Global Change Scholars in the spotlight

Learn about the innovative and inspiring work of UQ's Global Change Scholars.

Great things happen when fungi are your foci: Jed Calvert

The Queensland Mycological Society hold fungi-focused meetings every month at the herbarium of the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens. They invited Global Change Scholar Jed to speak about his research into fungus-orchid symbiosis, and his PhD project on the diverse communities of fungi that live inside plants and play an important role in plant ecology.

There was a big turnout and guests engaged in a wide-ranging discussion on fungus-plant interplay, hidden diversity and the huge potential of fungi in the realms of low-input agriculture, breakdown of plastic waste and bioprospecting for new medicines. The tone was optimistic, and mushroom-shaped chocolate shortbreads were enjoyed by all who attended.

Contact Jed Calvert.

Three minutes of spiders and worms: Samantha Nixon

On Wednesday 12 September, 2018, Global Change Program Scholar Samantha Nixon competed in the final of the UQ Three Minute Thesis Competition. Samantha was awarded the runner-up prize for her presentation 'Fight creepy with crawly.'

Contact Samantha Nixon.

UQ 3MT Final 2018, Runner Up - Samantha Nixon from Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) on Vimeo.

Citizen science and STEM learning: Samantha Reynolds

Samantha Reynolds

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in Australian Science. Global Change Scholar, Samantha Reynolds, and her partner, Dr Brad Norman, were finalists in the 2018 Innovation in Citizen Science category, and attended the Award Dinner at Sydney Town Hall on August 29.

Samantha and Brad work with ECOCEAN, Australia’s only not-for-profit research organisation dedicated to conserving the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark. ECOCEAN uses photo-identification data collected by citizen scientists and electronic tracking technology sponsored by schools to learn more about the biology and ecology of whale sharks and to engage students in STEM learning.

They were joint runners-up and although they didn’t win, Samantha and Brad say it was a huge honour to be there. “The Eureka Prizes are like the Academy Awards for Australian science! It was great to see scientists being treated like stars and to celebrate the incredible scientific work being done in Australia” said Samantha.

Samantha, a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences, uses the data collected by citizen scientists and STEM learners in her research into the movements and distribution of the endangered whale shark.

ECOCEAN website:


Twitter: @ECOCEANInc

Instagram: ecocean

Contact Samantha:; 0424563472

A little bit of our Syria: Daniel Seed

On 22 August, Global change Scholar Daniel Seed gave a presentation about his  "A little bit of our Syria" project: Blending photography, podcasting and augmented reality.

Here's a bit more about the event:

"A little bit of our Syria" explores intimate stories of everyday life in Orman, a village in the South-West of Syria. It pairs photography, podcasts and some experimental augmented reality to recreate the narrative of leaving Australia, visiting, and leaving Syria behind at the end of each trip. The exhibition is a product of a collaboration between Rose Richani and Daniel Seed who met while studying Journalism and the University of Queensland. The exhibition works to highlight the importance of celebrating cultural diversity in Australia, and explore the sense of belonging in more than one place. Rose and Daniel worked collaboratively to create a unique art/tech/journalism project highlighting cultural diversity and Australia.

Daniel Seed is a Journalism PhD student and Global Change Scholar at The University of Queensland. Dan created a series of podcasts to provide spoken snapshots into Rose's life and explore the juxtaposition of the perceived reality of Syria from mainstream media, and the lived reality of Rose and her family.

Contact Daniel Seed.