Curtin University

Australia

Curtin University is Australia’s most collaborative higher education provider and a prominent name in the Nature Index. Established in 1986 in Western Australia, a state rich in land, minerals and biodiversity, the university has campuses across Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. It leads major international projects in astronomy, sustainability and interconnec-tivity, with a particular focus on solving real-world problems.

Curtin is renowned for minerals and energy research. Groups from across the university undertake fundamental and applied research into mining, materials, fuel technologies and mineral economics.

Curtin is a key partner in the world’s biggest astronomy projects. The Curtin-led Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a low-frequency radio telescope capable of reaching deep into space and far back through time, making the night sky visible with better resolution than ever before. The array is a precursor project to an even larger telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), to be built in Western Australia and in South Africa. When completed, the SKA will give scientists a better understanding of the nascent Universe.

Fast and effective communication is a major challenge for large data-intensive projects like the MWA. Together with the Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, a partnership between Cisco, Curtin University and Woodside Energy, Curtin is constructing a direct data-transmission line from the radio telescope’s remote location to central Perth. The partners are also building a long-range, low-power network of sensors that can provide farmers with essential information for improved crop management.

Agriculture and sustainable development are critical research programmes for Curtin University. In April 2016, Curtin joined an initiative to establish the world’s first zero-carbon solar-powered neighbourhood.

Committed to urban renewal, the university’s Greater Curtin Master Plan will transform its 114-hectare Perth campus into a major Asia-Pacific innovation precinct by 2030. The plan will drive collaboration and commercialisation, positioning Western Australia at the forefront of the knowledge economy.

As Curtin heads towards 2020, we will position ourselves as a leading global university. For more information on our Strategic Plan for 2017-2020, please visit our website.

Curtin University retains sole responsibility for content © 2016 Curtin University.

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Curtin University published between 1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the WFC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

AC FC WFC
328 41.86 24.86

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Physical Sciences 263 24.41 7.40
Earth & Environmental Sciences 32 8.18 8.18
Chemistry 26 8.65 8.65
Life Sciences 12 1.22 1.22

Highlight of the month: Curtin University

When faced with a raging fire, echidnas take it easy

© Photo by Roman Sandoz/Moment/Getty

© Photo by Roman Sandoz/Moment/Getty

Echidnas survive burns by reducing their body temperature and increasing dormant periods, adaptations that could explain how our early mammalian ancestors made it through the fires caused by the catastrophic meteor that killed off the dinosaurs.

An Australian team, led by Curtin University’s Julia Nowack, created a controlled fire in a patch of the woodland habitat of the short-beaked echidna, a type of egg-laying animal sometimes referred to as a “living fossil” because it’s thought to closely resemble the common ancestor of all mammals. Echidnas survived the fire by taking shelter and entering an inactive state known as torpor. They lowered their body temperatures and reducing foraging activity for weeks after the blaze.

In addition to showing how echidnas can withstand seasonal wildfires and other environmental disturbances, the findings support the idea that energy-conserving torpor allowed ancestral mammals to survive the extinction event that occurred some 66 million years ago.

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283, 20160382 (2016). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0382

View the article on the Nature Index

1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 31.53% Domestic
  • 68.47% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Note: Collaboration is determined by the weighted fractional count (WFC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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