- PhD Candidate
- (+61 8) 9863 1044
- Plant phenology and ecology
- Germination biology
- Seed anatomy
- Seed dormancy
- Mine site restoration
1989-1992 Bachelor of Science (BSc.) Botany and Zoology, University of Western Australia.
1994-1995 Bachelor of Science Honours (First Class), Curtin University of Technology. Title of Project - 'Ecology of Ptilotus species in the Upper Fortescue Valley, Pilbara, WA' Supervisor: Prof. John Fox.
Title: Ecology, seed dormancy and germination biology of Persoonia longifolia for use in land restoration and horticulture.
University: School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia
Supervisors: Prof Kingsley Dixon, Dr Shane Turner, and Dr John Koch (Alcoa)
Industry sponsors: Alcoa of Australia; BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd
Description: Research into the mechanisms driving dormancy loss and germination in Persoonia longifolia seeds has been conducted by Kings Park, Alcoa and Worsley for many years. Results from these studies have shown that limited germination can be achieved but not to the levels required for restoration and rehabilitation. This Project aims to expand on the existing knowledge base within Alcoa, Kings Park and Worsley and continue the research into the biology of this iconic species. It is envisaged that this will enable reintroduction of this species into rehabilitated mine areas and other degraded environments such as farmland where P. longifolia was previously found.
In addition, it will enable plants to be propagated for the cut flower trade which currently sources P. longifolia stems from native bush and, for introduction into the blossoming native horticultural industry as a feature tree. Early indications are that seeds require a substantial burial period (>18 months) to alleviate dormancy, though the mechanisms behind this process are poorly understood. The project will therefore be undertaken on a part-time basis over a period of six years enabling detailed long-term studies to be carried out.
This Project aims to:
- Investigate the key mechanisms driving dormancy break and germination of P. longifolia under natural (in situ) conditions and replicate this under laboratory/nursery conditions to facilitate the development of reliable propagation approaches;
- Investigate the phenology of P. longifolia over several seasons and document the impact of fire on this species in terms of regeneration, flowering, fruiting, and recruitment;
- Determine the key factors influencing seedling establishment on rehabilitated mining areas;
- Evaluate the applicability of alternative propagation techniques such as stem and root cuttings for the production of large number of plants.