Our Research

The UNE SMART Farms provide a location, infrastructure and other resources to support the research of UNE academics and their collaborators.  A wide array of multi-disciplinary research is being undertaken across the Farms with a range of partners and collaborators.

Areas of research currently being undertaken on the UNE SMART Farms include:

  • sheep and cattle genetic and nutrition research
  • animal behaviour and welfare research
  • dog nutrition
  • poultry nutrition, production and welfare research
  • pasture management
  • natural resource management
  • water resource flow research
  • native animal research
  • agro forestry
  • agronomy and horticulture research
  • mixed farming systems research
  • soil moisture and crop yield mapping
  • cattle grazing behaviour research
  • crop variety development
  • precision agriculture research
  • forestry and pasture establishment and production research


Research projects

Biomass Business II
Developing applications for mobile devices such as smart phones for farmers to monitor and manage pasture biomass.

UAV automated surveillance of in-field hotspots for improved management
Low-cost, high quality 3D crop monitoring using drones.

SMART Farm Landscape Laboratory
Establishing the UNE SMART Farm as a ‘landscape laboratory'.

UAV platform for testing new sensor technologies in precision agriculture
Building applications for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to support field data collection, new sensor development and image-calibration work involving satellite and aerial images.

National Resource Flock Project
On an annual basis, phenotype information is collected along with genotype information on a large number of sheep, providing the the reference population on which genomic prediction can be based.

Remote monitoring of livestock Validating remote monitoring of cattle weights using a new walk over weighing system

On-animal sensors for monitoring animal health and welfare
An on-animal sensor system which will allow graziers the ability to spatially and temporally monitor their animal’s health and welfare status autonomously

Alpacas: Guardian Angels for Sheep?
The use of guardian animals to protect another domesticated species has been used globally as a form of predator deterrent. However, there is little scientific based evidence in relation to alpacas as guardian animals.

Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate
The Insect Ecology Lab group are evaluating the impact of a changing climate on ecosystem services particularly in relation to ants and dung beetles.

Low cost remote water tank monitoring using satellites to directly access sensor data
Myriota Global (MG) is a nano-satellite, internet of things (IoT) connectivity solutions developer. MG has developed an ultra-low cost remote Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity platform.