|Contact Campus||Sandy Bay Campus|
|Building||Life Sciences Building|
|Telephone||+61 3 6226 7874|
|Fax||+61 3 6226 2698|
I teach plant structure and function (physiology) in the 2nd year Botany course and plant ecology in 2nd and 3rd year.
Full publication lists:
I began my interest in botany as a child on caravanning holidays with my family in the bush across eastern Australia. I studied botany at the University of Sydney, studying fire ecology and later spending two years as a research assistant working on mangroves. I then moved to Tasmania in 1991 to work at the Australian Antarctic Division as a research scientist investigating terrestrial ecology of lichens of the Windmill Islands, near Casey Station, for which work I received my PhD from the University of Tasmania in 1996. I then spent a year working on low temperature effects on eucalypts at the Terrestrial Hardwood Forestry CRC in Hobart before returning to the School of Plant Science as an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow working on the impacts of climate on leaf form and growth of the southern beech, Nothofagus cunninghamii. I commenced my work as a lecturer in the School of Plant Science in 1998, teaching Plant Structure and Function and Plant Ecology.
I lead the Plant Ecology research group at UTAS. My main interest is in improving our understanding of ecological processes. In particular, I am interested in how an understanding of plants, their interactions and responses to the environment can be used to improve our ability to predict the way that ecosystems actually function. My major projects focus on the functional response of various species to global climate change and how physiological responses lead to population, community and ecosystem changes.
I am currently establishing a new Free Air CO2 Enrichment Facility at Cambridge, Tasmania, following the success of the decade-long TasFACE experiment. TasFACE was a state of the art facility for investigating the impact of global climate change on an intact native grassland at Pontville, just north of Hobart. The experiment investigated the way that increasing temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations affected the growth and nature of an ecosystem important from both an agricultural and conservation point of view. While, now closed, you can read about the TasFACE experiment here:
I also have a range of other experiments in native ecosystems including forests and grasslands where we have manipulated various factors like temperature, plant community composition and density.
Read more about my research in the Plant Ecology research group webpage
Authorised by the Head of School, Biological Sciences
20 March, 2015