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Australia Individual Research Projects

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The Individual Research Project (IRP) is an opportunity for students to conduct original research under the supervision of experts. Prior to arriving in Australia, students will be provided with a list of possible project topics and areas and will be invited to correspond with University of Queensland faculty to develop project ideas that combine their own personal interests and career goals. Topics can be chosen within Coastal Ecosystems, Terrestrial Ecology and Conservation, Coral Reef Ecosystems or Australian Studies. Past projects were as varied as the effects of ocean acidification on seahare embryos to a consideration of diabetes in Indigenous communities. Projects will be developed over the quarter with specific days set aside for research and analysis. IRPs culminate in a project report and presentation to students and faculty.

Past Topics

Below are some examples of topics that students have covered in the past. These will provide a general idea of the size and scope of research projects students may undertake. This is not an exhaustive list of topics.

Australian Studies

  • The Australian history war
  • The changing face of Australia
  • Tribal law in contemporary Australia
  • Australia's health system
  • Sites of indigenous significance
  • Kyoto Protocol: US and Australia
  • Great Barrier Reef - 2050

Coastal Forest Ecosystems

  • Climate change and tidal wetlands
  • How do Lianes get into the canopy?
  • Leaf physiognomy of sclerophyll vegatation
  • Temperature vs light and angrove establishment
  • Mangroves as shoreline protectors

Coral Reef Ecosystems

  • Zooplankton abundance in zones of the reef
  • Fish populations around coral colonies
  • Sea cucumber distribution
  • Coral Zonation
  • Coral Morphology
  • Symbioses, mutualisms, commensalisms and parasitisms
  • Signs of change at Low Isles sand flat
  • Survival in the intertidal zone
  • Tourism and sedimentation rates
  • Life in an underwater sandy desert
  • Island life
  • Anemone fish and anemones
  • The physiology of coral bleaching