Dr Nick Hudson

Senior Lecturer in Biochem & Met

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science
n.hudson@uq.edu.au
+61 7 54601 521

Overview

Nick Hudson was awarded his PhD through the Zoology department of the University of Queensland, after travelling from the UK on a Britain-Australia Society funded Northcote Scholarship. Before taking his current position in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences he worked for the CSIRO in a multi-disciplinary Systems Biology group. Through this group he helped develop methods using various RNA and DNA based biotechnologies to predict phenotypes of commercial importance in cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. He continues to be interested in fostering efficient, environmentally friendly production enterprises using modern 'omics technologies. Nick is also interested in the development, physiology, metabolism and conservation of native Australian species.

Research Interests

  • Mitochondrial physiology
  • Functional genomics
  • Metabolism
  • Flux analysis
  • Agricultural resource utilisation
  • Wildlife biology of butterflies and frogs

Research Impacts

Nick is an active science communicator whose research has been disseminated through print, radio and television media. He hopes to make an impact on agricultural resource utilisation through a better understanding of production animal feed efficiency. He has a very active national and international network of collaborators from academe, government agencies and industry. This has provided a stimulating insight into industrial problems and how novel technologies and innovative concepts may inspire solutions.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Global population growth is placing increasing demands on the agriculture sector to produce greater amounts of food more efficiently. Livestock products provide a nutritious source of protein for the world population and more efficient production will be required in the future to meet increasing demand. Breeds and individual cattle and sheep can show substantial differences in response to diet with some animals responding more productively than others. The proposed research program will investigate which parts of the genome likely underpin response to diet in cattle and sheep. Biochemical pathways relevant to the new science of nutrigenomics will be uncovered primarily through investigation of genome-wide gene expression data sets available for metabolically important tissues such as muscle, fat and liver. Cutting edge bioinformatics tools including the latest approaches from network science will be deployed. This knowledge may help us understand why some animals fare better than others under given nutritional circumstances and perhaps inform decisions regarding diet formulation.

  • Saltwater crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, are an iconic Australian apex predator. Like all ectothermic organisms they are metabolically rather inactive, able to last long periods of time in between large meals. In nature their pattern of physical activity tends to be restricted to brief, anaerobically supported, lunges and death rolls. However, they can also engage in long swims and dives, and other behaviours relating to competition, mating and nest formation. Many of these activities are sustainable and are supported aerobically by mitochondrial ATP formation, while the anaerobic ones require repayment of an oxygen debt. Variation in mitochondrial function across tissues, sex and disease status is unknown in this species. In this project we will develop and deploy a molecular assay to estimate mitochondrial content in a high throughput manner allowing a relatively large number of samples to be rapidly quantitated. We will examine a range of existing tissue samples from metabolically important tissues such as tail muscle and liver, in animals from both sexes, some of which have been exposed to a virus. The student will gain exposure to molecular techniques in the form of DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis and qRT-PCR.

  • If, like me, you share an interest in butterflies and frogs please get in touch. Opportunities for exciting ecology based honours projects are now available at Spicer's resort, Hiddenvale.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Global population growth is placing increasing demands on the agriculture sector to produce greater amounts of food more efficiently. Livestock products provide a nutritious source of protein for the world population and more efficient production will be required in the future to meet increasing demand. Breeds and individual cattle and sheep can show substantial differences in response to diet with some animals responding more productively than others. The proposed research program will investigate which parts of the genome likely underpin response to diet in cattle and sheep. Biochemical pathways relevant to the new science of nutrigenomics will be uncovered primarily through investigation of genome-wide gene expression data sets available for metabolically important tissues such as muscle, fat and liver. Cutting edge bioinformatics tools including the latest approaches from network science will be deployed. This knowledge may help us understand why some animals fare better than others under given nutritional circumstances and perhaps inform decisions regarding diet formulation.

  • Saltwater crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, are an iconic Australian apex predator. Like all ectothermic organisms they are metabolically rather inactive, able to last long periods of time in between large meals. In nature their pattern of physical activity tends to be restricted to brief, anaerobically supported, lunges and death rolls. However, they can also engage in long swims and dives, and other behaviours relating to competition, mating and nest formation. Many of these activities are sustainable and are supported aerobically by mitochondrial ATP formation, while the anaerobic ones require repayment of an oxygen debt. Variation in mitochondrial function across tissues, sex and disease status is unknown in this species. In this project we will develop and deploy a molecular assay to estimate mitochondrial content in a high throughput manner allowing a relatively large number of samples to be rapidly quantitated. We will examine a range of existing tissue samples from metabolically important tissues such as tail muscle and liver, in animals from both sexes, some of which have been exposed to a virus. The student will gain exposure to molecular techniques in the form of DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis and qRT-PCR.

  • If, like me, you share an interest in butterflies and frogs please get in touch. Opportunities for exciting ecology based honours projects are now available at Spicer's resort, Hiddenvale.

  • Are you interested in growth, development and metabolism? Students are encouraged to get in touch with any of their own ideas in the broad area of animal (or even plant!) biology. Projects can be developed collaboratively with other academics within and beyond SAFS so there is lots of scope for diversity and inter-disciplinary research.

    We like to encourage students to develope their own ideas and projects. In our lab we use a range of metabolic and molecular tools such as gene expression, metabolic flux analysis and SNP genotyping that can be readily applied across species and biological circumstances.

    You can learn how to handle and quantitate DNA and RNA, run an agarose gel, estimate gene expression by quantitative PCR and phenotype animal and plant cells in the state of the art XFe24 Flux analyser.

    Remember, a new discovery is just round the corner!

  • Global population growth is placing increasing demands on the agriculture sector to produce greater amounts of food more efficiently. Livestock products provide a source of protein for the world population and more efficient production will be required in the future to meet increasing demand. The proposed research program will investigate the mechanistic basis of variation in metabolic efficiency in beef cattle. Some cattle utilise feed more efficiently for production than others, while some are able to maintain muscle mass, liveweight and productivity under periods of nutritional and environmental stress. Why is this? The successful applicant will focus their research on the biology of the mitochondria and its role in determining metabolic efficiency in cattle.