Ecosystem champion

Kate Helmstedt

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

Kate Helmstedt works jobs in Antarctica with Maths at QUT

“It feels good to be able to do something I love and help improve the environment.”

artificial intelligence
Elise Roberts

Author: Elise Roberts

Elise is a science, tech and business enthusiast, motivated to connect people with research that will propel their success. With over ten years’ experience working at the intersection of technology and communications across a wide range of industries, Elise enjoys jumping on the latest trends in digital media to share new knowledge with the Australian community.

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