Our Research Strengths

Energy and materials

Energy and materials

Developed societies stand on a cusp where traditional energy-production methods are being replaced by a wide range of renewable methods for energy production, storage and transport. Our researchers are pursuing advances in atomic-scale technology and materials which will be integral to future devices, and will help to shape a sustainable energy economy.

Genetics, genomics and health

Advances in genetics and in genome sequencing are revolutionising our understanding of biology and our approaches to improving human and environmental health. Researchers in the Faculty of Science are at the forefront of these advances due to their expertise in state of the art gene manipulation techniques, high-throughput sequencing and phenotyping, and mathematical modelling of biological processes. Their work is leading to new approaches in areas such as bioremediation and prospecting, biological pest and disease control, crop modification, conservation, disease mechanisms, nutrition, gene drives, phage therapy, and assisted reproduction.

Environmental change and adaptation

Climate, habitats, and renewable and non-renewable resources are all changing at a pace faster than ever before. The well-being of humanity will depend on how both we and the life around us respond to this change. Research across the Faculty of Science spans the breadth and depth of global environmental change. Our researchers are at the forefront of identifying, advancing and communicating the knowledge and solutions humanity needs to manage and adapt to the changing world around us.

Evolution of the Earth and Universe

Our researchers are redefining our understanding of how the Earth has evolved, how the biosphere influenced that evolution, and how the universe has evolved around us. Science has dramatically redefined our understanding of our place in the universe by showing us how the Earth and stars formed and evolved over billions of years. Today there continue to be many exciting advances including the discovery of gravitational waves, detection of planetary systems around nearby stars, and exploration of new frontiers within our Solar System and on Earth.

Solutions for a big data world

The deluge of data available in the modern world is reshaping science, technology, and business. Although large data sets carry a wealth of information, their size makes them difficult to analyse. Researchers across the Faculty of Science are working to develop the new tools that are needed to extract useful information from these large data sets. Their work is providing key insights into areas such as traffic flow management, social networks, the production of elements in stars, supply chains, image analysis, and health science.

Synthesis for function

The ability to design and construct molecules never before seen on earth is critical to the discovery of new materials able to meet future challenges in health and energy. Synthesis has the capacity to redefine the world that we live in. Our researchers are developing new methods to build unique molecules that transform the world and addressing grand challenges ranging from the development of new materials with biological activity, to the discovery of materials with energy storage properties.

Mathematical networks, space, and symmetry

Much of the technology we use, and our improved understanding of the world, is underpinned by mathematics. Fundamental mathematics research is thus crucial to stimulate new developments in science and technology. Our researchers have particular strengths in the pure mathematics areas that investigate mathematical networks (combinatorics), spaces with constraints in three or more dimensions (topology and geometry), the ways spaces and functions change over time (analysis), and symmetries (algebra).

New ways of seeing and understanding the world

Modern science is underpinned by our growing capability to "see" in wavelengths far beyond visible light. At the smallest scales, our researchers exploit capabilities with visible light, X-rays and electrons via world-class facilities at the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy (MCEM), the New Horizons Centre and the Australian Synchrotron. Insights achieved via X-ray phase contrast imaging of lung function have improved patient outcomes for congenital respiratory conditions and acute illnesses.

At the largest scales, astrophysicists exploit km-scale instruments to probe the most distant and violent events in the universe. In addition to a worldwide network of telescopes covering the radio to gamma-ray bands, Monash researchers can now access instruments capable of detecting gravitational waves, a key prediction of Einstein's theory of general relativity.