The Dean’s Award for Outstanding Higher Degree by Research Theses gives formal recognition to outstanding PhD and MPhil graduates who have been commended by their thesis examiners.

All examiners are given the opportunity to nominate a candidate for the Dean’s award if they feel the standard of the thesis is exceptional and makes an outstanding contribution to the field of research.

2017 winners

Faculty of Medicine

Name Thesis title
Dr Sameera Hussain The World We Want, leaving no-one behind: did the Go4Health project represent the voices of marginalised communities into the post-2015 global health discourse?
Dr Melissa Ilsley Investigating the Molecular Pathogenesis of Inherited Childhood Anaemia
Dr Ann Kingsbury-Humphreys Women's mental health following the birth of a child: a life course approach
Dr Anna-Liisa Sutt Towards an improved understanding of the effect of a speaking valve on lung volumes and communication in the critically ill tracheostomised patient
Dr Therese Vu Maintenance of blood stem cells and the development of haematological malignancies
Dr Arabella Young Targeting immunosuppressive adenosine to promote an immune response against cancer
Dr Martin Wolley Clinical and Physiological Aspects of Salt Sensitive Hypertension
Dr Rui Li The Role of the C5a Receptor, C5aR2, in Neurodegenerative Disease

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Name Thesis title
Dr Kerstin Christine Zoidl The Relationship between Patched and Sox9 in Regulating Skin Stem Cells, Wound Response and Skin Tumorigenesis
Dr Sungmin Baek Characterisation of novel molecular mechanisms of lymphatic vascular development

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

Name Thesis title
Mr Hongyan Li Understanding the texture of cooked rice from the molecular, instrumental and sensory levels
Dr Louisamarie Parkinson Investigating soilborne nectriaceous fungi impacting avocado tree establishment in Australia
Dr Peterson Weru Wambugu Genomic characterization of African cultivated and wild Oryza species

Queensland Brain Institute

Name Thesis title
Dr Morgane Valerie Martine Nouvian Molecular and neural mechanisms underlying the olfactory modulation of aggression in honeybees
Dr Yajie Sun Anatomy and Physiology of the Central Extended Amygdala

Sustainable Minerals Institute

Name Thesis title
Dr Cornelius Vos The effect of mineral grain textures at particle surfaces on flotation response
Dr Ceit Wilson Steering Social Impact Outcomes in Extractive Resource Regions: A Comparative Case Study of Private Meta-governance in Australia and the United States

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Minh Ho Studies of the Encapsulation and Release of Carbon Dioxide from Amorphous and Crystalline Alpha-Cyclodextrin Powders and Its Application in Food Systems
Mr Eugene Diatloff Genome wide analysis and allele mining of diverse sorghum genes involved in nitrogen use efficiency
Dr Tao Hua Potential for Use of Constructed Wetland Technology to Treat Drainage from Seawater Neutralized Bauxite Residue Mud Storage Areas

School of Biological Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Ami Amir Abdul Nasir How does environmental Manganese affect the health and performance of Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) on Groote Eylandt?
Dr Federico Gaiti Origin and evolution of the metazoan non-coding regulatory genome: Insights from the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica
Dr Shunsuke Sogabe The Biology of Choanocytes and Choanocyte Chambers and their Role in the Sponge Stem Cell System

School of Chemical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Chen Cai Fundamental and Applied Aspects of Nitrate-, Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-dependent Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane
Dr Xueming Chen Understanding and Modeling the Microbial Interactions in a Novel Nitrogen Removal Process
Dr Grace Dolan Bio-tribology of Plant Cell Walls: Measuring the interactive forces between cell wall components
Dr Dongxia Feng Effect of contact angle and contact angle hysteresis on the stability and detachment of floating particles
Dr Shilo Mahoney The Effect of Water Occlusion on Gas Production in Coal

