Stephen Powles

Professor, DipAppSc W.Syd., MSc Mich. State, PhD ANU, FAA, FTSE

  • The University of Western Australia (M086), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 1004, NW Wing Agriculture Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 11578 Citations
  • 58 h-Index
1982 …2020
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Personal profile


Stephen Powles is Professor at the University of Western Australia. His expertise is in crop science and production with speciality in herbicide resistance in plants. Prof Powles is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Science & Engineering. Prof Powles is a Web of Science Highly Cited author and has published more than 200 papers in international research journals.

Roles and responsibilities

Plant eco-physiology. Photosynthesis. GM Crops.

Evolution of herbicide resistance in plants.
Molecular basis of herbicide resistance.
Agronomic management of herbicide resistance.
Agricultural sustainability.
Crop science and crop productivity
Environmental stress and plant performance

Funding overview

Major funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC)and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

Previous positions

Director, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative

Managing Director, Australian Weed Management CRC, Adelaide

Professor, University of Adelaide
Postdoc, University of Paris, Saclay, France
Postdoc, Stanford University, Carnegie Plant Biology, USA.

Current projects

Molecular genetics, biochemistry, population dynamics and management of herbicide resistance.

Industrial relevance

Australian grain industry.
National and international agrichemical industry
Genetically modified crops

Teaching overview

Rainfed cropping


Professor Powles is leader of a multi-disciplinary research team focused on many different aspects of herbicide resistance evolution.
Research extends from understanding the biochemical and molecular basis of resistance, elucidating the effect of resistance mutations on plant performance and simulation modelling, to agronomic research to manage resistance in cropping systems.


English and French


  • Crop science
  • Weed science
  • Agriculture
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Food production

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Stephen Powles is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 1982 2019

4 Citations (Scopus)

Aldo-keto Reductase Metabolizes Glyphosate and Confers Glyphosate Resistance in Echinochloa colona

Pan, L., Yu, Q., Han, H., Mao, L., Nyporko, A., Fan, L. J., Bai, L. & Powles, S., 1 Dec 2019, In : Plant Physiology. 181, 4, p. 1519-1534 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Echinochloa colona
carbonyl reductase (NADPH)
5 Citations (Scopus)
Raphanus raphanistrum
photosystem II

Australian herbicide resistance initiative (Ahri) celebrates its 20th anniversary

Beckie, H. J. & Powles, S. B., 1 Jun 2019, In : Outlooks on Pest Management. 30, 3, p. 120-121 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herbicide Resistance
herbicide resistance
Anniversaries and Special Events
1 Citation (Scopus)
Lolium rigidum
6 Citations (Scopus)

Do plants pay a fitness cost to be resistant to glyphosate?

Vila-Aiub, M. M., Yu, Q. & Powles, S. B., Jul 2019, In : New Phytologist. 223, 2, p. 532-547

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Costs and Cost Analysis


Projects 1998 2020