+61 2 4221 5753
My group is investigating how plants respond to Climate Change induced environmental stress in Antarctica (see Cool Plants below) and Australia (Plant Stress Ecophysiology). We are also interested in the mechanisms that allow thermoregulatory plants to maintain their flowers at temperatures well above ambient air temperatures (Hot Plants). Plant responses can be monitored at a range of levels from the molecular to the ecological and my research employs a systems biology approach to answer these questions.
For potential research topics and information, see following pages:
How are Antarctic plant communities affected by climate change?
YouTube - The Science of Cool
How do plants keep floral ovens hot?
YouTube - In the Heat of the Night
|Plant Stress Ecophysiology|
Using chlorophyll flourescence to investigate plant stress
Plants and extreme events
Early detection of Phylloxera infestation in vines
Matsubara, S., Förster, B.,*Waterman, M., Robinson, SA., Pogson, B., Gunning, B. & Osmond, CB. (2012) From ecophysiology to phenomics: some implications of photoprotection and shade-sun acclimation in situ for dynamics of thylakoids in vitro. (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367 3381-3383.
Clarke, L.J., Robinson, S.A., Hua, Q., Ayre D.J. & Fink, D. (2012) Radiocarbon bomb spike reveals biological effects of Antarctic climate change. Global Change Biology, 18 301-310.
Nichol, CJ., Pieruschka, P., Takayama, K. Förster, B., Kolber, Z., Rascher, U., Grace, J., Robinson, SA., Pogson, B., & Osmond, CB (2012). Canopy conundrums: exploring the envelope of reversible down-regulation of photosynthesis in the outer and inner canopy to scale observations from the leaf to the landscape. Functional Plant Biology 39 1–24.
Miller RE, Grant NM, Watling JR, Giles L, Ribas-Carbo M, Berry J & Robinson SA (2011) In the heat of the night – alternative pathway respiration drives thermogenesis in Philodendron bipinnatifidum. New Phytologist 189 1013–1026.
Ballaré, CL, Caldwell, MM, Flint, SD, Robinson, SA & Bornman, JF (2011) Effects of solar UV radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns, mechanisms, and interactions with climate change. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences 10 226-241.
Newsham, KK & Robinson, SA (2009) Responses of plants in polar regions to UV-B radiation: a meta-analysis. Global Change Biology 15 2574-2589.
Grant, N., Onda, Y., Watling, J., Ito, K., Robinson, S.A. (2009)Two Cys or not two Cys, that is the question? Alternative oxidase regulation in the sacred lotus. Plant Physiology 150 987-995.
Turnbull, J.D., Robinson, S.A. (2009) Accumulation of DNA damage in Antarctic mosses: correlations with ultraviolet-B radiation, temperature and turf water content vary among species. Global Change Biology 15 319-329.
Clarke, L.J., Robinson, S.A. (2008) Cell wall-bound UV-screening pigments explain the high ultraviolet tolerance of the Antarctic moss, Ceratodon purpureus. New Phytologist 179 776-783.
Grant NM, Miller RE, Watling JR, Robinson SA (2008) Synchronicity of thermogenic activity, alternative pathway respiratory flux, AOX protein content and carbohydrates in receptacle tissues of sacred lotus during floral development. Journal of Experimental Botany 59 705-714.
Clarke, L.J., Robinson, S.A., Ayre, D.J. (2008) Somatic mutation and the Antarctic ozone hole Journal of Ecology 96 378-385. Editor’s choice article for March 2008.
Dunn, J.L. Robinson, S.A. (2006) UV-B screening potential is higher in two cosmopolitan moss species than in a co-occurring Antarctic endemic moss – implications of continuing ozone depletion. Global Change Biology 12 2282-2296.
Watling, J.R., Robinson, S.A. Seymour, R.S (2006) Contribution of the alternative pathway to respiration during thermogenesis in flowers of the sacred lotus. Plant Physiology 140, 1367-1373
Wasley, J., Robinson, S.A., Popp, M., Lovelock, C.E. (2006) Climate change manipulations show Antarctic flora is more strongly affected by elevated nutrients than water. Global Change Biology 12 1800-1812.
Robinson, S.A., Turnbull, J.D. Lovelock, C.E. (2005) Impact of changes in natural UV radiation on pigment composition, surface reflectance and photosynthetic function of the Antarctic moss, Grimmia antarctici. Global Change Biology 11, 476–489.
Melinda Waterman - UV screens in Antarctic mosses
Diana King - Climate Change impacts on Antarctic Terrestrial Communities
Jessica Bramley-Alves - Climate Change impacts on Antarctic Plants
Anna Nydahl BCons Biol Adv
Taylor Benny BEnvSci Adv
Gabriella Macoustra BSc Hons (with Dr Di Jolley)
Rhys Wyber BMedBiot Adv (with Prof Mark Dowton)
Johanna Turnbull MR
Recent thesis completions
Dr Nicole Grant (PhD, 2010) - Thermogenesis in plants: the mode of heating and regulation in hot flowers. Link to (http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3111/)
Dr Laurence Clarke (PhD, 2008) Resilience of the Antarctic moss Ceratodon purpureus to the effects of elevated UV-B radiation and climate change. Link to (http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/1919/)
Dr Sue Fyfe (PhD, 2004) Hyperspectral studies of New South Wales seagrasses with particular emphasis on the detection of light stress in Eelgrass Zostera capricorni. Link to (http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/472/)
Dr Jane Wasley (PhD, 2004) The effect of climate change on Antarctic terrestrial flora. Link to (http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/275/)
Suggested Topics for Future Students
Antarctic plants and global change
1. How is climate change influencing vegetation dynamics in Antarctica?
2. How does UV-B effect Antarctic mosses? What UV screening compounds do they produce?
3. Using unmanned aerial vehicles and hyperspectral measurements to map and monitor vegetation health and change in Antarctica (with University of Tasmania)
4. How sensitive are plants to contamination in Antarctica? Can they be used in phytoremediation?
What controls flower heating in thermoregulating plants?
Plant Stress Ecophysiology
Developing novel instruments for measurement canopy photosynthesis (LIFT chlorophyll fluorescence)
United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel Member 2010 -
Editor Global Change Biology 2005 –
Antarctic Science Advisory Committee Member 2009 -
Antarctic Science Stream Leader - Terrestrial and Nearshore Ecosystems: Environmental Change and Conservation. 2.1 Trends and sensitivity to change. 2011-
Professor, The University of Wollongong 2010
Director, Institute for Conservation Biology 2005 - 2008
Associate Professor, The University of Wollongong 2004 - 2010
Senior Lecturer, The University of Wollongong 2000 - 2004
Lecturer, The University of Wollongong 1996 - 1999
PhD, University College London, 1990
Graduate Certificate in Science Education, Kings College London 1986
B.Sc. First Class Honours, University College London 1983