Dr Nural Cokcetin is a research scientist specialising in microbiology at the ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney. Nural’s research interest is in understanding the relationship between bees, the environment, and medicinal honey with the aim of supporting the apiary industry, pollination and human health. She is a global leader in the medicinal honey field, specialising in this area since her Honours year at the University of Sydney (2008), where she investigated the antibacterial effect of honey against problematic infection-causing bacteria, or ‘superbugs’. Nural completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales (2015), where she made the novel discovery that Australian honeys had prebiotic potential in a clinical study showing that a small daily dose of honey significantly improved human gut health. She is currently leading several research projects focusing on finding novel approaches to combat the antimicrobial resistance crisis and gut dysbiosis, specifically by exploiting the bioactive properties of honey.
Nural works closely with the Australian beekeeping and wider agricultural industries, and has acquired a deep understanding of the broader importance of these in food security and the challenges these industries face. She is committed to providing robust science to help add value to their products. Nural collaborates widely with leading scientists, clinicians, educators, and industry specialists, nationally and internationally, to ensure her research leads to improved health outcomes and produces other benefits for society and the apiary and agricultural industries. She serves as a key opinion leader and advisor, leader of science, expert spokesperson and consultant in several different industry roles. Nural is also a highly skilled science communicator, and she is dedicated to making science and research accessible to and useable by as broad an audience as possible.
The impact of Nural’s research is demonstrated by the quality and high number of citations her publications receive, award of almost $2.5M in competitive funding, high level of industry engagement and commercialisation opportunities, and the wide attention her research receives among industry, media and the general public. She has received many awards for her research excellence and impact, as well as her dedication to the promotion of science, including the UTS Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award, several Australian Microbiology Society awards, the Best Young Science Communicator in Australia and International Runner-up in FameLab (largest science communication competition in the world), and the TEDxSydney Top Five Young Change-Makers Award. Nural is established in the media as an expert on medicinal honey, bees, antibiotic resistance and gut health, with over 90 media appearances and articles to date, and she is regularly invited to give public lectures and appear at events promoting science.
- FameLab winning presentation (Best Young Science Communicator in Australia and International Runner up) – https://vimeo.com/217760977
- TEDx – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkY6BI1DByk&ab_channel=TEDxTalks
- The Conversation – https://theconversation.com/science-or-snake-oil-is-manuka-honey-really-a-superfood-for-treating-colds-allergies-and-infections-78400