Cum Laude 2023

Thesis Title: Burden of Diabetes-Related Foot Disease in North Queensland, Australia

Abstract: Doctor Alahakoon investigated the burden of Diabetes-related foot disease (DFD) in North Queensland, Australia. She found that the readmission rate following DFD was around 50% and that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People had significant distal vessel disease with a higher risk of major amputation. Prevention of DFD through offloading footwear is recommended for those with DFD.

Advisory Panel: Professor Jonathan Golledge, Doctor Joseph Moxon and Doctor Malindu Fernando

Thesis Title: Applying new methods of acoustic analysis to ecological studies of animal chorusing behaviour

Abstract: Doctor Brodie investigated methods to analyse large acoustic data sets to answer ecological questions about animal chorusing behaviour. She adapted visualisation tools to describe the seasonal chorusing patterns of a north Queensland frog community. The findings expand our knowledge of frog breeding patterns for use in monitoring programs.

Advisory Panel: Professor Lin Schwarzkopf and Doctor Slade Allen-Ankins

Thesis Title: Light Field Reconstruction from Multi-View Images

Abstract: Doctor Han studied recovering the 3D world from multi-view images. He proposed several algorithms to deal with occlusions in depth estimation and effective representations in view rendering. The proposed algorithms can be used for many innovative applications based on machine intelligence, such as autonomous driving and Metaverse.

Advisory Panel: Professor Wei Xiang and Doctor Eric Wang

Thesis Title: Tripartite Sexuality Investigation between People with Intellectual Disabilities, Parents and Service Providers in the Chinese social context

Abstract: Doctor Lam explored the tripartite dynamic on sexuality of people with mild intellectual disabilities, parents, and social services personnel. Chinese Confucian culture was revealed as the key factor influencing the tripartite dynamic. Family counselling and education protocol on sexuality should consider the intertwinement of cultural values and contextual constraints.

Advisory Panel: Professor Matthew Yau, Professor Richard Franklin and Professor Peter Leggat

Thesis Title: Climatic and environmental changes in tropical north-eastern Australia over the past 18,000 years

Abstract: Doctor Li used multiple proxies to study the paleo-climate change in north-eastern Australia. She reconstructed robust, relatively high-resolution environmental and climatic records in this region since 18,300 years BP. The records will strongly represent the paleo-climate change in this region and contribute to better global surface temperature and precipitation reconstructions.

Advisory Panel: Professor Michael Bird and Doctor Christopher Wurster

Thesis Title: A new lease on life: using advanced analytical techniques in bioarchaeology to maximise the understanding of past populations of Sardinia

Abstract: Doctor Paba has undertaken a multi-disciplinary approach to archaeological and anthropological studies of past human populations from the Middle Neolithic and Punic time periods in Sardinia, Italy. Rossella’s analysis has shown how demography and health have been affected over time by the environment and socio-political structure of this Mediterranean island.

Advisory Panel: Associate Professor Kate Domett and Doctor Anna Willis

Thesis Title: The life-history, evolution and adaptation of coral reef fishes in the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea

Abstract: Doctor Payet compared the physical and genetic characteristics of fish populations across the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea Marine Parks. He found that local environments can influence patterns of growth, demography, connectivity and adaptation. Sam's work will help inform management strategies that meet the needs of individual populations, especially for harvested fishes in these regions.

Advisory Panel: Doctor Hugo Harrison, Professor Morgan Pratchett and Professor Geofrey Jones

Thesis Title: Re-Imagining the Australian Farm Novel: Writing Magic Realism into the Georgic

Abstract: Doctor Smyth's research asks how the Australian farm novel can be re-imagined for the 21st century, given the genre has traditionally employed historical settings and the settler-colonial worldview. She wrote a contemporary magical realist novel to explore human relationships with the nonhuman and produced a guide for writers navigating cultural interfaces.

Advisory Panel: Associate Professor Roger Osborne, Doctor Emma Maguire and Professor Stephen Naylor