Curtin University

Australia

Curtin University is one of Australia’s most collaborative tertiary institutions and a prominent name in the Nature Index. Established in 1986 in Western Australia, the university has expanded around the Indian Ocean rim, and now has campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius.

In recent years, Curtin has risen rapidly in the world rankings, owing largely to its research performance. The university is placed in the top percentile of tertiary institutions worldwide in the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and is ranked second in the world for Mineral and Mining Engineering in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

The national evaluation, Excellence in Research Australia, ranked more than 95 per cent of Curtin’s assessed research areas as world standard or above.

Long term, the university aims to strike a balance between demand-driven research, which solves defined problems for industry and society, and researcher-driven research, which is characterised by a desire to push the limits of understanding.

Curtin is also a key partner in some of 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 Universe in its first moments.

Curtin’s extensive computing capabilities provide the support that large-scale, data intensive projects like these require. The Curtin Institute for Computation boasts 150 researchers in the fields of simulation, modelling, optimisation, data analytics and visualisation. They have access to world-class facilities including the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre – a joint venture between CSIRO and Western Australia’s four public universities – which houses the world’s only real-time supercomputing service dedicated to telescopes used in astronomy research.

Curtin leads many more international research collaborations, spanning data science, renewable energy, defence, health sciences, materials and climate. Partners include, but aren’t limited to, NASA, BHP, Cisco, Woodside, Royal Australian Navy and The University of Aberdeen.

The Greater Curtin Master Plan will transform Curtin’s sprawling 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. It will become the home of many forward-thinking companies and researchers – a critical mass that can be leveraged to form new research opportunities.

For more information on Curtin University’s research capabilities, visit research.curtin.edu.au.

Curtin University retains sole responsibility for content © 2020 Curtin University.

1 August 2019 - 31 July 2020

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Curtin University published between 1 August 2019 - 31 July 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the FC 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.

Count Share
165 35.40

Outputs by subject (Share)

Subject Count Share
Earth & Environmental Sciences 74 22.46
Chemistry 30 9.86
Physical Sciences 55 5.94
Life Sciences 31 2.08

Highlight of the month

The end of North America’s ice age beasts

© Daniel Eskridge/Stocktrek Images/Getty

© Daniel Eskridge/Stocktrek Images/Getty

Climate change may not fully explain ice age megafauna extinctions in North America.

At the end of the last ice age, climate change altered biodiversity worldwide. In North America, this coincided with humans arriving, making it tricky to determine which event caused the changes.

To investigate biodiversity changes during the last ice age, a team led by researchers from Curtin University analysed the DNA of thousands of bone fragments and soil samples from a cave in Texas.

After the end of the ice age 13,000 years ago and another cold snap (called the Younger Dryas), the plateau had transformed from grasslands that hosted many burrowing and grazing mammals to open woodlands with far less biodiversity.

As temperatures rose again, plant diversity and small mammals returned, but many large animals such as camels and sabretooth cats did not.

The researchers suggest that climate change alone cannot explain the disappearances, so human hunting could be the main cause.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 11, 2770 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16502-3

View the article on the Nature Index

See more research highlights from Curtin University

More research highlights from Curtin University

Top articles by Altmetric score in current window

The first day of the Cenozoic

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

2019-09-09

1 August 2019 - 31 July 2020

International vs. domestic collaboration by Share

  • 31.99% Domestic
  • 68.01% International

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

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

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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