Professor Murray Badger is a Chief Investigator. He was the Centre’s founding Director until his retirement at the end of 2015.
Murray’s research in the Centre focuses on understanding and applying knowledge of the function of aquatic CO2 concentrating mechanisms to improving C3 plant photosynthesis.
More specifically, his research focusses on understanding the ways different photosynthetic organisms have adapted their photosynthetic biochemistry and physiology to efficiently fix CO2 in environments where CO2 is a limiting substrate. This includes interests in the biochemical deficiencies of the enzyme Rubisco, how organisms have developed CO2 concentrating mechanisms to overcome these limitations, and how the biochemical pathway of photorespiration deals with the waste products of the Rubisco interaction with O2.
Murray completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney and PhD in Plant Biochemistry at ANU in Canberra. He subsequently spent time as a postdoctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Plant Biology at Stanford (USA) before returning to Australia as a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow.
He is internationally known for his research into Rubisco, CO 2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) in algae and cyanobacteria, and genetic manipulation and control of photosynthesis in plants.
As recognition for his research in Plant Sciences in Australia he was awarded the Peter Goldacre Medal in 1982 and he was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2008. In 2009 he was elected as a corresponding member to the American Society of Plant Biologists.