Kate Helmstedt is solving real-world problems head-on with jobs in Antarctica
Studying at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) means working on real-world problems with jobs in Antarctica! Kate works with the mice, rats, sheep, cats, rabbits, pigs and even reindeer that have invaded subantarctic islands. These pests destroy the islands’ fragile environment and threaten native penguins, seals and other unique species. But what to do about it?
“If there is a limited bucket of money and all these different options,” explains Dr Kate Helmstedt, a QUT mathematician and lecturer, “should we tackle cats on all the islands? Or rats on a couple of islands?”
Spot the odd one out.
Kate helps the Australian Antarctic Division get the best bang for their buck. “We model the islands’ ecosystems, then make changes to the system and see how those are likely to play out in terms of biodiversity and species populations,” she says.
Bringing this kind of question-driven, real-world problem into the classroom is a big part of studying at QUT.
“It feels good to be able to do something I love and help improve the environment.”
– Cristy Burne
Author: Elise Roberts
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