Prof. Michelle Watt

Research interests

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

My group discovers and designs plant root systems to meet future challenges- on Earth and for Space habitation. We have a particular focus on engineering root carbon to capture CO2 and use water efficiently. We combine imaging, phenotyping and omics methods, and consider the whole plant and microbiome system.

  • Discovery and engineering of plant root systems
  • Soil carbon sequestration through root gene engineering
  • Water saving tricks of Australian native plants
  • Space plant system design and engineering
  • Food security and climate change mitigation
  • Radical solutions through lens of Space

Research projects

  • Projects to bioengineer plant root carbon to mitigate against climate change (with Josh Heazlwood)
  • Projects to design plant systems for Space habitation
  • Development of imaging technologies for quantifying root-water-microbe interactions (with Leigh Johnston, Brain Imaging Centre;with Doug Brumley, Maths and Stats)
  • Discovery of drought mechanisms of Australian native plants (with Dr. Jo Birth and Dr. Allison van de Meene)

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