About Associate Professor Charles Warren

Charlie Warren studies how plants and ecosystems function. As a kid I was always pulling things apart to see how they operate. Now I get to “pull apart” plants and ecosystems and see what makes them tick

He has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the limitations of photosynthesis and is currently working on a range of projects examining plant-soil interactions and biogeochemistry. For the past decade he has been actively contributing to the debate about limiting steps in the soil N cycle and the role of organic N in plant nutrition. Much of his research on the N cycle has involved developing methods that enable testing of new questions and looking at old questions from a different perspective. These new tools have led to major advances in our understanding of 1) limiting steps in the N cycle, 2) forms of N in soil, and 3) uptake of diverse forms of N by plants. Another branch of his research is examining soil carbon cycling, in particular the microbial response of soil to drying and rewetting. His lab has identified for the first time that drying causes soil microbes accumulate large amounts of osmolytes and this underpins the pulse of respiration when dry soil is re-wet. Most recently he has embarked on a challenging new project examining microbial P economics which is aiming to determine how soil microbes can thrive in some of the most P deficient soils on Earth. Assoc Prof Warren has a keen interest in analytical chemistry and metabolomics. This has led to him developing and refining many analytical methods, in particular isotope labelling and mass spectrometry. Assoc Prof Warren has published extensively and in the past five years has received more than $2.5M of research funding. His research lab is equipped with a host of state-of-the-art equipment that can tackle almost any question in the area of plant ecophysiology, plant-soil interactions and biogeochemistry. Current research interests include limitations of photosynthesis, uptake of organic N by plants, the responses of soil to drying and rewetting, and microbial P economics.

Assoc Prof Charles Warren is a researcher in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Assoc Prof Warren is also a member of Sydney Institute of Agriculture
For further information about Assoc Prof Charles Warren, refer to his Academic Profile Online