Driving Best Practices

Our seven collaborative Research Centres and Schools offer a growing range of sophisticated research services and affiliations, as follows:

Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics

Supported by state-of-the-art laboratories, plant growth and quarantine facilities, the Centre provides a range of research and commercial services including DNA technologies, Genomics, Plant Improvement and Bioinformatics.

In a bid to expand the sustainable use and conservation of Australian plant resources, the Centre also hosts the Australian Plant DNA Bank, which houses a large number of Australia’s known plant species, in the form of plant DNA.Under the leadership of Professor Robert Henry, one of Australia’s leading plant scientists, the Centre employs a team of more than 50 scientists, technicians, PhD students and support staff with an impressive breadth of experience and expertise.

The Centre for Phytochemistry & Pharmacology

The Centre for Phytochemistry undertakes academic, commercial and speculative research with a focus on plant-derived bioactive molecules.

Engaging in both collaborative projects and contract research, the Centre for Phytochemistry possesses expertise in all facets of plant chemistry, including extraction, chemical profiling, quantification, isolation and identification of compounds, and assessment of intra-specific variation and optimisation of plant yields.

Directed with significant input from Emeritus Professor Peter Waterman, one of the world’s leading phytochemists, the Centre uses a range of sophisticated assays to identify properties and purification of plant constituents from a diversity of plant species.

The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER)accmer_logo

The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education & Research (ACCMER) is a unique joint venture in education and research between the orthodox health disciplines of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland, and the disciplines represented in the School of Natural and Complementary Medicine from Southern Cross University. This partnership is a world first for university collaboration in complementary medicine.

The Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including a phytopharmacology laboratory equipped to carry out anti-inflammatory bioassays, haemostasis bioassays, immunological work by flow cytometry,and investigations using human cancer, skin and liver cell lines. Under Professor Stephen Myers’ direction, a prominent medicinal plant products researcher, the Centre is supported by highly skilled professionals in the area of plant extracts and essential oils, clinical trials and social health science research.

School of Natural & Complementary Medicine

Recognised as one of the great innovators in natural medicine research and education the School of Natural and Complementary Medicine offers a range of unique educational programs ranging from undergraduate to graduate research applications.

The School’s research capacities include phytopharmacological and biochemical laboratory resources as well as clinical trial facilities. Academic staff possess broad research training in clinical, plant and medical sciences as well as in the social sciences.


The Sustainable Forestry Program embraces a team of forestry specialists with diverse research interests spanning agroforestry, computer simulation, environmental services, forest entomology, inventory, silviculture, wood technology and yield prediction.

As the first Australian Chair of Sustainable Forestry, Professor Jerry Vanclay guides the Sustainable Forestry Program. It provides a broad range of issues pertinent to sustainable forestry in Australia and tropical developing countries and delivers expertise in assessment and monitoring of environmental services, in quantitative techniques and simulation modeling.

Centre for EcoTechnology

One of the newest Cellulose Valley facilities, the Centre for Ecotechnology is a unique research establishment which designs and constructs ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and nature. The Centre’s key objective is to support and educate government, industry and the community about turning wastes into resources.

Headed by Dr Leigh Davison, specialist in the management of the modified water and nutrient cycles, and comprising a team that is passionate about creating sustainable community environments, the Centre is part of the School of Environmental Science and Management, which has a national reputation as a leader in the fields of waterless sanitation and reed bed technology as well as other aspects of on-site resource-water management.

The Centre has initiated highly innovative sustainable projects such as the ‘Mop Crop’ program, which applies agricultural methods such as the growing of hemp crops as a solution to recycling human and animal effluent, and has just introduced Australia’s first third-year undergraduate course unit in Ecotechnology.

Environmental Analysis Laboratory

Providing analytical services and quality-assured lab testing facilities with specialties in water, soil and sewage samples, the Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) operates through the Centre for Coastal Management in the School of Environmental Science and Management.

The EAL’s services include acid sulphate soil research and management, field consultancies, soil and plant analysis, water testing, environmental and exploration geochemistry, effluent monitoring and environmental survey and monitoring.

Australian Plant DNA Bank

The establishment of the Australian Plant DNA Bank provides a repository for DNA samples as a resource to be utilised in plant research by current and future generations. It serves as a historical record of plant diversity and a foundation for conservation genetics and biotechnology. With more than 20,000 plant species, Australia is one of the 12 mega-diverse countries in the world. Our ultimate aim is to preserve representative genetic information from the entire Australian flora, including introduced crop species.