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Qianqian Lin Opto-electronics of Perovskite Solar Cells and Photodetectors
Dr Timothy Zerk Understanding the Mechanisms of Transition Metal Catalysed Redox Reactions

School of Communication and Arts

Name Thesis title
Dr Andrei Baltakmens Displaced Pieces: The Equivocation of the Real and the Imaginary in Literary Fantasy
Dr Faisal Al Shehhi The Role of the English Language in Oman English Foreign Radio Station 90.4FM in Broadcasting Local Content across Oman

School of Earth and Environmental Science

Name Thesis title
Mr Yupeng Jiang Numerical Simulation of Acoustic Stimulation for Enhancing Coal Seam Gas Reservoir Permeability
Dr Payal Bal Effective monitoring for biodiversity conservation

School of Economics

Name Thesis title
Dr Geoffrey Jones General Belief Theory: A Proposal for a General Structure Theory of Socio-Economic Behaviour

School of Education

Name Thesis title
Dr Lamphoune Luangxay Literacy, change, and globalisation: literacy practices in a rural Lao village

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Kulveer Bagraith Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to describe the clinical assessment and measurement of outcomes in patients with Chronic Low Back Pain
Dr Xiaoqi Chen Impact of a workplace-based ergonomic and exercise intervention for the reduction of neck pain and disability in office workers

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Teresa Brown Optimising nutrition support in patients with head and neck cancer
Dr Dean Mayfield Muscle-tendon interaction: implications for contractile speed and force development

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Junhao Gan High Performance Density-Based Clustering on Massive Data
Dr Alex Pagnozzi Automated injury segmentation to assist in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy
Dr Weiqing Wang Point of Interests Recommendation in Location-Based Social Networks
Dr Nahid - Al - Masood Security Assessment due to Increased Wind Generation in a Complex Power Grid
Dr He Zhu Multi-functional and Tunable Microwave Devices and Sub-systems for Wideband Applications

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Steven Lewis Hypervelocity Shock Layer Emission Spectroscopy with High Temperature Ablating Models
Dr Jeffrey Venezuela The Influence of Hydrogen on MS980, MS1180, MS1300 and MS1500 Martensitic Advanced High Strength Steels Used for Automotive Applications
Dr Chen Zhou Understanding the Growth of III-V Nanowires Incorporated with In by Molecular Beam Epitaxy

School of Pharmacy

Name Thesis title
Dr Munim Mannan The overweight/obesity - depression links over the life course

School of Psychology

Name Thesis title
Dr Evren Etel Associations between Peer Cooperation and Mind Understanding among Preschoolers: The effects of Play Context and Culture

School of Social Science

Name Thesis title
Dr Matthew Harris Archaeomalocological methods, forager decision-making, and intertidal ecosystems: Two millennia of mollusc exploitation on a remote Pacific atoll
Dr Ariana Lambrides Sustained prehistoric exploitation of a Marshall Islands fishery: ichthyoarchaeological approaches, marine resource use, and human-environment interactions on Ebon Atoll
Mr Antoine Joel Muller The role of experimental knapping in empirically testing key themes in the evolution of lithic technology: reduction intensity, efficiency and behavioural complexity
Dr Michelle Sydes The Immigration-Crime Myth: Exploring the Impact of Immigration on Neighbourhood Violence

UQ Business School

Name Thesis title
Dr Zheyao Pan Essays on Empirical Asset Pricing

2016 winners

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Name Thesis title
Dr Amanda Pearce Development of a Hyperbranched Polymer Theranostic for Prostate Cancer
Miss Yue Wang Designed synthesis of large pore mesoporous silica nanoparticles as nano-carriers for bio-applications
Dr Yangyang Wen Two-Dimensional Nanomaterials for Supercapacitors

