Stress Physiology Research Group

The last two years were highly successful for the Stress Physiology Research Group.

I have managed to secure some substantial funding for the lab by obtaining two ARC Discovery, one ARC Linkage and one GRDC grants totalling ca $1.7M. Also, the University of Tasmania has contributed close to $200,000 for the renovation of the new laboratory to host the group, and we have celebrated our move in early 2011.

There are currently three post-doctoral research fellows and ten PhD students in the lab. The current research focus is on mechanisms of salinity and oxidative stress perception and signalling.

Current projects

Membrane transporters in oxidative stress

Plant salinity tolerance

Halophytes for high saline agriculture

Our PhD students

A large cohort of new PhD students was taken on-board over the last two years. They include:

  • Will Percey – Sodium transport and compartmentation in cereal crops under saline conditions
  • Jingyi Zhang – Age- and tissue-specific aspects of salinity tolerance in barley
  • Alex Mackay – Mechanisms for salinity tolerance in halophytes
  • Adam Pirie – The potential of Carpobrotus rossii plant extracts as a source of highly concentrated antioxidant & novel flavonoid compounds
  • Suresh Panta – Halophytes for high saline agriculture
  • Naina Marks – Understanding apoptosis and programmed cell death in plants
  • Maheswari Jayakannan – The role of salicylic acid in inducing salinity tolerance in plants
  • Min Zhu – Physiological traits conferring osmotic adjustment in plants and their contribution to differential salinity tolerance in wheat and barley
  • Alvin Lam – Quantifying the relative contribution of cytosolic sodium exclusion and potassium retention to salinity tolerance in barley and wheat
  • Tamilarasan Thangavel – Broad spectrum resistance to tuber invading diseases of potato

International Collaborators

The group maintains strong international collaboration. Over the last two years we have hosted 19 visitors from 13 countries, typically for between 2 and 6 months. Highlights of some of these collaborative projects are given below.


Professor Sergey Shabala
Stress Physiology Research Group Leader

Sergey Shabala