Advancing crop growth simulation capabilities for optimising crop grain yield

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Dr Alex Wuc.wu1@uq.edu.au

The project aims to advance a leading plant/crop growth simulation model to allow testing and redesigning of key plant physiological traits for crop resources capture and growth, and their dynamics throughout the crop life cycle with environmental interactions. Initial focus will be on traits such as leaf photosynthesis and stomatal conductance, which affect crop water use; leaf development, area expansion, and leaf angle, which affect within-canopy light distribution and photosynthetic processes. The project will deepen physiological understanding on how cereal crop species have adapted to different environments by studying crop species and genetically modified materials, develop algorithms to capture the new knowledge in the simulation model, and exercise the model to explore untapped adaptation avenues for higher yields in water limited environments.

The candidate will work closely with the chief investigator and a team of leading crop physiologists, modellers, and plant biotechnologists on conducting glasshouse experiments, developing new tools to generate genetically modified materials for analysis, and advancing the plant/crop growth simulation model. This experiment-modelling strategy will establish a new method for optimising crop designs, which will serve to guide plant breeding and bioengineering strategies.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of plant physiological analysis would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of plant physiology, crop modelling and plant biotechnology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of photosynthesis, crop physiology, mathematical modelling, and/or plant gene manipulation experience is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now