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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]


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.
Dong Ning
Dr Dong Ning will be joining the group as a postdoc from mid-2018. Her work focuses on understanding plant function using first-principles theory twinned with analysis of regional-global trait datasets.
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.



  • [none currently…]


  • Rachael Gallagher, now holds an ARC DECRA fellowship (2017-2020) at Macquarie University, after which she’ll take up a position as Lecturer.
  • Emma Gray, PhD 2013-2017.
  • Yusuke Onoda, Visiting Scholar from Kyoto University (Oct-Nov 2017; Sept-Dec 2013). (and postdoc 2007-10).
  • Peng-Cheng He , Visiting Scholar (PhD student) from the South China Botanical Garden (Guangzhou) and Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sept – Dec 2017.
  • 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).
  • 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).