Furthering human knowledge and serving humanity
Discovering answers to complex global questions
Science has taken us a long way in the industrial and post-industrial age. Research and its practical application have advanced society and improved the lives of many. However, global issues such as disease, unsustainable food production and the lack of access to water persist.
According to the United Nations, six to eight million people die every year as a result of water-related diseases and disasters, while 783 million people do not have access to clean water. Almost 2.5 billion do not have adequate sanitation.
With increasing populations placing pressures on our environment and way of life, we need to ask – and answer – different questions.
What we are doing about these global issues
At UWA, furthering human knowledge and enhancing society means conducting research which spans the world of science, and the world itself.
In working with colleagues around the globe, we’re pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and discovering answers to complex questions in the most surprising places:
- Our team at the Centre for Evolutionary Biology is addressing evolutionary questions in diverse organisms – from plants to insects, fishes, frogs and humans – generating new knowledge that feeds into conservation and natural resource outcomes worldwide.
- Our human geographers and planners are working with communities, governments and universities worldwide to address the economic and social sustainability of cities and regions. Their research is tackling the challenges of social inequality, economic development, urban growth and demographic change.
- Researchers in the Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE) are working collaboratively across multiple disciplines to enhance our understanding of emotion, address mental health and improve emotional wellbeing.
1st in Australia and 18th in the world for Environmental Science and Engineering (ARWU 2018)
In the world’s top 100 for Biological Sciences, Psychology and Geography (QS 2018)
View a selection of our current PhD projects within the research theme - Furthering human knowledge and serving humanity:
Study finds inaccuracies in global reporting of fish catches
Research carried out by The University of Western Australia and The University of British Columbia has found inaccuracies in the data collected globally on fish catches.Read more
Modern science shows Roman wheat farming advice was highly accurate
Plant biologists from The University of Western Australia have made an important discovery about rising temperatures and wheat crops - and subsequently learned that the Romans suspected the effect more than 2000 years ago.Read more
Biological psychology and cognitive neuroscience
Our research combines the modern tools of neuroscience (brain imaging, brain stimulation, and recording of brain electrical and haemodynamic activity) with subtle psychological tools to analyse behaviour.Read more about Biological psychology and cognitive neuroscience
Research in this area addresses origins and evolutionary processes of a species, its genetic variations and how its evolutionary development has enabled it to adapt to its surroundings.Read more about Evolutionary biology
Biochemistry and molecular genetics
Biochemistry and molecular genetics focusses on understanding the molecular basis of life, and the complex molecular processes of living organisms. It underpins our understanding of biology, leading to advances in agriculture, plant an animal science, human health and medicine.Read more about Biochemistry and molecular genetics
Science communication interprets scientific research and information to be accessed and understood by a wider audience.Read more about Science communication
Geography and planning
Geography and planning investigates the interactions between people and their surroundings and looks at ways to minimise human impact on natural environments.Read more about Geography and planning
Our research investigates different developmental paths for individuals with conditions such as autism or Parkinson’s and how we can encourage individuals to develop and age along their optimal path.Read more about Developmental psychology
Anatomy and human biology
Anatomy research investigates the structure, systems and functions of the body. Human biology is a closely related discipline exploring what it means to be human in an integrative wayRead more about Anatomy and human biology
Chemistry is broadly concerned with the synthesis and study of molecules, from the simplest diatomics to polymers and biological machines, and their interactions. It is often said to be the ‘central’ science, with molecules and their interactions being essential to practically every other discipline, from physics to biology, geology to engineering and medicine to materials.Read more about Chemistry
Neuroscience (Biological Sciences)
Neuroscience in the School of Biological Sciences studies neurobiology and neuroecology as well as neural regeneration from spinal trauma in humans.Read more about Neuroscience (Biological Sciences)
Clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology
Our clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology researchers are exploring theories and interventions to improve quality of life by understanding the causes and consequences of brain and mental disorders.Read more about Clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology
At UWA, we study the ability to detect, attend to and recognise features in the environment, and seek to understand the underlying processes that serve those abilities.Read more about Perception
Our work looks at how people behave in a range of contexts, from simple decision tasks, to complex cognitive and social environments. We investigate questions via experiments, surveys and simulations, and apply rigorous behavioural analysis and mathematical modelling.Read more about Cognitive science
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science is uncovering exactly how it has the power to change our world for the better
As a leading Australian research-intensive university, UWA’s Faculty of Science is at the forefront of discovery.
PhD opportunities in Science
You can research your PhD at UWA and join leading academics and researchers on innovative projects answering the world’s big questions through our PhD opportunities in Science.
The Faculty of Science connects several disciplines to explore big questions facing humanity across human, environmental and agricultural sciences.