Faculty of Science

Research

Further information

  • International Postgraduate Research Enquiries
  • Find out what our postgraduates are researching

Research Leaders

Professor Stephen Powles
Professor Stephen Powles

Professor Stephen Powles, FTSE leads a large research team focused on Australian crop science and particularly the issue of herbicide resistant crops and weeds.

Research extends from evolutionary biology, through molecular and biochemical studies to practical on-farm management of herbicide resistance.

Prof. Powles is the Director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI), receiving major funding by the Australian Grains Research & Development Corporation and the Australian Research Council

Prof. Powles is one of the most highly cited plant scientists in the world.

UWA is a science-focused university. More than 50% of our undergraduates and over 40% of our postgraduate students study the sciences. Our research is rated above world class standard in 38 fields of research, and 79% of these are science fields. We are ranked 18th in the top 100 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education).

From Astronomy to Zoology, UWA is a multidisciplinary melting pot of expertise and research capabilities.

Science that makes a difference

The diverse nature of our faculty and the resource-rich natural environment here in Western Australia provide our students with unique opportunities for research. As a faculty, we focus on bringing about meaningful change for the world and humanity in five key areas:

  • Feeding the world
  • Preventing, diagnosing and treating disease
  • Furthering human knowledge and enhancing society
  • Harnessing resources and energy for a sustainable future
  • Restoring and maintaining balance in our natural environment

These major research projects are making a difference to people’s lives around the world.

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Being ‘in the zone’

UWA is very much ‘in the zone’, meaning we’re ideally situated within the Asian time zone that’s home to 60% of the global population and many of the world’s emerging economic powerhouses. It’s a region that’s playing an increasingly influential role in international business, innovation and industry, and we’re at the heart of it. Find out more about why being ‘in the zone’ is so important

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A biodiversity hotspot

We are also located close to an international biodiversity hotspot in Australia’s South West – an area of 300,000 square kilometres, with 13,500 kilometres of coastline. In addition to 1,500+ plant species and a host of endemic mammals, we also have World Heritage-listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef – one of the world’s largest fringing reefs – on our doorstep. Read more about our unique environment  and some of the myriad research opportunities it presents.

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Highly ranked, widely renowned

As one of Australia's Group of Eight research-intensive universities, we have an exceptionally strong research culture that’s widely renowned. UWA was ranked as the top university in Australia for Life and Agricultural Sciences and second for Chemistry (according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2012).

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Research partnerships

UWA is one of only two Australian universities to belong to the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) which is a partnership of 18 research-led universities from Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia. This alliance fosters and encourages collaboration between members, bringing together the experience, equipment and expertise necessary to tackle the big issues currently facing societies, governments, corporations and education.

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Our students and staff

The Faculty of Science has more than 5000 students and more than 800 staff members, including ten Highly Cited Scientists, three Federation Fellows, six Premiers Fellows, four Australian Laureate Fellows and winners of numerous national and international prestigious science awards, such as WA Scientist of the Year 2012Professor Peter Quinn, the world-renowned astrophysicist who played a key role in the success of the nation’s bid to host the world’s biggest radio astronomy project, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA); Professor Mark Spackman, winner of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013 Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography; and Assoc Professor Phil Vercoe and the Enrich Project team who won the 2013 Eureka Prize 'Caring for our Country Landcare Eureka Prize for Sustainable Agriculture'.

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Science research within our schools

Find out more about the groundbreaking research being carried out within our schools and centres.

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Study

The Faculty offers both research and postgraduate coursework courses by thesis or a combination of thesis and practice-based research.

Domestic students, for information on how to apply for a postgraduate research degree, visit the Future Students website. 

International students, if you wish to apply for a postgraduate research degree in the Sciences, you will first need to find a supervisor. To assist you in finding a supervisor, we ask you to complete the online enquiry form. For general questions about undertaking a postgraduate research degree in the Sciences, contact HDR Enquiry.

Find out what our postgraduates are researching.

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