Dr Ipek Kurtböke

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Dr Ipek Kurtböke


Teaching areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical and Food Microbiology

Research areas

  • microbial ecology, diversity and systematics
  • applied and environmental microbiology and biotechnology and bioremediation
  • bacteriophages and bacteriophage therapy
  • industrial microbiology and biodiscovery
  • waste management and bioconversion of waste into environmentally friendly bio-fertilizers
  • biological control of plant pathogens
  • marine and aquatic microbiology


Dr Ipek Kurtböke has been working in the field of Biodiscovery since 1982 and has been associated with the international actinomycete research community for over 30 years.

Her most significant contribution to the field has been the development of a novel isolation technique that selectively cultures rare actinomycetes with industrial importance.

She received CNR (1984, Italy), NATO-Double Jump (1986), British Council (1988-89) fellowships in Europe and was Honorary Research Fellow of the Antarctic CRC at the University of Tasmania (1999-2002).

Her expertise in the microbial culture collections and their sustainable use for biotechnology links her to the World Federation for Culture Collections and is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Federation.

She is also a member of the Australian Biodiscovery Industry Panel and conducts research linked with eminent international pharmaceutical and agrobiological companies.

Since joining the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2001, she has developed undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs in the field of applied microbiology and biotechnology, as well as conducting research in environmental, biomedical, agricultural and food microbiology.

She was the convener of the 13th International Symposium on the Biology of Actinomycetes in 2003 and the program chair of the 11th International Symposium on the Genetics of Industrial Microorganisms in 2010 in Melbourne where both conferences attracted over 300 international participants.

She is also the current Vice-Chair of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Society for Microbiology.

Dr Kurtböke is part of the successful ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities funding (LE120100071) led by the University of Queensland and participated by Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology and USC.

Professional memberships

  • Australian Microbial Resources Research Network (AMRRN) (Founding member)
  • Turkish Society for Microbiology
  • Australasian Plant Pathology Society
  • Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (USA) 
  • Australian Society of Microbiology
  • The Society for Actinomycetes Japan 
  • Society for General Microbiology (UK)

Selected publications

Dr Ipek Kurtböke is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology and an Editorial Board Member of Microbiology Australia, by the Australian Society of Microbiology and Molecular Diversity Preservation International journals Marine Drugs and Diversity.

She has provided a guest editorial for Microbiology Australia (Volume 32, May 2011, Microbial Systematics)

Several highlighted publications are provided below.

  • D.I. Kurtböke (2012) (Ed). Bacteriophages
  • D.I. Kurtböke (2012). Biodiscovery from rare actinomycetes: an eco-taxonomical perspective. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnolgoy: Vol 93, No. 5, pp. 1843-1852.
  • D.I. Kurtböke (2011). Exploitation of phage battery in the search for bioactive actinomycetes. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnolgy: Vol. 89, No. 4, pp. 931-937.

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