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How do Australian plants cope with phosphorus deficiency?


Determine how Australian native plants can cope with phosphorus deficiency


Associate Professor Charles Warren.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



Plants have multiple strategies to cope with phosphorus deficiency such as modifications of root architecture, mycorrhizal associations, and exudation of compounds that increase phosphorus availability in the soil. An additional strategy that is only just receiving attention is replacement of phospholipids with non-phosphate containing membrane lipids. 

This exciting and novel project will determine the role of lipids in tolerance of phosphorus deficiency. Such information can then be used to develop agricultural and forest crops that are more tolerant of phosphorus deficiency. 

Additional information

• Is the opportunity also available for Honours students?
Yes, there is the possibility of a one-year honours project.  Please contact Charle Warren for info

• Techniques, methodologies, research approaches, technologies, etc., employed by the project -
Mass spectrometry will be used for lipid ID and quantification.  Field experiments will make use of the wide variety of ecosystems and soil types in and around Sydney.  Manipulative greenhouse experiments will enable testing of ideas under controlled conditions. 

 HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 661

Other opportunities with Associate Professor Charles Warren