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Bernadette McCabe

Professor and Principal Scientist, University of Southern Queensland

Professor Bernadette McCabe is a principal scientist at the University of Southern Queensland's (USQ) Centre for Agricultural Engineering (CAE) and is the Research Program Team Leader for Energy and Bioresource Recycling. Bernadette is Australia's National Team Leader for the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy program Task 37: Energy from Biogas and is a member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts.

Bernadette has a background in agricultural biotechnology and has over 20 years’ experience as an academic and researcher. Her research investigates technologies to enable intensive Australian farming and food-processing industries to turn their commercial waste into a valuable commodity. She works with these industries to be more profitable by using organic waste to produce biogas, clean recycled water and biofertiliser. Her research has been applied to the livestock and cropping sectors (both on and off farm) and water utilities.

Bernadette extends her science communication beyond high impact journals by regularly contributing to media outlets to boost public awareness of bioenergy and bioresource recycling and has promoted science in schools since 2007 through CSIRO’s STEM Professionals in schools program.


  • –present
    Professor, University of Southern Queensland


  • 2006 
    University of Southern Queensland, Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning
  • 1999 
    University of Western Sydney, PhD
  • 1992 
    University of Sydney, BSc(Hons)


  • 2020
    Microbial electrochemical sensors for volatile fatty acid measurement in high strength wastewaters: A review, Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 165; 112409
  • 2020
    Toward profitable and sustainable bioresource management in the Australian red meat processing industry: A critical review and illustrative case study, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/10643389.2020.1712310
  • 2020
    Process optimisation of anaerobic digestion treating high strength wastewater in the Australian Red Meat Processing industry. , Applied Sciences. DOI: 10.3390/app10217947.
  • 2019
    Ensiling fermentation reveals pre-treatment effects for anaerobic digestion of sugarcane biomass: An assessment of ensiling additives on methane potential, Bioresource Technology. 279: 398-403
  • 2019
    Biogas in the suburbs: An untapped source of clean energy?, Journal of Cleaner Production 215: 1025-1035
  • 2019
    Investigating the impact of seasonal temperature variation on biogas production from covered anaerobic lagoons treating slaughterhouse wastewater using lab scale studies, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 7: 103077
  • 2018
    Process monitoring and control for an anaerobic covered lagoon treating abattoir wastewater, Chemical Engineering and Technology. 41(4): 755-760
  • 2018
    Effect of trace element addition and increasing organic loading rates on the anaerobic digestion of cattle slaughterhouse wastewater, Bioresource Technology, 264: 51-57
  • 2018
    Bovine bile as a bio-surfactant pre-treatment option for anaerobic digestion of high-fat cattle slaughterhouse waste, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 6 (1): 444-450
  • 2018
    Impact of thermobaric pre-treatment on the continuous anaerobic digestion of high-fat cattle slaughterhouse waste, Biochemical Engineering Journal, 134: 108-113
  • 2018
    An investigation into the fertilizer potential of slaughterhouse cattle paunch, Transactions of the ASABE 61(1): 87-101
  • 2018
    Investigation into thin layer drying rates and equilibrium moisture content of abattoir paunch waste, Renewable Energy. 124: 95-10
  • 2017
    Evaluation of chemical, thermobaric and thermochemical pre-treatment on anaerobic digestion of high-fat cattle slaughterhouse waste, Bioresource Technology. Vol 244, pp 605-610
  • 2016
    An investigation into the fertilizer potential of cattle paunch, Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
  • 2015
    Review of pre-treatments used in anaerobic digestion and their potential application in high-fat cattle slaughterhouse wastewater, Applied Energy. Vol 155, pp 560-575.
  • 2014
    A case study for biogas generation from covered anaerobic ponds treating abattoir wastewater: Investigation of pond performance and potential biogas production, Applied Energy. Vol 114, pp 798-808.
  • 2013
    Investigating wastewater modelling as a tool to predict anaerobic decomposition and biogas yield of abattoir effluent, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. Vol 1, pp 1375-1379.

Professional Memberships

  • Australian National Team Leader for IEA Bioenergy Task 37: Energy from Biogas
  • Bioenergy Australia
  • AusBiotech

Research Areas

  • Wastewater Treatment Processes (090409)
  • Environmental Technologies (090703)
  • Interdisciplinary Engineering Not Elsewhere Classified (091599)