Steve Powles

Emeritus Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Stephen Powles is an Emeritus 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

Crops & chemicals.  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 has conducted and led research 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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger

Research expertise keywords

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


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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