Graham Farquhar



Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar AO, FAA, FRS, NAS has undertaken and led research across a broad range of fields and scales, from integration of photosynthesis with nitrogen and water use of plants, stomatal physiology, isotopic composition of plants and global change. He is a fellow of The Australian Academy of Science and of the Royal Society and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences. He has over 300 research publications and is a leading Australian Citation Laureate. Graham was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2015.


Research interests

  • Integration of photosynthesis and growth with nitrogen and water use of plants
  • Stomatal physiology
  • Isotopic composition of plants
  • Global change science

Recent grants

  • Co-leader Program 4 ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis.
    • Modelling and measurement of the scaling of photosynthesis from leaf to crop
  • Science & Industry Endowment Fund
    •  Forests for the future: making the most of high CO2
  • 2016 Major Equipment Committee Award
    • ANU Water Isotope Capabilities for Climate, Environment & Biological Research
  • 2015 ARC Discovery Project externally led JCU
    • Unsaturation of vapour pressure inside leaves: fundamental, but unknown

Membership of Learned Societies

  • Australian Society of Plant Scientists
  • Australian Academy of Science
  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • Royal Society of London
  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union
  • U.S National Academy of Sciences

Academic awards and distinctions

  • 1968 Biophysics Scholarship
  • 1970 73 Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 1980 P.L. Goldacre Award from the Australian Society of Plant Physiologists
  • 1981 Senior Scientist Award under the Japan/Australia Science and Technology Agreement
  • for collaborative research at RIKEN
  • 1982 Australian American Educational Foundation (FULBRIGHT) Senior Scientist Fellowship for research at Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford
  • 1983 Gottschalk Medal from the Australian Academy of Science
  • 1984 British Council Academic Links and Interchange Scheme Award
  • 1986 Australia Royal Society Exchange Award
  • 1987 Bourse de haut niveau du Ministère de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Superieur de France
  • 1988 Elected to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science
  • 1991 Elected to Corresponding Membership of the American Society of Plant Physiologists
  • 1991 CSIRO Medal for research achievement
  • 1995 Elected to Fellowship of Royal Society (of London)
  • 2001 Leading Australian Citation Laureate
  • 2001 CSIRO Medal for team research
  • 2005 JG Wood Lecturer (Australian Society of Plant Scientists)
  • 2006 Honorary Doctorate, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • 2009 Land & Water Senior Research Fellowship
  • 2011 Alexander von Humboldt Research Award
  • 2013 Einstein Professor of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2013 Honorary Doctorate, University of Wageningen
  • 2013 Elected Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • 2013 Honorary Professorship, Centre for Agricultural Resources Research
        Shijiazhuang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 2015 Carnegie Centenary Professorship
  • 2015 Elected to Life Membership of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists
  • 2016 Macfarlane Burnet Medal, Australian Academy of Science
    Other awards and distictions
  • 2003 Centenary Medal: Citation ‘For service to Australian society and science in plant physiology’.
  • 2006 Royal Society of Tasmania R.M. Johnston Memorial Medal. Awarded to “a scholar of great distinction in any field within the Society’s purview.”
  • 2007 Shared Nobel Prize: Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change
  • 2011 Peter Baume Award: The Australian National University’s highest award
  • 2013 Order of Australia Officer (AO) in the General Division
  • 2014 Rank Prize (U.K.) (Nutrition, animal & crop husbandry - shared with RA Richards)
  • 2015 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science


