Dr Rochelle Soo

UQ Amplify Researcher

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 54956


While studying for my undergraduate degrees at Victoria University of Wellington, NZ, I took a summer semester paper in Environmental Microbiology, which included a trip to the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) to look at microbes that live in hot springs. This sparked an interest in extremophiles. I then moved to Hamilton to study at the University of Waikato under the supervision of Prof. Craig Cary at the Thermophile Research Unit (TRU), identifying the microbial diversity of thermophilic communities in hot mineral soils of Tramway Ridge, Mount Erebus, Antarctica. After finishing my MSc, I moved to Australia and worked at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville for 4 years as a Lab Technician for Dr. Nicole Webster, looking at microbial communities in sponges on the GBR, and Dr. Lone Hoj, in aquaculture.

I then moved to Brisbane to undertake a PhD at the University of Queensland with Prof. Phil Hugenholtz and Prof. Gene Tyson, studying non-photosynthetic Cyanobacteria and completed my PhD in 2015. I stayed on at ACE as a post-doc and in 2018 I was awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), which I started in July 2019. My project aims to identify additional members from the non-photosynthetic cyanobacterial lineages and characterise their functional capabilities. My interests also lie in Australian marsupial microbiomes and how they cope with metabolising toxic eucalyptus.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Dr Rochelle Soo is not currently available to take on new students.

Current Supervision