The Science team undertakes research in native plant biology, underpinning conservation and ecological restoration of Western Australia's unique biodiversity.

Recent highlights include:



Six summer scholarship students commence their 12-week research projects under the supervision of Kings Park Science scientists.


Nicole Bezemer submits her PhD on 'Sex on the rocks: genetic structure, pollen dispersal and mating patterns in Eucalyptus caesia'. This research is part of the broader genetic consequences of vertebrate pollination project.

PhD student Michael Just publishes a paper with Drs David Merritt, Shane Turner and colleagues in Australian Journal of Botany on the germination biology of the Albany pitcher plant, Cephalotus follicularis.

Drs Siegy Krauss, Janet Anthony and colleagues publish a paper showing that restored populations of Melaleuca acuminata are comparable to natural remnant populations for genetic diversity, mating system and reproductive output.


A new paper published in Plant Ecology on Eucalyptus caesia by Nicole Bezemer and colleagues finds no evidence for early inbreeding depression in planted seedlings.

Dr Matt Barrett co-authors a paper in Nature on the one thousand transcriptome project, which provides a new robust framework for examining the evolution of green plants.

Dr Wolfgang Lewandrowski and colleagues from Federation University, and University of Melbourne published a new paper in AoB Plants on the germination sensitivity of species to water stress in ecosystems with unpredictable rainfall.

New paper published in Molecular Ecology by PhD student Nicole Bezemer and colleagues finds divergent consequences for pollen dispersal and mating in different populations of Eucalyptus caesia.

Amber Bateman and Dr Miriam Munoz-Rojas attended and presented at the Soil Organic Matter 2019 Conference in Adelaide.


Bronwyn Ayre submits her PhD on 'The critical role of birds as pollinators of the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos manglesii'. This research is part of the broader genetic consequences of vertebrate pollination project.

Kings Park Science research was presented and symposiums were hosted at the Society for Ecological Restoration Conference in South Africa, and was attended by Drs Todd Erickson, Carole Elliott, Vanessa Brown, Alison Ritchie, Ebony Cowan, Bahram Mirfakhraei and Ben Miller.

Dr Carole Elliott attended the Mount Mulanje Cedar Restoration Project workshop in Malawi, led by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Global Trees Campaign, Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust and the Forestry Research Institute of Malawi.

New paper published in Restoration Ecology on the use of bio-priming seed with cyanobacteria for restoration, by Drs Miriam Munoz-Rojas, Todd Erickson and David Merritt and colleagues.

Dr Wolfgang Lewandrowski and colleagues from Federation University, and University of Melbourne published a paper on seed traits from dominant dryland plant species in south-western NSW in PLOS|ONE.


Dr Ben Miller co-authors results from a large international collaboration across Mediterranean climate regions reporting on a survey of researchers, NGO’s, industry, government and consulting experts seeking to identify research priorities across 10 research themes.

Ben Miller co-authors a framework for developing mine-site completion criteria in Western Australia.

New paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution by Russell Miller and colleagues reviews the mechanisms of fire seasonality effects on plant populations.

Dr Olga Kildisheva publishes a new paper that optimises physiological dormancy break in cold desert perennials to improve restoration outcomes.

Dr Todd Erickson ran the Pilbara Rehabilitation Form at the University of Western Australia, that was attended by people from Industry, Government, Academic & Private sectors.


David Merritt attends the International Society for Seed Science Seed Ecology VI conference in Regensburg, Germany to present on Kings Park Science’s seed enhancement research that is contributing to improved seed handling practices for restoration.

Dr Siegy Krauss attended the International Conference for Conservation Biology (ICCB), and presented on 'Measuring and managing genetic erosion in plant translocation: lessons from 20 years of recovering Grevillea scapigera'.

PhD student Nicole Bezemer publishes new research showing that conservation of old individual trees and small populations are integral to maintain species’ genetic diversity.


Siegy Krauss and colleagues publish an assessment of genetic diversity and mating system of Acacia cyclops in restoration and remnant populations.

