Luke specialises in synthetic biology for protein discovery and development, with a focus on advancement of sustainable technologies

​Luke's research is aimed at tackling the global issue of critical element security through development of sustainable technologies for extraction and separation of these elements from mining waste systems. Various critical metals, such as gallium, vanadium, and rare-earth elements are rapidly increasing in demand due to the advancement of new technologies requiring these unique properties. These elements are typically only produced as by-products of alumina or zinc refinery, and supply of these elements in Australia is mostly derived from international trade. Australia has significant untapped deposits of these elements in mining waste sites, such as bauxite residue. Luke's research aims at using synthetic biology to identify protein based approaches to extract and make use of this critical element supply.

​Luke obtained a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Bachelor of Biotechnology in 2020 at the University of Queensland, before starting his undergraduate honours thesis focusing on development of a CRISPR/Cas9 system in Nannochloropsis oceanica, aiming to increase fatty acid content leading to higher biofuels production efficiency. After completion, Luke continued research at UQ focusing on using synthetic biology to enhance bioremediation in various microalgae species. In 2023, Luke started his PhD in the AIBN, aimed at protein discovery for binding of critical metals in mine waste systems.