Research Facilities

Queensland Animal Science Precinct

The Queensland Animal Science Precinct (QASP) is a unique research facility that accommodates training, teaching, validation and commercialisation of animal research focusing on the research and development requirements of state, national and international animal industries.

QASP has the ability to undertake a diverse range of animal research including nutrition, health and disease management, vaccine development, behavioural and welfare studies, biosecurity investigational work, reproduction and food safety – all of which have to date been conducted at the complex. These are key areas of strategic investment to ensure continued growth, efficiency, diversification and protection of animal industries. QASP facilitates increased national and international collaboration between scientists in the developed and developing world. It also serves to strengthen the interaction between researchers and industry to ensure that research and development leads to practical outcomes which can seamlessly be implemented at industry level.

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Gatton Farms

The University of Queensland Gatton Farms is located on the UQ Gatton Campus 80 kilometers west of Brisbane. The farms cover 1064 hectares and includes a dairy, piggery, poultry unit, sheep and goat herd, horticultural fields, plant nursery, post-harvest facilities, research laboratories and greenhouses, and an extensive range of plant and farm machinery. UQ Gatton Farms is spread across two locations. The main area of activities is on the Gatton Campus with another farm, Darbalara located 10 kilometers from the main campus.  Darbalara is 184 hectares in size and is home to the School of Veterinary Science Droughtmaster herd.

The Campus is located in the Lockyer Valley which is a highly fertile horticulture area.  We experience a subtropical climate with relatively long hot summers, and short, mild winters with occasional frosts. Rainfall is summer dominant with 65-70% of the total rainfall occurring in the October to March period. The average annual rainfall to the area is approximately 780 mm making this the driest part of the South East Queensland region.

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School of Agriculture and Food Sciences Research

With the world population predicted to hit 9 billion in 2050 and declining land and water resources, we need to do more with less.

World-leading researchers within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFS) are committed to finding solutions to global issues related to diminishing natural resources, climate change and feeding a growing population.

Research undertaken by the School's 150 scientists encompasses a broad suite of disciplines to design agricultural systems integrating plant, animal, soil and food sciences with social, environmental and economic variables.

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School of Veterinary Science Research

The School of Veterinary Science (SVS) has a broad range of research interests, encompassing nearly all disciplines of veterinary science and including basic, applied and translational research.

Specific research strengths of the School include the areas of infectious diseases, animal welfare, livestock, wildlife, equine and companion animals.

SVS offers an outstanding range of facilities for the conduct of laboratory-based, animal-based, clinical and field research.

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Native Wildlife Teaching and Research Facility

The Native Wildlife Facility was established in 2008 to support teaching and research in Australian native wildlife. Students enrolled in the Wildlife Science program undertake practical classes in the facility and are required to volunteer time within the native wildlife facility as part of their degree requirements.

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Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics

The Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics (CAWE) develops innovative practices, guidelines and management strategies to protect animals, enhance their health and ensure their welfare.

Animal welfare is attracting attention worldwide. It is now recognised that housing an animal in an environment designed to maximise its sense of 'well being' is integral to its physical and psychological health. Animal welfare improvements have led to advances in conservation management, companion animal health and the livestock industry.

CAWE's mission is to improve Animal Welfare, and the ethical issues concerned with Animal Welfare, through research, education and collaboration, all of which recognises the cultural diversity of human-animal interaction.

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Centre for Spray Technology Application Research and Training

The Centre for Spray Technology Application Research and Training (C-START) is an internationally recognised scientific research and training group which operates as a unit within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences. With leading researchers and world-class facilities and equipment, C-START has a long history of assisting governments and industry achieve best practice in balancing crop protection and production with protection of the environment.

C-START has a wind tunnel at the Gatton Campus that is one of just a handful in the world which can handle active ingredient pesticides and the only active one which can handle such sprays for simulated aerial application scenarios. It is used to measure droplet size for diverse spray types from agriculture to vector control, mining applications and waste water treatment, using three different laser measurement systems unique to UQ within Australia (a Phase Doppler, Sympatec laser diffraction and Oxford Laser imaging system). We use a different working section to also measure the drift potential of sprays to show the effects of changing nozzle, adjuvant or application conditions. The advantage of wind tunnels over field studies is that we can control the variables closely and contain the spray while sampling.

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Gatton Solar Research Facility

The Global Change Institute is shaping a brighter future for Australia’s renewable energy capability with the construction of the largest solar research facility in the southern hemisphere at UQ’s Gatton campus.

The 3.275 megawatt research station is a pilot plant for new and existing large-scale Australian solar projects, and will look at ways to better integrate solar with conventional electricity grids.

The project is a collaboration between UQ Solar, US photovoltaic manufacturer First Solar and AGL, and is expected to advance solar generation technologies that will strengthen the industry’s position in Australia’s energy mix.

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Geothermal Cooling Tower

The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Geothermal Centre (QGECE) has developed an innovative new cooling tower technology to reduce water consumption and the cost of generating electricity in regional Australia. Remote Australian communities need cost effective small scale power generation options. Small scale thermal power plants (1-10 MW) using renewable sources (geothermal, biomass and solar thermal) could meet this need, and these technologies require cooling towers that work efficiently at small scale without consuming excessive amounts of water.

The QGECE has developed a polymer-steel cooling tower that has a flexible design allowing operation across the range of dry, wet, and hybrid cooling modes. This tower has a modular construction that is easily deployable to remote sites and dramatically cheaper than concrete cooling towers, particularly at small scales. The demonstration unit, built at the UQ Gatton Campus is large enough to contribute to the efficient supply of power for up to 1000 people. The QGECE hybrid cooling tower at Gatton is a world first research facility with profound implications for power generation.

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Poultry Science Unit

The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences' Poultry Science Unit plays a key role in supporting teaching and research activities, allowing undergraduate and postgraduate students to gain hands-on experience working with poultry. Research is largely funded by government and industry, and has an emphasis on nutrition, gastrointestinal physiology and health, feed ingredient quality, and biomanufacturing of feed additives.

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Research Nursery

The Plant Nursery Unit, managed by the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, is used for container grown plant teaching and research, Horticulture and Urban Horticulture teaching and research, plant nursery skills training, potted plant research and development ('home' of Aussie Colours), engagement activities and community service.

The unit is located within a secure compound with a range of potted plant growing facilities.

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