Susanne von Caemmerer

Susanne von Caemmerer obtained her BA (Hons) in Pure Mathematics in 1976 (ANU) and her PhD in Plant Physiology in 1981 (ANU). She is now Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology at the Research School of Biology. She was elected to the Australian Academy of Science and Leopoldina (the German Academy of Science) in 2006. Her research focuses on photosynthesis and stomatal function, with an emphasis on the mathematical modeling of the carbon acquisition of plants, the biochemistry of carbon dioxide fixation and regulation of carbon dioxide diffusion in leaves. She is an Associate Editor for Plant Physiology and sits on the Editorial Board of Plant, Cell and Environment. She is also a member of the C4 Rice Consortium a group multidisciplinary scientist from around the world working together to discover genes that will supercharge photosynthesis in rice to boost food production in the developing world.

Research interests

CO2 fixation and water loss of leaves. We are investigating aspects of carbon acquisition by plants including the biochemistry of CO2 fixation and regulation of CO2 diffusion into and within leaves.

Current research topics include:

  • Studies on the biochemical regulation of C3 and C4 photosynthesis
  • Physiological and molecular regulation of stomatal movement.
  • CO2 diffusion inside leaves.

Recent grants

  • 2011-2013 ARC Discovery (DP110104269), S von Caemmerer, JR Evans M Barbour, Oxygen isotope discrimination during C4 photosynthesis ARC, ($330,000).
  • 2011-2013 ARC Discovery (DP110103836), S von Caemmerer, Using Arabidopsis mutants to discover the role of guard cell chloroplast in the stomatal response to light. ($330,000).
  • 2010-2012 ARC Superscience Fellowship (FS100100085) M Badger, C Goodnow, B Pogson, G Price, S von Caemmerer, Improving plant productivity and human health using next generation biotechnology approaches. ARC Super science Fellowships ($600,000).
  • 2008-2010 ARC Discovery Grant (DP0878395), Susanne von Caemmerer S and RT Furbank, The metabolic and enzymatic regulation of C4 photosynthesis and its impact on photosynthetic productivity. ($264,000).
  • 2007-2009 ARC Discovery Grant, JR Evans, von Caemmerer S, What limits CO2
  • 2008 Major equipment grant for purchase of tuneable diode laser (TDL) for the analysis of 13CO2.

Conference presentations

  • von Caemmerer (2010) C4 photosynthesis and CO2photosynthesis meeting, Shanghai, China
  • von Caemmerer (2010) CO2
  • von Caemmerer (2010) Carbon isotope discrimination, water use efficiency and CO2
  • von Caemmerer (2009) Gas exchange of leaves and climate change, insights from transgenic plants. Combio 2009, (December, Christchurch, New Zealand)
  • von Caemmerer (2008) The relationship between stomatal conductance and photosynthesis. Boden conference: Plant Energy and Water Productivity, Canberra September 2008.
  • von Caemmerer, S (2000) Biochemical models of photosynthesis. Techniques in Plant Sciences, No.2 CSIRO Publishing, Australia.


Much of our work is done in collaboration with other research groups at ANU, elsewhere in Australia and overseas. These include current links with:

Selected publications

  • von Caemmerer, S, Quick WP, Furbank RT (2012) The Development of C4 Rice: Current Progress and Future Challenges. Science 336, 1671-1672. Abstract | Reprint | Full text
  • Tazoe Y, von Caemmerer S, Estavillo GM, Evans JR (2011) Using tunable diode laser spectroscopy to measure carbon isotope discrimination and mesophyll conductance to CO2 diffusion dynamically at different CO2 concentrations. . Plant Cell & Environment (in press 1 Nov 2010).
  • Price GD, Badger MR, von Caemmerer S (2011) The prospect of using cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporters to improve leaf photosynthesis in C3 crop plants. (invited review) Plant Physiology (in press, Oct 2010).
  • von Caemmerer S, Evans JR, (2010) Enhancing C3 photosynthesis Plant Physiology 154, 589-592.
  • Weber A, von Caemmerer S (2010) Plastid transport and metabolism of C3 and C4 plants - comparative analysis and possible biotechnological exploitation, Current Opinion in Plant Biology.13: 1-9
  • Pengelly JJL, Sirault XRR, TazoeY, Evans JR, Furbank RT, von Caemmerer, S (2010) Growth of the C4 dicot Flaveria bidentis: photosynthetic acclimation to low light through shifts in leaf anatomy and biochemistry. . J. exp Bot. 61, 4109-4122
  • Cousins, AB, Ghannoum, O, von Caemmerer, S, Badger, MR (2010) Simultaneous determination of Rubisco carboxylase and oxygenase kinetic parameters in Triticum aestivum and Zea mays using membrane inlet mass spectrometry. Plant Cell & Environment 33,444-452
  • Furbank RT, von Caemmerer S, Sheehy, J, Edwards, G (2009) C4 rice: a challenge for plant phenomics. Functional Plant Biology 36, 845-856
  • Yamori W, von Caemmerer S (2009) Effect of Rubisco activase deficiency on the temperature response of CO2 assimilation rate and Rubisco activation state: Insights from transgenic tobacco with reduced amounts of Rubisco activase. Plant Physiol.151, 2073-2082
  • Baroli, I, Price, DG, Badger, MR, von Caemmerer, S (2007) The contribution of photosynthesis to the red light response of stomatal conductance. Plant Physiol. 146, 737-743
  • Furumoto, T, Izui K, Quinn, V, Furbank, RT, von Caemmerer, S (2007) Phosphorylation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase is not essential for high photosynthetic rates in the C4 species Flaveria bidentis Plant Physiol. 141, 1936-1945.

All publications