Dr Deirdre Mikkelsen

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science
+61 7 334 69642


Dr Deirdre Mikkelsen is a Microbiologist with experience in molecular microbial ecology techniques, bioinformatics and fermentation microbiology.

Deirdre has a B.Sc with First Class Honours in Microbiology and PhD in Microbiology from The University of Queensland (UQ, Australia). She then worked at the Advanced Water Management Centre (UQ), until moving to the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences (CNAFS) in 2006, where she worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and Research Fellow at CNAFS, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, UQ. Following this, Deirdre joined the School of Agriculture and Food Science, UQ, as a Teaching and Research Academic, and is presently a Senior Lecturer in Food Science. Her research over the years has focused on: i) modelling plant cell walls of cereals and grasses; ii) investigating the fermentability of cell wall components as potential prebiotics; iii) developing molecular microbiology techniques to investigate gut microbe-dietary fibre interactions; and iv) investigating how do plant cell walls/dietary fibres alter the gut microbiota in terms of diversity and relative verses absolute abundance. Deirdre has 69 peer-review publications with 2050 citations, and an h-index of 24.

In addition to her research, Deirdre has the privilege of course coordinating and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking Food Science, as well as Food Safety and Quality Management courses. She manages work integrated learning experiences for postgraduate students with food industry host partners. Deirdre is a Member of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) and a Member of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM). She is part of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFOST) Food Safety Working Committee, in an education-focused role. Dr Mikkelsen is also the Section Editor of Food Safety for the Elsevier journal Food and Humanity.

Research Impacts

Deirdre is a passionate microbiologist, with a strong research background in molecular microbial ecology and biopolymer science (construction and fermentation of “model” dietary fibres). Her research has predominantly focused on how food components are broken down by the host’s gut microbiota, be it in human and/or monogastric animal models, and understanding their role in promoting/maintaining host health. To date, she has published 69 peer-review publications with 2050 citations, and an h-index of 24. Over 80% of her publicatons are in Q1 journals. Her most exciting achievement was a Nature Communications publication in 2020 with CNAFS and KTH Sweden colleagues.


  • PhD, The University of Queensland


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Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision