Excellence In Research Australia

The Hawkesbury Institute confirms its place in world research excellence:

  • 8 Fields Of Research rated as Well-Above World Standard (the highest ranking)
  • Continued strengths in previously highly-rated Fields Of Research
  • HIE's broad interdisciplinary areas of expertise combine to offer excellence in the sciences

Latest News, Events And Highlights

8 March 2024

Eleonara Egidi discusses her blossoming career in soil microbiology and the importance of advocating for women and underrepresented communities in science.

20 November 2023

New research, led by Western Sydney University’s Dr Jürgen Knauer from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, paints an uncharacteristically upbeat picture for the planet.

17 November 2023

Western Sydney University’s Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment has been named as this year’s winner of the Dorothy Jones Prize for microbiology.

16 November 2023

Western Sydney University researcher Dr Kate Umbers has secured more than $400,000 for her project ‘Snails to the Rescue: Conservation of Australia’s island invertebrates’ as part of the ARC Linkage Program.

16 November 2023

Western Sydney University researchers have been named on the 2023 Clarivate list of Highly Cited Researchers.

17 July 2023

Dr Manuel Esperon-Rodriguez from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment has won the 2023 Research Impact Competition.

30 June 2023

New research led by Western Sydney University, in partnership with Hort Innovation, has delivered the most comprehensive assessment of pollination in apple crops in Australia by exploring pollination services provided by native and non-native bees for apple cultivation in Australia.

5 June 2023

Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh from Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment led a global team that calls for the inclusion of soil microbiomes in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) One Health policy.

25 May 2023

Two of Western Sydney University’s outstanding researchers have been elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of their exceptional contributions to their fields.

12 April 2023

Western Sydney University researchers will deliver smart new solutions for monitoring and managing horticultural crops in protected facilities ranging from polytunnels, glasshouses and vertical farms as part of a $6.8 million industry-oriented collaboration.

11 April 2023

For Fiona Backhouse, a PhD candidate in Behavioural Ecology at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, receiving the John Cairney Award for Outstanding Student Publication represents the culmination of four years of research into Albert’s lyrebirds.

19 January 2023

Professor Matthias Boer from Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment will head the NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre, a new $8 million collaborative research centre.

12 May 2022

Western Sydney University will play a lead role in the NSW Government’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, following the announcement of a $15 million investment in the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Hub.

12 February 2021

The world’s most forbidding deserts could be the best places on Earth for harvesting solar power - buit heat impacts from large-scale solar could add to climatic changes.

Future Makers


Scientists seek ways to forecast the danger of bushfires and wildfires in different kinds of environments globally.
Cultivating food indoors could be made more efficient by incorporating imaging, robotics and data analysis.
An ecological mathematician has built a sophisticated computer model to help researchers...

Crucial work to understand the gut bacteria of koalas could enhance survival rates for this endangered species...


Drought detectives examine how Australian forests will cope with a hot, dry and fiery future...


Promoting the symbiosis between fungus and tree roots could have big benefits for forestry...

Green Light

Taking the brakes off sugar production in crops could significantly boost food production...

Bringing Ag Indoors

Australian-led advancements in indoor cropping technologies provide hope for an increasingly strained agriculture sector...

Leaves Of Grass 170

Distinguished Professor Belinda Medlyn leads a study into why grass turns brown and what it means for grassland productivity is vital to Australian ecosystems and industry...

Microbes on wheat roots

Prof Brajesh Singh is developing microbial engineering tools that could sustainably increase agricultural output to produce food for a rapidly increasing population....

Sowing Seeds For the Future of Forests

Dr Paul Rymer is searching for genetic features that contribute to trees’ adaptation to climate change, so that they can be taken into account for forest management...

Seeing the forest through the trees

Professor Belinda Medlyn and colleagues have been developing models of forests that can be used to predict how they will be affected by changes in temperature, rainfall and carbon dioxide...

Answering Burning Questions

Assoc Prof Matthias Boer and colleagues are developing a computer tool that maps where prescribed burning may be most effective...

Plan Bee

Prof James Cook is leading a five-year, $19 million research push to better understand bees’ role in crop pollination, so that when Varroa arrives, Australia is prepared to minimise the damage...

Meet Our Distinguished Professors

“It has been very rewarding to be at the forefront of climate change science and see that this work has been valuable to scientists and citizens alike.” - Distinguished Prof David Tissue

QS University Rankings


The international Quacarelli Symonds Subject Rankings are a worldwide ranking of major disciplines. The criteria for designating a ranking are:

  • Academic peer review
  • Faculty/Student ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • Employer reputation
  • International student ratio
  • A measurement of the diversity of the student community
  • International staff ratio


Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Agriculture and Forestry Top 150

Forestry and Agriculture - Top 150 in the world

Global Rankings And Research Quality

Western Sydney University is ranked in the top 3% of universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Our research was rated at 5 Stars for Ecological Applications, Soil Sciences, Ecology, Plant Biology, Forestry Sciences by the 2018 Excellence In Research Australia rankings conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Western Sydney University is ranked among the top 20 Australian universities for achievements in the prestigious Australian Research Council major grants. Nearly a third of the University's ARC grant income is achieved by the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. Find out more...

Top 20 Universities In The World