Environmental Science, including theoretical and applied environmental management and conservation, is a strategic constituent of CQUniversity’s research profile, with a focus on the application of biology, ecology, toxicology, biosecurity in the conservation of terrestrial, marine and freshwater systems. As a consequence, much of the research output is aligned with the 4 digit FoR code 0502, Environmental Science and Management. CQUniversity’s environmental science research has developed with direct relevance to Central Queensland industries (e.g. Gladstone Ports, various mining companies), communities and schools (e.g. North Keppel Island Environment Education centre), non-profit organizations (e.g. Fitzroy Basin Association), council and government bodies (e.g. Rockhampton Regional Council), as well as collaboration with consulting companies and other research institutions. Environmental sciences naturally work across multiple disciplines with strong linkages to research in Biological Sciences (06), Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences (07) and Economics (14).
The Environmental Sciences research program is aligned with University priorities and is well supported through external funding ranging from national (eg. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian Coal Association Research Program and Earthwatch) and international grants (eg. Smithsonian Institute, US Defence Forces), as well as regional and local bodies (eg. Bundaberg Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers, Fitzroy Basin Association,) and industries (eg. Central Queensland Ports Authority, Queensland Alumina Limited, Boyne Smelters Limited, Xstrata Coal). Expansion of mining and industry in the Central Queensland region and serious environmental concerns associated with development of Gladstone harbour and salinity in Australia’s second largest river system (the Fitzroy and related tributaries) has resulted in a substantial increase in the demand for environmental research and training, for which CQUniversity is a key service provider.
In the 2018 ERA results, CQUniversity achieved a rating of 3 in both Environmental Sciences (FoR 05) and Environmental Science and Management (FoR 0502), which means that research in these areas is rated at world standard.