Faculty of Medicine

Name Thesis title
Dr Holly Erskine The global epidemiology and burden of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder
Dr Sahar Keshvari Molecular characterisation of the adiponectin receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2
Dr Zhixuan Loh The role of interferon regulatory factor 3 and 7 in virus-induced bronchiolitis and the onset of asthma.
Dr Jazlyn Read Familial melanoma risk genes in Queensland
Dr Kiran Shekar Sick Patients, Starved Circuits and Sticky Drugs: Understanding pharmacokinetics during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to optimise drug dosing and improve patient outcomes
Dr Hafiz Ansar Rasul Suleria Bioactive compounds from Australian Blacklip Abalone (Haliotis rubra) processing waste

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Name Thesis title
Dr Nikita Abraham Investigating nAChR structure and function using AChBP and alpha-conotoxins
Dr Zhenling Cui Exploiting redundancy of the genetic code for site-selective unnatural amino acids incorporation in vitro
Dr Pabasara Kalansuriya Microbial Chemical Diversity: Strategies to Stimulate Microbial Secondary Metabolite Potential
Dr Zhuo Shang Unveiling the Chemical Diversity of Marine Intertidal Fungal Communities
Dr Kathleen Yin A Pharmacological and Transcriptomic approach to exploring Novel Pain Targets

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation

Name Thesis title
Dr Eddie Ti Tjih Tan Food Safety Risk Assessment of Indospicine in Australian Camel Meat

Queensland Brain Institute

Name Thesis title
Dr Huyen Nguyen Mathematical Modelling of Axon Guidance in Chemical Gradients

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Yasir Obaidoon A Critical Evaluation of the Effects of Plant Essential Oil Formulations against Silverleaf Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, B Biotype (Gennadius) and its Natural Enemies.
Dr Paul Visendi Muhindira A novel approach for the assembly of complex genomic DNA cloned into bacterial artificial chromosome vectors: Assembly and analysis of Triticum aestivum chromosome arm 7DS
Dr Pradeep Ruperao Analysis of the Chickpea genome using next generation sequencing data

School of Biological Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Candice Heath Evolution of Streptococcus iniae after vaccination and molecular underpinnings of capsular antigenicity

School of Chemical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Frauke Kracke Understanding extracellular electron transfer of industrial microorganisms and optimization for production applications
Dr Mengran Li Development of Cathode Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Dr Yonghong Zeng Fundamental Study of Absorption and Desorption Process in Porous Materials with Functional groups

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Katherine Ormerod Moving targets: Microevolution of pathogenic species within the laboratory and the human host

School of Communication and Arts

Name Thesis title
Miss Xanthe Ashburner The Common Life: A. R. Ammons and Pastoral
Dr Tamara Plush We've raised their voice. Is anyone listening? Participatory video practitioners and valued citizen voice in international development contexts
Dr Steven Sam Mobile Phones and the Margins: An Ethnographic Study in Post-conflict Sierra Leone
Dr Emily Yu Zong Unlearning Othering: Asian Australian and Asian American Women's Fiction

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Uri Shaanan Formation of the New England Oroclines: Insights from Permian Sedimentary Basins in Eastern Australia
Dr Shaun Strong Resolution Enhancement in Shallow 3D-PS Seismic Reflection

School of Economics

Name Thesis title
Dr Cameron Murray When reciprocity becomes back-scratching: An economic inquiry

School of Education

Name Thesis title
Dr Khalaf Al'Abri Higher education policy architecture and policy-making in the Sultanate of Oman: Towards a critical understanding
Dr Anne Bennison Teacher identity as an embedder-of-numeracy: identifying ways to support teachers to promote numeracy learning across the curriculum
Dr Angelique Howell Exploring children's experiences of NAPLAN: Beyond the cacophony of adult debate
Dr Van Nguyen Global language policy borrowing and individual agency in Vietnamese higher education

