Welcome to Ian Wright’s research group. In 2021 Ian moved to the Hawkesbury Institute of Environment at Western Sydney University while also maintaining Honorary status and a small lab group at Macquarie University. He is also a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre for Plant Success in Nature & Agriculture.

In much of our work we investigate the functional ecology and ecological strategies of plants –  the “how and why” of differences among species in their structural, chemical and physiological traits – and the implications of this variation for larger-scale processes. For this we use a variety of approaches, ranging from fine-scale anatomical or physiological studies to global-scale analyses of trait variation, to developing and testing optimality-based theory for plant function. We run fieldwork in a variety of systems, from the wet tropics to temperate woodlands to the arid zone.

In current projects we also are investigating sapwood water storage in local woody species; tradeoffs between phosphorus allocation to different functions in leaves; biogeographic trait patterns in the Australian flora; global patterns in leaf anatomy; adaptations to heat and water stress in crop wild relatives; and the effects of island size and isolation on plant functional traits.

We like to use a variety of approaches to ask all sorts of interesting scientific questions!