Our 2019 Winter Research project details are shown below.

All projects will be based at UQ's St Lucia campus.

How to apply

Applications open on 11 March 2019 and close on 5 April 2019.

Visit the UQ Winter Research Program website for application details and to hear from previous scholars.

Systematic review of associations between ambient temperature and stillbirth

Project description

In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of evidence describing associations between extreme ambient temperature exposures and adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth, neonatal death, and stillbirth. In the context of reducing incidence of stillbirth globally, it is important to understand the relationship between ambient temperature thresholds and stillbirth.

The objective of this project is to summarize and synthesize published literature and ultimately compile evidence to describe documented associations between ambient temperature and stillbirth.

The approach involves a comprehensive systematic review of literature through multiple databases, analysis of findings, and publication of results.

Dates and duration

Duration: 4 weeks (20-36 hours per week)

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The applicant has a great opportunity to develop highly transferable research and spatial epidemiology skills, including how to read and interpret scientific papers, review literature, and conduct a systematic review as part of an established research team. The applicant will also learn how to develop a search strategy using Boolean phrases in multiple databases, including NCBI PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Library. Lastly, the student will be able to develop valuable citation management skills using the EndNote platform.

In addition to the learning elements, the applicant will be expected to support the project as a reviewer, which entails identifying and collecting data from eligible studies for the review.

This activity will result in a publication. The applicant will be able to participate in writing, submission, and presentation of findings as a co-author.

Suitable for

This project is suitable for 3rd year honours track undergraduate students with a keen interest in research. Prior research experience is appreciated, but not necessary. Library Training Systematic review searching skills (required).

Supervisor

Dr Scott Lieske

We encourage interested applicants to contact Dr. Lieske via email and welcome any questions: scott.lieske@uq.edu.au

Theories of pro-environmental behaviour change

Project description

The “behaviour gap”, i.e. the gap between individuals’ believes or attitudes and their behaviour, is one of the biggest challenges in the environmental social sciences. While individuals are regularly confronted with information or experiences of climate change or environmental change, and are increasingly concerned about (global) environmental change, behaviour change does not follow easily (Whitmarsh and O’Neill 2010). A number of theories has been proposed to identify under which conditions pro-environmental behaviour change can occur. The aim of this project is to carry out a systematic literature review on theories of pro-environmental behaviour change. The theories will have to be summarized based on criteria that will be provided. Results of this project will feed into research on renewable energy use in East Asia.

Dates and duration

Duration: 4 weeks (20-36 hours per week)

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Outcomes: (further) development of skills in conducting a systematic literature review, knowledge and use of databases, learning on theories of behaviour change.

Deliverables: A systematic overview (not review!) of theories on pro-environmental behaviour change (including illustrations and quantitative measures); a search protocol of the systematic literature review.

Suitable for

This project is open to UQ enrolled year 3-4 undergraduate students with some background and interest in social science theory applied to the environment. Students should be experienced and interested in reading large amounts of academic papers.

Supervisor

Dr Bettina Bluemling

We encourage interested applicants to contact Dr. Bettina Bluemling via email and welcome any questions: b.bluemling@uq.edu.au

Advanced methods in determining the age of Earth materials

Project description

Geochronology, the science of determining the age of minerals and rocks, is at the core of geoscience. Students will work with data generated from the state-of-the-art facilities at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and contribute to developing interpretation of these data in relation to their geological significance. Opportunities also exist to gain hands-on experience working with laser ablation, scanning electron microscope, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Dates and duration

Duration: 4 weeks (20-36 hours per week)

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The student will learn the fundamentals in radiogenic dating (with hands-on experience with instrumentation) and the use of data-science software (e.g., R and MATLAB). The student is required to give a presentation in the research group.

Suitable for

Students who have completed ERTH1501 or ERTH1000 and have some chemistry background are encouraged to apply. Students who have completed ERTH2005 (Mineralogy) or ERTH2006 (Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology) will be given priority.

Supervisor

Dr Renjie Zhou

The supervisor is happy to discuss with students prior to application submission. Interested applicants can contact Dr. Renjie Zhou via email renjie.zhou@uq.edu.au or visit the office: Steele Building (Building 3), Room 255B.