PhD student Amber Bateman published a new paper showing that water availability drives the effectiveness of inorganic amendments to increase plant growth.

PhD student Bronwyn Ayre publishes new research showing that the bird-pollinated Anigosanthos manglesii has near-neighbour optimal outcrossing.

Drs Todd Erickson and David Merritt, as part of a team from University of Western Australia, co-authored a paper on how practitioner perceptions into the future design of mechanical direct seeders for native seeds needs to factored into restoration.

Bianca Berto (UWA) submitted her Honours thesis 'Seed enhancement technologies applied in combination improves germination and handling in two Australian natives grasses', supervised by Todd Erickson and Alison Ritchie. 

Emma Stock (Murdoch) submitted her MSc thesis 'Experimenting with modified extruded seed pellets for large scale mine rehabilitation', supervised by Rachel Standish, Todd Erickson, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas and Richard Bell.


Joshua Kestel (UWA) submitted his honours thesis 'Genetic consequences of bird pollination for the common catspaw (Anigozanthos humilis)', supervised by Dr Siegy Krauss and Dr Janet Anthony.

Drs Carole Elliott, Wolfgang Lewandrowski, Ben Miller, Matt Barrett and Shane Turner publish new research on the identification of germination opportunities for threatened plants species in episodic ecosystems.

Drs Emma Dalziell, Bryn Funnekotter, David Merritt and colleagues from Curtin University publish new research on the seed storage behaviour of Nymphaea species.

New paper published in Restoration Ecology by PhD student Vanessa Brown and colleagues addresses seed pelleting solutions for restoring natural plant communities.

New research on demographic, seed and microsite limitations to seedling recruitment in semi-arid mine site restoration published by Dr Lucy Commander and colleagues.


PhD student Amber Bateman published a new paper on the effects of inorganic soil amendments on seedling performance in post-mining arid zone rehabilitation.

Dr Peter Golos publishes research finding that mixing waste rock from mining can improve micro-site potential and seedling emergence from broadcast seeds in an arid environment.


Dr Ben Anderson publishes a new paper that identifies recent range expansion for spinifex in response to increasing aridification.

Dr Alison Ritchie publishes new research showing that wide outcrossing and pollination by nectar-feeding birds provides functional connectivity for new and old Banksia populations within a fragmented urban landscape.

PhD student Jessica Huss publishes a paper detailing the remarkable insulating capacity of Banksia seed pods and their role in protecting seeds against fire. This is the third and final paper of Jessica's thesis and forms part of a collaborative project between Dr David Merritt and Dr Ben Miller and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany.

PhD student Nicole Bezemer was awarded best student paper in 2018 by the Australian Journal of Botany for her sole-authored paper 'Wild seedlings of a tree endemic on granite outcrops show no evidence of inbreeding depression'.


Digging deeper into the formation of Australia Fairy Circles. Dr Stephan Getzin and colleagues, including Dr Todd Erickson and Dr Miriam Muñoz-Rojas from Kings Park Science, publish a new paper in Ecosphere providing new evidence on the cause of this unique, large-scale hexagonal pattern of Pilbara spinifex.

Bold Park burn deferred

The autumn Bold Park research burn has been deferred due to unsuitable weather conditions.

Lightscape setup disruptions

There will be works taking place throughout the Western Australian Botanic Garden from 18 May until 16 June 2023 due to Lightscape setup.

Fraser Circle closure trial

We would like your feedback on the closure of Fraser Circle (located off Fraser Avenue).

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City of Perth E-Scooter Trial Expands through Kings Park

Visitors will be able to hire and ride e-scooters within Kings Park as part of City of Perth’s E-scooter Share Scheme from Saturday 25 March 2023.

Support for Noongar Boodja continues

Fugro has generously renewed their partnership with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) to bring another three years of the very popular ‘Noongar Boodja’ education program to Kings Park.

Rare plants stolen from Kings Park

We're devastated to announce up to 900 of WA’s rarest orchids have been stolen from the Conservation Garden in Kings Park.

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