Steve Powles

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

  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 1004, NW Wing Agriculture Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • 12487 Citations
  • 60 h-Index
1982 …2020

Research output per year

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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

Research expertise keywords

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

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Research Output

Cinmethylin controls multiple herbicide-resistant Lolium rigidum and its wheat selectivity is P450-based

Busi, R., Dayan, F. E., Francis, I., Goggin, D., Lerchl, J., Porri, A., Powles, S. B., Sun, C. & Beckie, H. J., 1 Aug 2020, In : Pest Management Science. 76, 8, p. 2601-2608 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 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
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)

    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

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