Major research initiatives

Major research initiatives

Research at Macquarie is about more than citations and academic papers. Driven by our proud history of discovery, our pioneering researchers work across disciplines to address some of the big challenges facing the world today.

We have a tremendous depth of research and disciplinary expertise that underpin much of our discovery. Our research and innovation agenda has been carefully selected to achieve maximum impact across our research priorities.

Explore our case studies that highlight the impact our research has on culture, business, policy, environment and health.

Major research areas

Healthy People

  • Precision Cancer Therapy Lab

    Tumour biopsies are difficult and invasive, with the analysis confounded by tumoural heterogeneity. Researchers at Macquarie have led the analysis of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), which can assess prognosis and the genetic evolution of tumours in a non-evasive way.

  • Making health care better and safer

    Professor Wendy Rogers is on a mission to make surgery safer for patients around the world. Her team developed the Macquarie Surgery Innovation Identification Tool (MSIIT) – a checklist that identifies how much a surgical intervention differs from usual practice.

  • Cognitive science

    Professor Anne Castles is also deputy director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. The Macquarie-based centre runs a reading clinic to investigate the cognitive processes involved in reading and learning in children.

Resilient Societies

  • Shock room

    In the wake of the Holocaust, Stanley Milgram wanted to understand how we respond when asked to do something that conflicts with our conscience. His research concluded that most of us will harm others if asked to do so. Professor Kathryn Millar’s research aims to reinterpret Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments through the prism of film.

  • Making history

    Dr Tanya Evans is a senior lecturer at Macquarie and a public historian who examines the history of family, motherhood and sexuality. She is passionate about the democratisation of historical knowledge and incorporating ordinary people and places in her research.

  • Forces of diffusion

    The hysteria surrounding the arrival of boats carrying asylum seekers is a familiar phenomenon in Australia and around the world. Dr Daniel Ghezelbash, a lecturer at Macquarie Law School, is focusing his research on comparative refugee and immigration law, with a focus on the diffusion of restrictive asylum seeker policies across jurisdictions.

Prosperous economies

  • Fighting for better economic outcomes- for all

    Professor Stefan Trueck, co-director at the Centre for Financial Risk, wants to keep utility prices reasonable in Australia. He creates statistical or econometrical models to forecast the price behaviour of electricity.

  • The price of freedom

    Tim Kyng, an actuary and senior lecturer at Macquarie, has developed the retirement village calculator, the first of its kind in Australia. The calculator helps consumers to compare the costs of different retirement villages.

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    Keeping us connected

    How to keep everyone connected and ensure the absolute reliability of medical, power and other mission-critical applications is becoming a problem. Macquarie researchers have developed tools to assess and manage load, including using picocells.

Secure planet

  • Deep seabed mining

    Mining the deep seabed for minerals, such as copper, manganese and rare earth minerals, is an emerging industry. Dr Aline Jaeckel’s work looks at the balance between mineral mining and the protection of the marine environment in the regulatory framework of the International Seabed Authority.

  • Climate adaption decision tools

    The changing climate is likely to result in more frequent extreme weather events, requiring preventative and preparatory action from all levels of government. This research project developed a pilot tool that enables end users to analyse and prepare for extreme weather events.

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    Transforming ecology into a predictive science

    Since the 1990s, Macquarie researchers have developed a new understanding of plant ecology and have become world leaders in plant ecology via species traits. Ecologists are now able to better understand and predict the impact of a changing world on ecosystems.

Innovative technologies

  • Shark vision

    Professor Nathan Hart, his students and collaborators are studying the sensory world of sharks. Using a range of physiological, genetical and behavioural methods, they have a clearer understanding of how to deter sharks from interacting too closely with humans.

  • Mummy mysteries

    Dr Ronika Power’s research combines scientific analysis of the human body with other forms of historical and archaeological evidence to gain insights into the life of past populations, thus helping to expand our understanding of the human condition across time.

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    A smartphone in a cell

    The Macquarie University Research Centre in Quantum Science and Technology (QSciTech) is building quantum sensors consisting of tiny diamond crystals that are only tens of nanometres in diameter. When injected into living cells, these sensors can relay useful diagnostic information via an optical signal.

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