which are shared with partner organisations:
and South Australian Government Departments such as:
The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences has interests in a range of properties and stations around the state of South Australia for use as research field bases. Many of the School’s academic and research staff are regular visitors to these sites, which are located in a variety of landscapes and offer camping and cooking facilities for staff and students on field trips undertaking teaching and research activities.
Maintaining and supplying these stations comes at a cost, and volunteers are an important part of the School’s field activities in remote locations. The field trips the School runs to these locations are often cited by undergraduate students as a highlight of their programs/time at University, and often pave the way for a higher degree and eventually a career in research.
The Field Stations owned/operated by the School are:
Other locations (not owned/run by EES) used for field trips include Rennick and Fowlers Gap.
The School of Molecular and Biomedical Science was formed in June 2002 to coordinate and consolidate the University’s cutting edge and world-class research and teaching in Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology & Immunology. Approximately 400 people comprise the research, teaching and support staff, postgraduates and honours students of the School.
The School of Molecular and Biomedical Science is addressing a major paradigm shift to a functional systems biology by promoting an integrated research and teaching concept which focuses on how biological information is processed in the development of organisms from simple cells to complex, thinking individuals.
This is made possible by the combined energies and synergies between three disciplines:
Biochemistry is looking at how molecules store and process information in their structures, and how these in turn regulate pathways and metabolism in living cells.
Genetics studies how genomes and genes store, evolve and express their encoded information to generate complex organisms.
Microbiology & Immunology addresses the balance between health and disease by investigating the body’s natural defence systems and how pathogenic organisms have evolved strategies to evade these.
The Disciplines of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology & Immunology are housed in a purpose-built facility - the Molecular Life Sciences Building. The building's modern design incorporates two sizeable teaching laboratories and 39 research laboratories, with convenient shared instrument and central support areas, meeting rooms and seminar rooms. The laboratories house 'state-of-the-art' research equipment and a modern IT environment.Industry Links
The School has a long and proud history of innovation in the Australian Biotechnology Industry.
The role of the School in fostering the Australian Biotechnology Industry through forming companies and strategic collaborations has been recognised by the presentation of a major award from the Business/Higher Education Round Table at its inaugural awards night in Melbourne. The links, which this school has forged with the Biotech companies and Venture Capitalists, provide important avenues for commercialisation of ongoing research as well as career opportunities for our graduates.
The successful biotechnology companies Bresagen, GeneWorks and Novozymes GroPep were established by members of the former Department of Biochemistry to commercialise their research in collaboration with other organisations such as the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CSIRO and the Child Health Research Institute.
In recent years, the School has filed several international patents and actively encourages its research staff to consider the commercial implications of its fundamental research programs.
A wide range facilities are available to support research in the School of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, including:
The School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences is located on the historic Roseworthy Campus, 53 km north of Adelaide.
We continue to assemble a team of world-class animal and veterinary sciences academics and clinicians. The construction of leading-edge teaching facilities and veterinary hospital continue to invigorate the campus. Ultimately, the facilities will include Centres for Companion Animal Health, Production Animal Health, Equine Health and Rehabilitation of Companion Animals. The first two of these will open late in 2010 along with the Ambulatory services.
The School is developing partnerships with veterinary practices and State Government agencies to allow co-localisation of facilities to enhance the exposure of students to a wide range of veterinary skills and professional practice types.
Collocation partners on the Roseworthy campus include the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA), the Pig & Poultry Production Institute and TAFE SA. Research collaborations are already strong between these groups and the Roseworthy campus is the Animal and Veterinary Sciences hub for South Australian animal-focussed research.
The School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences hosts a range of vibrant research activities on the Roseworthy Campus of the University of Adelaide. The School provides an outstanding environment for research with high quality infrastructure and access to a variety of industry and research facilities. In addition, staff members are internationally recognised for their contributions to scientific and veterinary research.
The School is involved in various Cooperative Research Centres. The School also has well-established links with many partner organisations that add considerably to the research opportunities available. These include the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA), the Pig & Poultry Production Institute and Martindale Holdings (the Roseworthy farm management). In addition, the School is building partnerships with
The research interests of the School include areas of animal production and genetics, nutrition, wildlife ecology, laboratory animal science, animal welfare, musculoskeletal biology, epidemiology, physiology and anatomy. In addition, the research profile will expand over the next 24 months with appointments in the following areas: veterinary microbiology, virology, parasitology, toxicology, immunology and pharmacology as well as the clinical disciplines.Research Groups
Veterinary Health Centres (VHC)
The 5,500 metre square new building at the Roseworthy campus houses teaching and clinical areas including the Companion Animal Health Centre, a veterinary clinic and hospital, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL), housing diagnostic pathology, and the Production Animal Health Centre.
The west end of the building focuses on the learning needs of the students and the east end forms the Companion Animal Health Centre that is open to the public as a regular veterinary practice. The VDL makes up the northerly aspect of the building.
Also proposed is the Equine Health Centre. This will provide world class diagnostic, health and rehabilitation facilities for horses in South Australia. It will be open to both veterinary health professionals and private horse owners and will offer a broad range of services, many of them for the first time in South Australia. It will also serve as a teaching facility for the University's veterinary students.
The VHC building forms part of the new School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Roseworthy and will also serve as a continuing education venue for the veterinary profession and animal owners as well as continuing agricultural or animal science education.
In addition to many facilities based out in the Schools, the following Faculty resources are available to research organisations, industry and other interest groups.
- Waite Analytical Services
- Waite Diagnostics
- Waite Insect and Nematode Collection
- Mycology Online
- Genetics and Molecular Pathology (including DNA sequencing)