Selected publications

  • Donohue RJ, Roderick ML, McVicar TR, Farquhar GD (2013) Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments.       (2013GL056017R) Geophysical Research Letters 40, 3031-3035.
  • Farquhar GD, Cernusak LA (2012) Ternary effects on the gas exchange of isotopologues of carbon dioxide. Plant Cell and Environment 35, 1221-31 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02484.x
  • Roderick ML, Rotstayn LD, Farquhar GD and Hobbins MT. (2007)  On the attribution of changing pan evaporation.  Geophysical Research Letters VOL. 34, L17403, doi:10.1029/2007GL031166
  • Farquhar GD, Cernusak LA, Barnes B (2007) Heavy water fractionation during transpiration. Plant Physiology 143, 11–18.
  • Tcherkez G, Farquhar GD and Andrews TJ (2006).  Despite slow catalysis and confused substrate specificity, all ribulose bisphosphate carboxylases may be nearly perfectly optimized. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (19) 7246-7251
    • see also Commentaries in PNAS and Nature:
    • Gutteridge S and Pierce J (2006)  A unified theory for the basis of the limitations of the primary reaction of photosynthetic CO2 fixation:  Was Dr. Pangloss right? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA  103 (19) 7203-7204 Griffiths, H (2006) Designs on Rubisco.  Nature 441 940-941
  • Masle J, Gilmore S R and Farquhar GD (2005) The ERECTA gene regulates plant transpiration efficiency in ArabidopsisNature 436, 866-870 doi: 10.1038/nature03835
  • Farquhar GD and Cernusak LA (2005)  On the isotopic composition of leaf water in the non-steady state.  Functional Plant Biology 32 (4) 293-303
  • June T, Evans JR and Farquhar GD (2004) A simple new equation for the reversible temperature dependence of photosynthetic electron transport: a study on soybean leaf. Functional Plant Biology 31 (3), 275-83.
  • Farquhar GD and Gan KS (2003) On the progressive enrichment of the oxygen isotopic composition of water along a leaf. Plant, Cell & Environment 26 (9): 1579-1597.
  • Roderick ML and Farquhar GD (2002) The cause of decreased pan evaporation over the last 50 years. Science  298: 1410-1411.
  • Rebetzke GJ, Condon AG, Richards RA and. Farquhar, GD (2002) Selection for reduced carbon isotope discrimination increases aerial biomass and grain yield of rainfed bread wheat. Crop Science 42:739-745.
  • Barbour, MM, Fischer, RA, Sayre, KD and Farquhar, GD. (2000) Oxygen isotope ratio of leaf and grain material correlates with stomatal conductance and grain yield in irrigated wheat. Aust. J. Plant Physiol 27: 625-637
  • Barbour, MM and Farquhar, GD. (2000) Relative humidity- and ABA-induced variation in carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of cotton leaves. Plant, Cell & Environment 23: 473-485.
  • Farquhar, GD, Henry, BK and Styles, JM (1997) A rapid on-line technique for determination of oxygen isotope composition of nitrogen-containing organic matter and water.  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 11(14): 1554-1560.
  • de Pury, DGG and Farquhar, GD  (1997)  Simple scaling of photosynthesis from leaves to canopies without the errors of big-leaf models.  Plant, Cell & Env. 20(5): 537-557.
  • Farquhar, GD, Lloyd, J, Taylor, JA, Flanagan, LB, Syvertsen, JP, Hubick, KT, Wong, SC and Ehleringer, JR (1993)  Vegetation effects on the isotopic composition of oxygen in atmospheric CO2Nature 363: 439-443.
  • Farquhar, GD, Ehleringer, JR and Hubick, KT (1989)  Carbon isotope discrimination and photosynthesis.  Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. Mol. Biol. 40: 503-537
  • Evans, JR,  Sharkey, TD, Berry, JA and Farquhar, GD (1986)  Carbon isotope discrimination measured concurrently with gas exchange to investigate CO2 diffusion in leaves of higher plants.  Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 13: 281-292.
  • Farquhar, GD and Richards, RA (1984)  Isotopic composition of plant carbon correlates with water-use efficiency of wheat genotypes.  Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 11: 539-552
  • Farquhar, GD and Sharkey, TD (1982)  Stomatal conductance and photosynthesis.  Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. 33: 317- 345.
  • Farquhar, GD, O'Leary, MH and Berry, JA (1982)  On the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination and the intercellular carbon dioxide concentration in leaves.  Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 9: 121-137.
  • von Caemmerer, S and Farquhar, GD (1981)  Some relationships between the biochemistry of photosynthesis and the gas exchange of leaves.  Planta 153: 376-387.
  • Farquhar, GD, von Caemmerer, S and Berry, JA (1980)  A biochemical model of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in leaves of C3 species. Planta 149: 78-90.
  • Wong, SC, Cowan, IR and Farquhar, GD (1979)  Stomatal conductance correlates with photosynthetic capacity.  Nature 282: 424-426.
  • Cowan IR and Farquhar GD (1977)  Stomatal function in relation to leaf metabolism and environment.  DH Jennings (ed). Soc. Exp. Biol. Symp. 31: 471-505.

All publications

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