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Nicole Grant Assisting parents of children with autism to make intervention decisions by improving their health literacy about evidence
Ms Jane Hughes An Investigation of the Use of Simulated Patients in Audiology Student Education
Dr Susan Peters Factors influencing return-to-work following upper extremity surgery
Dr Tracy Roxbury Neurophysiological Markers of Language Recovery in Subacute Stroke
Dr Sarah Wallace Improving Research Outcome Measurement in Aphasia (ROMA): Development of a Core Outcome Set

School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry

Name Thesis title
Dr Renee England Emotion in Agency : The Problematic Influence of the Split Self and a Spinozist Corrective

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Tristan Coulter Understanding Mental Toughness In Sport: An Integrated Examination Of The Interdependency Between The Person And Context

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Yi Cui Investigation of data centric diagnostic techniques for transformer condition assessment
Dr Hina Khan Scalable Diversification for Data Exploration Platforms
Dr Ahmed Mobashsher Wideband Microwave Imaging System for Brain Injury Diagnosis

School of Languages and Cultures

Name Thesis title
Dr Iffat Jahan Medium of instruction and the discourses of "Self" and "Other" in print and social media in Bangladesh
Dr Sarah Woodland Gender and the family in contemporary Chinese-language film remakes

School of Mathematics and Physics

Name Thesis title
Dr Martin Ringbauer Exploring Quantum Foundations with Single Photons

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Name Thesis title
Mr Stephen Gwynn-Jones Thermal Bending of Top Submerged Lances in Pyrometallurgical Furnaces
Dr Min Hong Development of high-performance bismuth telluride-based thermoelectric nanomaterials through structure manipulating and band engineering
Dr Johannes Reiner A Computational Investigation of Failure Modes in Hybrid Titanium Composite Laminates

School of Music

Name Thesis title
Mr Samuel Mitchell Benjamin Britten's Winter Words, Lyrics and Ballads of Thomas Hardy, Op. 52, For High Voice and Piano: An Analytically Informed Interpretation.

School of Psychology

Name Thesis title
Dr Melany Christofidis Resolving contentious hospital observation chart design decisions using a behavioural experimental approach
Dr Ying Wai Ho Forensically Relevant Applications of Genome-Wide Association Studies
Dr Chris Little Mindfulness at Work
Dr John Pickering Innovation, Engagement, and the Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention for Improving Sibling Relationships
Dr Rachel Searston The Emergence of Expertise with Novel Objects
Dr Katherine Storrs Norms are not the norm: Testing theories of sensory encoding using visual aftereffects
Dr Michael Thai From opposition to alliance: Asian Westerners' drive to fit in to a White society
Dr Maryam Ziaei The Emotional Ageing Brain: Cognitive Mechanisms and Neural Networks

UQ Business School

Name Thesis title
Dr Dorian von Freyhold On Being Open and Perceiving Novelty

2015 winners

Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Name Thesis title
Dr Ramanathan Pudhukode Vaidyanathan Nanoshearing: A Microfluidic Approach for Isolation and Enumeration of Cancer Biomarkers

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Name Thesis title
Dr Anupma Choudhary The Hidden MicroRNA Biology of Mammals

Institute for Social Science Research

Name Thesis title
Dr Arturo Jr Martinez A Longitudinal Approach to Measuring Income Mobility among Filipino Households

Queensland Alliance For Agriculture and Food Innovation

Name Thesis title
Dr Karishma Mody Development of Nanoparticle based Vaccine Delivery Systems

Queensland Brain Institute

Name Thesis title
Dr Andrew Martin Characterizing Copy Number Variants in Schizophrenia: A Clinical, Neuropsychological, and Neuroimaging Study
Dr Hanne Thoen Colour Vision in Mantis Shrimps: Understanding one of the most Complex Visual Systems in the World

School of Architecture

Name Thesis title
Dr Gillian Matthewson Dimensions of Gender: Women's Careers in the Australian Architecture Profession

School of Biomedical Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Davd Fann The Role of Inflammasomes in Ischemic Stroke: From Pathophysiology to Treatments
Dr Faith Brennan The Role of Complement Anaphylatoxin Receptors in Experimental Spinal Cord Injury

