Professor Catherine Yule | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Catherine Yule

PhD James Cook (QLD), MSc Monash, BSc(Hons) Monash, BSc Melb. GCHEd Monash

  • Professor of Ecology
  • School of Science, Technology and Engineering
+61 7 5456 3448
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Cathy Yule

Professor Catherine Yule was formally the Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) for the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering.

Prior to coming to UniSC, Professor Yule lived and worked in SE Asia on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea, Indonesian Borneo and Malaysia for over thirty years. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on the ecology of rivers, lakes and swamps, particularly subtropical and tropical peat swamps, extreme and endangered environments of global significance due to their vast carbon sequestration. Her pioneering research on tropical ecosystem functioning using microbial ecology, metagenomics and phytochemistry has provided new insights and overturned misconceptions, with important implications for conservation management and climate change mitigation.

Professor Yule also investigates other issues of global importance such as water pollution, and bioprospecting for novel bioactive compounds to combat antimicrobial resistance. She and her research team have discovered 18 new species of aquatic microbes and insects, including three novel peat swamp bacteria that exhibit antimicrobial activity against significant human pathogens.


  • Professional Memberships: Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Society for Conservation Biology, Malaysian Nature Society, International Mire Conservation, Society for Freshwater Science.
  • Editorial Board Memberships: Biotropica (Wiley-Blackwell), Aquatic Sciences (Springer)

Research areas

  • Aquatic ecology – particularly ecosystem functioning of tropical and subtropical streams and peat swamps
  • Aquatic ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling
  • Tropical peat swamp forest ecology

Teaching areas

  • Tropical Biology
  • Freshwater Ecology
  • Environmental Science

Professor Catherine Yule's area of expertise includes tropical biology, freshwater ecology, environmental science, aquatic ecology, tropical streams, aquatic ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling, tropical peat swamp forest ecology.was

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In the news

Aquatic ecology academic welcomes Murray-Darling buyback plans
27 Nov 2023

The federal government's proposed water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin are a vital initiative to restore the health of Australia’s major river system, says Professor of Ecology Catherine Yule of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Shining the spotlight on World Environment Day 2023
2 Jun 2023

To celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June, we've gathered stories from the last year highlighting some of the environmental action and research happening at UniSC.