Plant biology

Life is dependent on plants: as the only organisms able to make their own food, these primary producers are vital to the world's ecosystems. From food, medicines, clothing and the air we breathe, we could not exist without them. Indeed, all of the research that occurs within the School of BioSciences is built upon the foundation of plant functions. Research groups in Plant Biology study a broad range of topics including:

  • Plant diversity, classification, biogeography and conservation
  • Plant growth and development
  • Plant cell wall biosynthesis and cell-cell communication
  • Plant nutrition and genetic engineering of crops to improve human nutrition (biofortification)
  • Plant breeding systems and self incompatibility
  • Plant defence against herbivory; plant secondary metabolites including cyanogenic compounds and the oils of eucalypts
  • Plant interactions with fungal pathogens
  • Evolution of plant, algal and protozoan cells, e.g., evolution of endosymbionts, the malaria parasite with its remnant chloroplast, and bio-mineralisation and bioadhesion of algal cell walls.

Students working in the plant biology field are eligible for support in the form of the generous scholarships and awards from the Botany Foundation.


Andrew Drinnan

Plant development, morphology, anatomy, architecture and evolution

Alex Johnson

Plant and food biotechnology

Allison Van de Meene

Plant cell biology using high-end microscopy techniques

Berit Ebert

Plant cell wall biosynthesis

Edwin Lampugnani

Plant evolution and development

Ed Newbigin

Pollen biology

Joanne Birch

Plant Evolution

John Golz

Developmental regulation and translational research

Joshua Heazlewood

Plant glycomics

Mike Bayly

Plant Evolution

Mike Haydon

Plant cell signalling

Margie Mayfield

Plant and insect community ecology

Marc Somssich

The Role of the Cell Wall in Plant Immunity

Michelle Watt

Plant root system discovery and application to human and environmental challenges in Earth and in Space

Pranali Deore

Microalgae and Advanced imagaing techniques

Robert Walker

Plant, soil and microbe interactions

Suzie Reichman

Pollution impact and management

Vicky Waymouth

Soil microbes and rhizosphere interactions

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