Welcome to Ian Wright’s research group website in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

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 quantifying tradeoffs between phosphorus allocation to different functions in leaves; biogeographic patterns in the Australian flora; global patterns in leaf anatomy; the genetic basis of shade tolerance/intolerance; and investigating the ecological effects of megapode birds on seedling establishment in cool temperate rainforests.

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