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Professor Ian Wright, lab leader, is interested in plant functional ecology, at local, regional and global scales. Ian’s research focuses on understanding plant ecological strategies via functional traits. [staff profile]
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Dr Rachael Gallagher holds a DECRA Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (2017-2020). Rachael is working towards building a new understanding of the Australian flora by bringing together digitised herbarium data with functional traits [Rachael’s website]
Emma Gray is a PhD student broadly interested in global scale vegetation patterns, and the mechanisms which drive these. Her PhD research is focused on understanding what drives growth rates in different vegetation types, particularly tropical savannas and rainforests.
René Heim is a PhD candidate jointly enrolled at Macquarie University and U. Hamburg. His research combines spectral vegetation sensing, phytopathology and plant functional ecology. René’s PhD concerns the invasive rust Puccinia psidii (Myrtle Rust), a threat to the native plant family Myrtaceae. Visit his homepage.
Dr Martyna Kotowska holds a German Research Foundation (DFG) fellowship (2017-2018) and is working with Mark Westoby and Ian Wright on how soil P affects wood anatomy and nutrient translocation. We aim to identify the costs of different adaptive strategies to economize nutrient demand on a whole-plant basis.
Osazee Oyanoghafo is a Masters (Research) student broadly interested in plant functional traits and urban ecology. He is researching the flammability of horticultural plants commonly used in the Sydney region.



  • Peng-Cheng He is a Visiting Scholar (PhD student) from the South China Botanical Garden (Guangzhou) and Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focus is plant functional traits, especially hydraulics, at local, regional and global scales.
  • A/Prof. Yusuke Onoda is a Visiting Scholar from Kyoto University, with interests in plant physiological ecology, especially of leaves.


  • Tim Maher, Masters of Research 2015-16 (ecological proteomics). Now a research assistant with Dr Rachael Gallagher (Macquarie U.).
  • Saskia Grootemaat, PhD 2012-2016. Now a research scientist at the NSW Rural Fire Service.
  • Dong Ning, PhD 2012-2016 (co-supervised with Colin Prentice). Now a post-doc at U. Reading.
  • Melanie Zeppel. Research Fellow, 2015.
  • Raquel Miatto, visiting PhD student from Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil (2014-15).
  • Yan-Shih Lin. Post-doc 2015. Now a post-doc at Forest Ecology and Ecophysiology group, INRA-Nancy (France).
  • Marina Scalon, PhD 2010-15. Now a post-doc in Augusto Franco’s lab at U. Brasília.
  • Wang Han Postdoc 2014-15, PhD 2013 (co-supervised with Colin Prentice). Now a postdoc at Northwest A&F University (Yangling, China).
  • Julia Cooke. Post-doc 2011-12, and 2014-5. Now a Lecturer at The Open University, UK.
  • Allyson Eller. Post-doc 2012-14.
  • Vincent Maire. Post-doc 2012-14. Now an Associate Professor at U. Quebec Trois-Rivières.
  • Wuu Kuang Soh, Visiting Scholar from University College Dublin (March-June 2014).
  • Kasia Zieminska PhD 2010-2014, co-supervised with Mark Westoby. Now a Postdoctoral Putnam Fellow at the Arnold Arboretum (Harvard University).
  • Yusuke Onoda, Visiting Scholar from Kyoto University (Sept-Dec 2013). (and postdoc 2007-10).
  • Tiina Tosens PhD 2009-2012, co-supervised with Mark Westoby (Comparative Ecology group) and Ulo Niinemets (Estonian University of Life Sciences).
  • Tanja Lenz Research associate 2006-11.
  • Anna Richards Postdoc 2007-8 (now at CSIRO Darwin).
  • Elizabeth Law Research assistant 2007, 2009 (now a post-doc at U. Queensland).
  • Alejandro Ordonez Visiting PhD student 2006-7 (PhD 2011 from U. Groningen; now a postdoc at Aarhus U., Denmark).
  • Jenny Ordonez Visiting PhD student 2006 (PhD from Vrije U. 2010; now a scientist at World Agroforestry Centre, Costa Rica).