School of Chemical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Inka Vanwonterghem Microbial Community Dynamics, Function and Interactions in Anaerobic Digestion
Dr Yen Chua Hybrid Organic-inorganic Molecular Templated Membranes for Water Desalination

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Rebecca Rockett Characterising the Pathogenesis and Biology of Newly Described Human Polyomaviruses
Dr Tzu-Yu Liu Self-assembling and Self-adjuvanting Polymer-peptide Conjugates as Therapeutic Vaccines Against Cervical Cancer
Dr Mohamed Haroon Molecular Characterisation of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrate-driven Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane

School of Communication and Arts

Name Thesis title
Dr Chari Larsson Didi-Huberman's Ghosts
Dr Rowena Grant-Frost Close Observations: Film Style and Interpretation in Surveillance Cinema
Dr Nicholas Lord The Labyrinth and the Lacuna: Towards a Spatial Poetics of Metafiction
Dr Stephen Crofts Australian Press Constructions of the 2002 Bali Bombing: Differing Imaginings of the Nation and its Place in the World

School of Education

Name Thesis title
Dr David Bright Becoming-teacher: A Partial and Experimental Account of Western Native English-speaking Teachers in Vietnamese International Schools

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Name Thesis title
Dr Sreedevi Aithal Wideband Absorbance Measures in Neonates and Young Infants
Dr Luke Heales Towards an Understanding of Motor System Impairments in Individuals with Unilateral Lateral Epicondylalgia

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Han Su Quality-Aware Trajectory Processing Using Significant Locations

School of Mathematics and Physics

Name Thesis title
Dr Hien Nguyen Finite Mixture Models for Regression Problems
Dr Robert Lewis-Swan Ultracold Atoms for Foundational Tests of Quantum Mechanics
Dr Gilbert Macbeth Improving the Utility of Genetic Markers in Fish Populations
Dr Ardalan Armin Electro-Optics of Organic Solar Cells and Photodiodes

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Name Thesis title
Dr Abdullah Mohammed S Alkhedhair Modelling and Experimental Study of Spray Cooling Systems for Inlet Air Pre-Cooling in Natural Draft Dry Cooling Towers
Dr Zhi Zhang Investigation of Structural Characteristics of III-V Semiconductor Nanowires Grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy

School of Medicine

Name Thesis title
Dr Mark Bettington A Clinicopathological and Molecular Categorisation of Serrated Colorectal Polyps
Dr Xiaowen Liang Biodistribution of Newly Developed Water-dispersible CdTe/CdS Quantum Dots for In Vivo Imaging
Dr Megan Rossi Uraemic Toxins & Synbiotics: A Novel Therapy for Chronic Kidney Disease
Dr Janattul Ain Jamal Beta-lactam Antibiotic Pharmacokinetics During Continuous Venovenous Haemofiltration in Critically Ill Patients: Continuous Infusion versus Intermittent Bolus Administration
Dr Julie Guylaine Burel Molecular Profiling of Cellular Immune Responses to Plasmodium Spp. Blood-stage Infection in Humans Using Systems Immunology

School of Political Science and International Studies

Name Thesis title
Dr Nilanjana Premaratna Theatre for Peacebuilding: The Role of Arts in Conflict Transformation in South Asia

School of Psychology

Name Thesis title
Dr James Retell Attentional Control: The Role of Task-expectations in Determining Attentional Selection
Dr Anthony Lee Sexual Selection and the Role of Variation in Women's Mate Preference for Masculine Traits
Dr Claire Naughtin The Neural Substrates of Object Individuation
Dr Fransisca Sidjaja Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism in Developing Countries: The Indonesian Adaptation of Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC)

School of Public Health

Name Thesis title
Dr Caroline Salom Comorbid Alcohol and Mental Health Disorders: A Longitudinal Analysis of Development to Young Adulthood