Our Centre has ten Chief Investigators and two Partner Investigators, from six organisations. Our researchers are working on four interlinking research programs:
1. Improving leaf carbon dioxide capture efficiency
2. Improving light energy capture efficiency
3. Exploiting photosynthetic variation
4. Linking leaf function and the field performance of crops
Each research program is focused on scientific advances and translating these to improved field performance – hence our focus on translational photosynthesis.
There are many more researchers working within these research program teams, as well as Associate Investigators in other universities and institutions.
Professor Murray Badger’s research in the Centre focuses on understanding and applying knowledge of the function of aquatic CO2 concentrating mechanisms to improving C3 plant photosynthesis. Murray was the Centre’s founding Director until his retirement at the end of 2015.
Professor Susanne von Caemmerer is the Centre Deputy Director. Her research focusses on understanding and improving C4 photosynthesis, genetically manipulating the photosynthetic electron transport chain, and developing better leaf and plant photosynthetic models.
Professor Min Chen’s research focuses on elucidating the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of the energy-storing reactions and photo-regulatory processes in photosynthetic organisms, especially the function of red-shifted chlorophylls in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms (cyanobacteria and algae).
Increasing the assimilation of carbon to accelerate breeding for increased grain yields in Australia’s high-performance cropping areas
Professor John Evans’ research focusses on improving light use efficiency and manipulating CO2 diffusion inside leaves. He is internationally renowned for his research on photosynthesis in relation to nitrogen, light and leaf anatomy, and understanding the CO2 diffusion.
Professor Graham Farquhar’s research focuses on integrating mechanistic models of leaf photosynthesis with commonly used crop growth models.
Professor Robert (Bob) Furbank is both Centre Director and Co-Leader of Research Program 3. His research within the Centre focuses on the identification of enhanced photosynthetic properties in crop and model plant germplasm together with interests in improving C4 photosynthesis.
Dr Oula Ghannoum’s research focuses on studying the functional diversity of C4 species and Rubisco catalysis, including the environmental and molecular regulation of C4 photosynthesis and the response of C3 and C4 plants to climate change.
Professor Graeme Hammer’s research focuses on linking leaf function and field performance of crops together with the use of genetic variation to assess consequences of changes in photosynthetic efficiencies on crop growth and yield.
Professor David Jordan’s research focuses on using crop genetic models, particularly sorghum, to understand the genetics and genomics of variation in photosynthetic efficiency.
Professor Dean Price’s research focuses on the molecular biology and physiology of photosynthesis in blue-green photosynthetic bacteria, and research on the functional expression of cyanobacterial CO2 concentrating mechanisms in tobacco chloroplasts.
Professor Paul Quick provides research linkages with our partner institution, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). His research focuses on areas related to understanding chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic stress biology, regulation of the photosynthetic ATPase, and photosynthetic metabolic biology.
Associate Professor Spencer Whitney’s research focuses on utilising novel biotechnological tools to scrutinize the biology of the biospheres most abundant protein, the photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco.