I’m a biologist from Sydney, Australia. I studied at Macquarie University for a Masters of Research in plant biology and now I’m working on a PhD in microbiology and genetics.
My PhD project looks at the genetic factors that influence the colonisation of biocontrol (beneficial) bacteria on plant surfaces. I’m working on a genome-wide study to determine which genes are essential for my bacteria’s colonisation of seeds and roots. Working out what influences the bacteria’s colonisation of crop roots will be a step towards lowering plant disease and increasing crop yields, both of which are important in Australia and internationally.
My Masters research focused on extrafloral nectaries in Australian native wild cottons. I characterised the nectaries of four Gossypium species using light, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy, used LiCor photosynthetic rate measurements to determine the cost of nectar production and 14CO2 labelling to examine nectar production. In addition, I investigated the effect of elevated CO2 on extrafloral nectar production and composition – stay tuned for details in my upcoming papers.
I’m also a tutor in Biological Sciences and Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences and I’m passionate about sharing the incredible complexity of the natural world. A big part of science for me is communicating ideas – whether that’s to students in a practical class, colleagues, in a journal article, at a conference or with friends over a pizza. Lots of people don’t know what scientists actually do or the diversity of organisms that surround us every day, so I showcase these aspects to students and the public. A lot of advice for a successful PhD is that writing something every day is a good place to start. So that’s my new blog purpose – to practice writing and the clear communication of ideas. I’d love for you to join me…
– April 2017
– I also run a small botanical art and papercraft business called Leaf & Frond –
– All photos on this site were taken by me unless otherwise noted –