• The University of Western Australia (M310,M316), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 4.03, Bayliss Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

I am the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology.

I did my BSc (Hons) and PhD (1997) in plant biochemistry and molecular biology at the Australian National University in Canberra. I have previously held fellowships at The University of Oxford (HFSPO) and at UWA (ARC APD 2000-2002, ARC QEII 2002-2007, ARC APF 2008-2011, ARC Future Fellow 2012-2015).

I serve on the Editorial Board of The Plant Cell, The Biochemical Journal, The Arabidopsis Book, Journal of Proteomics, and BMC Plant Methods.

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Current projects

- Targeted Proteomics in Arabidopsis, Wheat and Barley
- Measurement of protein turnover and protein aging in plants 
- Protein complex assembly in plants
- Oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in plants
- Biogenesis of mitochondria during plant development

Research interests

Online Resources

I conduct research on the energy efficiency of plants in harsh environments in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology

My team has developed online databases for:

The content and expression of proteins in wheat (wheat proteome)

The subcellular location of proteins in Arabidopsis (SUBA)

The subcellular location of proteins in plant crop species (CropPAL)

Funding overview

My research is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Discovery, Linkage and Centre's Programmes and by Industry funding from GRDC and Agilent Technologies.

Research

Mitochondrial function in plants

My research focuses on mitochondrial function in plants and the role of metabolism is the energy efficiency of plants. My team's work has provided key new insights into antioxidant defence pathways in mitochondrial, diurnal rhythms in mitochondrial metabolism, tissue-specific mitochondrial functions, plant-specific features of the electron transport chain, regulatory networks governing respiratory activity in plants, and the mechanisms of mitochondria damage during oxidative stress.

Plant Proteomics

My group is also working on advances in plant proteome analysis to allow measurements of protein turnover rates and targeted quantitation of enzymes in metabolic pathways in both model plants and crops. In international collaborations using novel dataset and software developments, we have been involved in building plant proteome databases, protein location prediction and protein-protein interaction prediction in plants.

Techniques and Expertise

- Organelle isolation from plants
- Protein subcellular location in plants
- Proteome analysis by peptide mass spectrometry
- Stable isotope labelling of plant components
- Protein purification: gel filtration, ion exchange, electrophoresis
- Enzymology of proteins and antioxidant defence systems
- Respiration measurements: whole tissues, organelles, in liquid and gas phase
- Metabolomics by GC-MS
- Bioenergetics of electron transport chains

Teaching overview

Undergraduate Teaching:
BIOC3003 Omics—Global Approaches to Cell Function

Research expertise keywords

  • Biochemistry plant mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress and antioxidant defence
  • Protein mass spectrometry
  • Respiration
  • Metabolism
  • Electron transport chain
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Plant proteomics
  • Proteome analysis
  • Protein turnover
  • Energy use efficiency

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