Murdoch research that grabbed the world's attention in 2017

December 22, 2017

A bottlenose dolphin tossing an octopus across the water during feeding off Bunbury. (Photo: Kate Sprogis)

In 2017 Murdoch researchers continued to be a creative force in the world, pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge for the benefit of all.

Here are some of our most intriguing discoveries.

Dr Gerd Schroeder-Turk set the world aflutter by revealing the intricate mechanism for forming nanostructures that enable butterflies to camouflage themselves.

Kate Sprogis’ research about dolphins in Australian waters developing a unique approach to catching and eating octopus, attracted huge attention from around the world.

Prof Chengdao Li played a key role in mapping the barley genome – opening the door to new and improve varieties that will help to feed the world for generations to come.

Dr Brad Norman's epic 22-year study of whale sharks – enabled by citizen science and NASA technology – sent the global online world into overdrive.

Dr Lynette Vernon helped interpret our love affair with mobile phones, proving the link between late-night phone use and poor mental health among teenagers with a world-first longitudinal study.

Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski’s research team at School of Engineering and Information Technology lead the shift from traditional fossil fuels to clean renewables with the development of lithium technology.

Marianne Nyegaard’s discovery of a new species of sunfish – which she named the hoodwinker, because it had done just that for 100 years – created international excitement.

Although we can’t get enough of technology, children’s literacy expert Dr Margaret Merga conducted a comprehensive survey of children’s reading habits and debunked the myth that children prefer to read on screen.

PhD student Veena Nagaraj's groundbreaking study of the bacterial build up in desalination plants opened the way to finding better systems that solve the problem that costs the industry US$15 billion worldwide.

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