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The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is ranked in the top 10 research universities in Australia. The university’s three main institutes – the Australian Maritime College; the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies; and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research – contribute to this reputation in their distinctive fields. Additionally, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, a joint venture involving UTAS and the Tasmanian Government, is highly rated globally.

Hobart is home to Australia’s Antarctic Division and is recognised internationally as a world-class centre for Antarctic research. Australia’s largest group of Antarctic and marine research workers lives in the city.

CSIRO conducts cutting-edge research programs in Hobart and helped to set up Sense-T which made Tasmania a world leader in environmental monitoring. Sense-T makes it possible to monitor every aspect of a production environment and makes the resultant information instantly available to primary producers via smart phones. The game-changing system is used to constantly check the health of oysters by monitoring their heartbeats; it can tell a dairy farmer the prime time for an individual cow to be fed or artificially inseminated; and gives vegetable growers instant information about soil conditions. It has sent 5,000 tiny backpack sensors out on the backs of honey bees to monitor their interaction with the environment.

UTAS’s Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits is also a research leader in its field. In 2016, it startled the scientific world by demonstrating a link between plate tectonics and the evolution of life on earth.

Facts and figures

  • The 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia review ranked the University of Tasmania at or above world standard in 48 out of 51 criteria. The university’s 94 per cent overall result compares with a 71 per cent score in 2012.
  • The Menzies Institute for Medical Research has completed world-leading epidemiological studies into sudden infant death syndrome and asthma.
  • UTAS pioneered plate tectonic theory through its first Professor of Geology, Samuel Carey, AO.
  • More than 65 per cent of Australia's scientists specialising in Antarctic science and research live in Hobart.
  • The Hobart-based team that gave the world honey-bee backpacks has developed much smaller devices for mosquitoes. Prototypes of the minute backpacks are being trialled in Brazil and could become a key weapon in the battle to control the devastating mosquito-borne Zika virus.
  • A UTAS research team has opened the way for more healthy Sunday roasts, by finding a way to reduce saturated fats in lamb meat.

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 205

Sam's vintage move - Sam Connew with dog

We may be a small State, but Tasmania has always been big on innovation and cutting-edge science. Happy reading, stay warm and enjoy your May newsletter.

28 May 2019, Edition 205

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