Professor Mike Gidley

Emeritus Professor

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 336 52251


Professor Mike Gidley is Director of the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences (CNAFS) at the University of Queensland, Australia. The Centre is part of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) in conjunction with the Queensland Government. Prof Gidley’s research is focussed on structure – function relationships in biopolymer assemblies such as starch granules and plant cell walls. This has led to the detailed characterisation of starch and dietary fibre digestion/fermentation in vitro and in vivo, with the understanding generated leading to opportunities for optimising nutritional value of foods and feeds. He is also a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls.

Professor Gidley was trained in chemistry at the Universities of London (BSc) and Cambridge (PhD), and worked on food-related research for more than twenty years in Unilever’s R+D laboratory at Colworth House in the UK, beginning as a research scientist and culminating as the Group Leader for Plant-based Foods and Ingredients, before joining UQ in 2003.

Professor Gidley’s major research interest is the linking of plant molecular structures to macroscopic properties with relevance to plant-based food properties. In particular, he is interested in investigating polysaccharide assemblies such as plant cell walls and starch granules, particularly the way these structures are assembled in nature and then disassembled during manufacturing and later during digestion. His field of research involves the use of spectroscopic, microscopic and materials analyses of natural materials and model systems. Insights into structure-property relationships are obtained, that can then be used to provide targets for raw materials and processes with enhanced food and nutritional properties.

Research Interests

  • Plant-based foods
    Clarifying the mechanisms which underpin the nutritional benefits of plant-based foods, with emphases on intact cellular structures, molecular interactions, satiety/satiation effects, and fermentation by the gut microbiome.

Research Impacts

The work of Prof Gidley and the CNAFS team supports the development of enhanced health outcomes and economic benefits for Queensland and Australia by carrying out relevant fundamental and applied research across the nutrition and food sciences to provide a sound basis for subsequent exploitation.

The science of food and nutrition involves the integration of approaches drawing from physical, chemical and biological disciplines. A range of cross-disciplinary approaches, modern analytical techniques and understanding developed through study of model systems is used to identify the fundamental mechanisms responsible for important food and nutrition properties. This involves extensive collaboration with research groups within UQ and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), and many other Australian and international partners.

Current research themes address the broad topic of naturally functional foods, and include:

Molecular basis for food quality

Food bio-materials and processing

Health and nutrition properties


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Mikkelsen, Deirdre, Lopez-Sanchez, Patricia, Wang, Dongjie and Gidley, Michael J. (2020). Formation of cellulose-based composites with hemicelluloses and pectins using Komagataeibacter fermentation. The plant cell wall: methods and protocols. (pp. 73-87) New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0621-6_5

  • Black, J. L., Ratanpaul, V., Williams, B. A., Diffey, S. and Gidley, M. J. (2019). Variability in cereal grain composition and nutritional value: the importance of fibre. The value of fibre: engaging the second brain for animal nutrition. (pp. 47-59) edited by G. GonzalezOrtiz, M. R. Bedford, K. E. B. Knudsen, C. M. Courtin and H. L. Classen. Wageningen, Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. doi: 10.3920/978-90-8686-893-3_2

  • Gidley, Michael J. (2014). Starch NMR. Starch polymers: from genetic engineering to green applications. (pp. 243-253) edited by P. Halley and Luc Averous. Burlington, MA, United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53730-0.00029-4

  • Gilbert, Elliot Paul, Lopez-Rubio, Amparo and Gidley, Michael J. (2012). Characterisation techniques in food materials science. Food materials science and engineering. (pp. 52-93) edited by Bhesh Bhandari and Yrjo H. Roos. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118373903.ch3

  • Mikkelsen, Deirdre and Gidley, Michael J. (2011). Formation of Cellulose-Based Composites with Hemicelluloses and Pectins Using Gluconacetobacter Fermentation. The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols. (pp. not found-not found) edited by Zoë A. Popper. New Jersey, USA: Humana Press.

  • Mikkelsen, Deirdre and Gidley, Michael J. (2011). Formation of cellulose-based composites with hemicelluloses and pectins using Gluconacetobacter fermentation. The plant cell wall: methods and protocols. (pp. 197-208) edited by Zoë A. Popper. New York, United States: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-008-9_14

  • Black, John L., Williams, B. A. and Gidley, M. J. (2009). Metabolic regulation of feed intake in monogastric mammals. Voluntary Feed Intake in Pigs. (pp. 189-213) Wageningen Academic Publishers. doi: 10.3921/978-90-8686-689-2

  • Black, J.L., Williams, B. A. and Gidley, M. J. (2009). Metabolic regulation of feed intake in monogastric mammals. Voluntary feed intake in pigs. (pp. 189-214) edited by David Torrallardona and Eugeni Roura. Wageningen, Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers.

  • Gidley, Michael J and Nishinari, Katsuyoshi (2009). Physico-chemistry of (1,3)-?-glucans. Chemistry, biochemistry, and biology of 1-3 beta glucans and related polysaccharides. (pp. 47-118) edited by Antony Bacic, Geoffrey Fincher and Bruce Stone. San Diego, USA: Elsevier.

  • Gidley M.J. and Nishinari K. (2009). Physico-chemistry of (1,3)-β-glucans. Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology of 1-3 Beta Glucans and Related Polysaccharides. (pp. 47-118) Elsevier Inc.. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-373971-1.00003-0

  • Bird, Anthony R., Lopez-Rubio, Amparo, Shrestha, Ashok and Gidley, Michael J. (2009). Resistant starch in vitro and in vivo: factors determining yield, structure, and physiological relevance. Modern Biopolymer Science. (pp. 449-510) edited by Stefan Kasapis, Ian Norton and Johan Ubbink. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press, Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374195-0.00014-8

  • Gidley, M and Reid, J.S.G. (2006). Galactomannans and other cell wall storage polysaccharides in seeds. Food Polysaccharides and Their Applications. (pp. 181-215) edited by A.M. Stephen and G.O. Phillips and P.A. Williams. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision