Louisa Parkinson
Louisa Parkinson
Photography by Dhee Sign. Glasses: Versace

Photography by Dhee Sign. Glasses: Versace

Louisa Parkinson

Hi! Welcome to my personal website. Here you can read about my career as a post-doctoral research scientist, view my creative work as a dancer, actress & freelance model, see my travels around the world, and read my lifestyle blog. 

- Dr Louisa Parkinson  

Early Career

Louisa is a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of Queensland, Australia, working for the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) institute. She completed her PhD at UQ in 2017 in the fields of Plant Pathology, Phylogeny & Comparative Analysis, and Agricultural Biotechnology Diagnostics. She completed her Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) degree at UQ in 2013 with a First Class Honours.

Louisa is active in promoting science and played a featured role in the 2015 University of Queensland TV commercial, "Create Change," and subsequently became the face of UQ and the Create Change brand. 

Her PhD research investigated the soilborne nectriaceous fungi associated with black root rot disease of avocado trees, which attributes to severe commercial loss. Louisa has established new records of pathogenic fungal species to avocado trees in Australia. Her work in classifying nectriaceous fungi with gene sequencing and molecular phylogenetic analyses has resulted in the discovery & classification of new fungal species and improved knowledge on the phylogeny & taxonomy of fungi in the Nectriaceae family. Louisa has developed a molecular diagnostic for the rapid detection of nectriaceous fungal pathogens, applicable for plant pathology diagnostics in the Australian agricultural industry.

Louisa’s current project is on developing molecular diagnostic tests for biosecurity pest and disease threats to the Australian avocado industry. She works with avocado growers in Queensland to investigate tree-boring beetle pests and associated fungal symbionts which cause dieback of avocado trees. Louisa also monitors and reports on key avocado pests and pathogens overseas to prepare for potential incursions to Australia.  

Personal Interests and Community Service

In her spare time Louisa enjoys travelling, freelance modelling, emceeing events & concerts and dancing on stage. 

Louisa, who is of Filipino heritage, is an active youth leader in the Filipino community in Brisbane, organizing and performing in various Filipino events & productions. Louisa and her mother, Merly, are professional traditional Filipino cultural & folk dancers, and often perform at Brisbane cultural events.

Louisa is an Executive Member of the Federation of Filipino Communities in Queensland Inc (FedFilQ). This committee organizes the annual Barrio Fiesta Brisbane, a Philippine cultural festival, held at the Rocklea showgrounds in June, which attracts over 8000 attendees. 

In 2011 Louisa was the winner of the Binibining Pilipinas-Australia (Miss Philippines-Australia) pageant. She also won the major title, Miss Charity, for raising over $10,000 to fund university scholarships for students in Philippines. Other awards she received include, Best in Talent, Best in Traditional Costume, Miss Friendship and Miss Photogenic.


Press & News

"UQ's face of Create Change 'Creates Change'" - UQ News

"Ultimate millennial job? Meet the AVOCADO researcher who studies the popular fruit for a living - and find out how she's determined to prevent a shortage" - Daily Mail Australia

"Billboard star set to ‘avo’ great graduation" - UQ News

A smashing of myths for millennials” - The Sydney Morning Herald

"Avocado scientist creates change and becomes multimedia star" - UQ News

“Filo scientist seeks cure for avocado disease” - SBS News

"UQ Student and avocado expert Louisa Parkinson gets big break" - Courier Mail, Quest Newspapers

"Saying 'yes' to opportunities shapes career path for UQ biotech alumnus" - UQ SCMB News

"The face of change - How an avocado researcher became the face of UQ’s advertising campaign" - QAAFI News

“Billboard star set to ‘avo’ great graduation” - Get STEM

“Queensland woman studies avocado for a living” - Express Digest

“Breaking News - Avocado researcher Louisa Parkinson studies it for living” - US Femail

“Avocado researcher Louisa Parkinson studies it for living” - Women Life