Latest News

Anusuya Willis became a TED-Ed educator

TED-Ed - How a single celled organism almost wiped out life on Earth

Amanda Neilen wins people's choice award in the Qld Fresh Science competition - Congratulations!

Queensland Fresh Scientist ‘People’s Award’ winner finds how to stop cow urine running off our paddocks into rivers and creek
Fresh Science:

'Taking the piss out of our waterways

'See Amanda talk about her work here: Youtube - Qld Fresh Science, Amanda Neilen

Amanda Neilan, Man Xiao and Jing Lu presented oral presentations at SIL 2016

'The characteristics of terrestrial dissolved organic matter affecting freshwater algal growth and photosynthesis' Amanda Neilen, Darryl Hawker, Kate O'Brien, Michele Burford

'Self shading effects on growth vary with cyanobacterial species, strains and morphologies'
Man Xiao, Anusuya Willis, Kate O'Brien, Michele Burford
'Effects of submerged macrophytes on water quality through a cycle of water level fluctuations in a lake'. Jing Lu, Stuart Bunn, Michele Burford.Find their abstracts in the SIL 2016 Book of Abstract

Congratulations Amanda!
This paper is available for free download until the 18th May: 1Snc614Z6tPQbX

Amanda's first paper!

The 5th National Cyanobacteria Workshop

The 5th National Cyanobacteria Workshop is coming to Brisbane. We're happy to be involved in
the organisation and look forward to welcoming fellow cyanobacteria researchers to Griffith University.

Dr. Anusuya Willis competes in the Qld semi-finals of the Fame Lab competition

Anusuya competed in the Queensland semi-finals of The British Council International FameLab
competition with her 3 min presentation 'Life and Death with Cyanobacteria'.

We welcome Dr. Cath Leigh back to the group

Cath joins the Burford group as an Adjunct Research Fellow, she has just
moved back to Australia from France where she was a post-doctoral researcher within the IRBAS project (,
linking flow intermittency to biodiversity patterns in space and time.

Dr Anusuya Willis talks about the health of the Brisbane river on Brisbane local radio 4ZZZ

Follow the link to 4ZZZ ondemand 23-01-16, Anusuya speaks from the 16 min mark.

The Burford Group welcomes Dr Hannah Franklin

We welcome Dr Hannah Franklin to our group, taking a role as a Research Fellow investigating
in-channel denitrification and aquatic plant uptake of nitrogen in the Upper Brisbane River

Read more about her research here: Hannah Franklin

Mandy and Amanda have their PhD candidatures confirmed. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Man Xiao and Amanda Neilan, both gave excellent presentations
for their PhD confirmation seminars, and are now confirmed in their PhD candidature.

Our research features in The Conversation

An article by Dr. Anusuya Willis and Prof. Michele Burford discusses the risks of cyanobacteria blooms and hot summer temperatures in The Conversation:

Watch out Australia: a red-hot summer means blue-green algae

Higher Degree Research Symposium winners!

Congratulations to Mandy (Man Xiao) for winning the joint first prize for
‘Best Student 3 min Presentation’ at the Australian Rivers Institute HDR symposium! The ‘Battle Between Two Green Monsters’ kept the audience on the edge of their seats as they learnt that small things can have monstrous consequences. An interesting presentation on Cylindrospermopsis and Microcystis blooms and her future research plans. In addition, well done Jing Lu for her 15 min presentation and Amanda Neilen for her 3 min presentation. All presentations were well received by the audience.
Well done all!

International Researcher visits Burford Group

Professor Pat Glibert (Centre for Environmental Science, University of Maryland) recently visited Prof Burford and her team at the Australia Rivers Institute,Griffith University.  Pat delivered a thought provoking seminar on phytoplankton and nutrient loads and form. “Michele and Pat have collaborated for over 20 years, and this has been a great opportunity to be able to draw from their collective experience and advice” said PhD student Amanda Neilen. PhD student Jing Lu said, “It was a great honourfor me to have a meeting with Pat after her awesome seminar”.

Want to know more about blue-green algae in 60 seconds? Then check out this new video by  Dr Anusuya Willis.!/video/blue-green-algae

Burford group researchers make a splash in the world of algae at recent international conference

In late 2014, three of the research members headed off to
New Zealand to attend the International Conference of Harmful Algae.
Prof Michele Burford gave a plenary talk on the limitations of traditional algae
 growth models and need for detailed data that could be generated using new approaches including molecular tools and techniques. Amanda Neilen was awarded the best student presentation for the talk she delivered on her honours thesis entitled ‘Sources of DissolvedOrganic Nitrogen and Implications for Harmful Algae Blooms’.

For more information:

Prof Michele Burford and other keynote and planetary speakers on the ICHAA New Zealand 2014 Webpage

Amanda Neilen and other awardee’s from the ICHA New Zealand 2014

This event was also covered by international and national society newsletters and please see the following links;

Harmful Algae News, An IOC Newsletter on Toxic Algae and Algal Blooms,

Reports from the trenches – Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University (pg 37).