Researcher Profile

Dr Michael Renton

Michael Renton
Michael Renton

Phone: +61 8 6488 1959

Research Expertise:
  • Ecological and agricultural modelling
  • Functional–structural plant modelling (FSPM)
  • Evolution of resistance to herbicide and pesticides
  • Biosecurity and biological invasion
  • Individual-based modelling
  • Statistical modelling and analysis
  • Complex biological systems
  • Computational simulation
  • Cropping and pasture systems
  • Prediction and management of weeds, pests and diseases


I currently coordinate and/or teach in the following units:
- SCIE4402 Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences
- SCIE5500 Simulation Modelling in the Natural Sciences (Advanced Modelling)
- PLNT3306 Australian Vegetation
- ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
- SCIE3314 Agricultural Systems
- SCIE4403 The Conduct, Ethics and Communication of Science

Industrial Relevance

Agriculture - including cropping and pastures
Ecology and conservation biology


BA W.Aust., CertAppLang TAFE, GradDipEd E.Cowan, PhD Qld

Current Projects

For more information on current research or potential student projects, please go to or contact me at

Previous Positions

2005-2007 Dept. of Agriculture and Food, WA Perth, Australia
Research Officer

2005 University of Western Australia Perth, Australia
Applied Mathematics Lecturer

2005 Murdoch University Perth, Australia
Applied Mathematics Tutor

2004 – 2005 National Institute of Agronomic Research Montpellier, France
Post-doctoral Researcher, Plant Architecture Modelling Trainer

2000 – 2003 University of Queensland Brisbane, Australia
Mathematics Tutor, Plant Architecture Modelling Trainer

1999 University of Western Australia Perth, Australia
English Teacher (ESL)

1998 ELS Language School Padang, Indonesia
English Teacher (ESL)


Treasurer of the Asian Pacific Weed Science Society, since 2007

Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Australia, since 2004

Funding Received

See UWA 'Socrates' Research profile and publications link at the bottom of this page for UWA funding.

Older funding includes:
• University of Queensland Early Offer PhD Scholarship 2000
• APA PhD Scholarship 2000
• Top-up PhD scholarship from the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics 2000
• Grant from INRA for post-doctoral project on ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ in France 2004
• Grant from INRA for six month extension to ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ project 2005
• ‘Weed Seed Wizard’ project funded by CRC for Australian Weed Management 2007-2008 ($50,000)

Future Research

For more information on research or potential student projects, please go to or contact me at

Roles, responsibilities and expertise

Michael has a teaching and research position with UWA Plant Biology. His role involves leading and contributing to research projects, supervising postgraduate and Honours research students and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in biostatistics, simulation modelling, ecology and agriculture.

The modelling approaches in which he has interest and experience include:
• individual-based models and simulation (IBMs)
• L-systems and functional-structural plant models (FSPMs) for modelling dynamic plant architecture
• simulation of evolutionary dynamics and evolutionary optimisation
• numerical/computational simulation of the movement and spread of biological substances or organisms
• constructing statistical 'summary models' to represent more complex bio-physical simulation models
• continuous and discrete dynamical systems, including chaotic systems and S-systems
• applied statistical modelling of biological data, including linear and non-linear modelling, multivariate analysis, Bayesian analysis, and mixed-effect models


Michael completed his Honours program at UWA in Maths, looking at control in chaotic systems, and his PhD at the University of Queensland in the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics, looking at new approaches to modelling the interactions between plant form, function and environment with functional-structural plant models (FSPMs). His post-doc in Montpellier, France, married stochastic models with structural models to create virtual apple trees and he then returned to Perth to teach applied maths at UWA, before spending a couple of years creating the Weed Seed Wizard (a model of seedbank dynamics) at the Department of Agriculture and Food. He started as an Assistant Professor in computational agro-ecology in the School of Plant Biology at UWA in a joint appointment with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences in July 2007 and his current projects involve modelling of weeds and seedbank population dynamics, evolution of resistance to herbicides and pesticides, competition and interactions between plants and their environments in natural and managed systems, bio-economic modelling and optimal land use in agricultural systems and mixed-use landscapes, and dispersal of biological organisms.

ID: 59391

Most frequent journals

    ISSNs: 1526-498X, 1526-4998

    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 2.96 SJR 1.176 SNIP 1.427

    Journal: ERA2018


    ISSNs: 0305-7364, 1095-8290

    Oxford University Press

    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 4.22 SJR 1.894 SNIP 1.627

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Crop & Pasture Science

    ISSNs: 0004-9409, 1836-0947, 1836-5795

    CSIRO Publishing

    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.72 SJR 0.685 SNIP 0.979

    Journal: ERA2018


    ISSNs: 0043-1737, 1365-3180


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 1.85 SJR 0.815 SNIP 1.156

    Journal: ERA2018

  • Ecological Modelling

    ISSNs: 0304-3800, 1872-7026


    Scopus rating (2016): CiteScore 2.43 SJR 0.941 SNIP 1.089

    Journal: ERA2018

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