Associate Professor Stephen Anderson

Associate Professor

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 336 54756


Stephen is a physiologist with expertise in endocrinology. His laboratory examines the hormonal control of growth, metabolism, appetite, and reproduction. He seeks to unravel how hormones regulate physiological mechanisms in healthy individuals versus those that occur in disease states.

During his academic career Stephen has taught physiology to more than 35,000 biomedical, medical and health science students. Stephen has received numerous teaching accolades and was honored with a national Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation in 2009. From 2019 to 2024 Stephen was Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Biomedical Sciences. In 2020, Stephen was named Academic Leader of the Year within the UQ Faculty of Medicine.

In biomedical education research Stephen is currently investigating how students develop capabilities during their undergraduate studies that support their future professional roles. He has a keen interest in metacognition of learning, self-regulation of learning, and lifelong learning.

Research Interests

  • Bone Mineral Metabolism (lab and industry research).
    The physiology of phosphorus and calcium metabolism during pregnancy and lactation is intriguing. Maternal bone stores are often drawn upon to supplement dietary intake to meet the high mineral demand of a rapidly growing foetus before birth and to support adequate lactation in the postpartum period. Replenishment of ‘lost’ maternal bone stores are necessary for future reproductive success. With ongoing adequate nutrition such replacement will occur, even in annual breeding cycles of many animals. However in animals grazing grasslands dietary phosphorus deficiency often occurs. Our research seeks to extend our knowledge in applied physiology and nutrition to aid practical management of phosphorus deficiency in Australian cattle.
  • Dealing with complexity: a key student capability (educational research).
    Learning in the 21st century is about developing a highly valuable skill set for the future. Beyond obtaining specific subject knowledge, 21st century skills are often defined as ways of thinking, ways of working, and ways of living. Our research focus is on "ways of thinking" which includes creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, learning to learn, and metacognition. It is about helping students develop the capability to be responsive and adaptive. Stephen's research specifically investigates how students comprehend and deal with complexity, seeking to better support pre-clinical biomedical and health science students develop such capability for future career success.
  • Diabetic Remission in Cats (lab and clinical research).
    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease in cats. Guidelines for diagnosis vary and often do not take into account prediabetic cats. The goals of treatment are to maximize the chance of remission, while minimizing the risks of hypoglycemia. Our research investigates diabetic cats in remission, seeking to better understand metabolism in these animals.

Research Impacts

Our report to Meat and Livestock Australia on our research project "Improved management of cattle phosphorus status through applied physiology" can be viewed here. Our research formed the basis of an evidence based approach for cattle producers to assess and manage the risk of P deficiency in cattle - see the new MLA phosphorus hub here.

Stephen was scientific consultant for National Geo documentary series "Moody Beasts" produced by Wildbear Entertainment, a quirky look at how hormones drive animals wild.


  • Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Education Management, University of Melbourne
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New England Australia
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Agriculture, University of Sydney


View all Publications


View all Supervision

Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Book Chapter

  • Wijffels, Gene, Sullivan, Megan , Anderson, Stephen , Stockwell, Sally , McCulloch, Russell , Briscoe, Suzie , Olm, Joseph , Cawdell-Smith, Judy and Gaughan, John (2018). Towards breeding for heat tolerance and resilience in beef cattle. Breeding Focus 2018 – Reducing Heat Stress. (pp. 31-40) edited by Susanne Hermesch and Sonja Dominik. Armidale, NSW, Australia: University of New England.

  • Bindon B.M., Anderson S.T, Cummins L.J., Findlay J.K., Hillard M.A., O'Shea T., Paull D., Tsonis C.G. and Wilkins J.F. (1994). Manipulation of reproduction of sheep and cattle by vaccination against inhibin-related peptides. Vaccines in agriculture: immunological applications in animal health and production. (pp. 85-96) edited by P.R. Wood, P. Willadsen, J.E. Vercoe, R.M. Hoskinson and D. Demeger. East Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

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.