Borevitz Group - Plant genomics for climate adaption

Borevitz group 2023

We study the population genetics process of adaptation in natural plant populations, using state of the art techniques in a handful of model organisms. We ask questions such as, how are populations shaped by their local environment? What traits are under selection? What are the genetic loci underlying these traits? Are alleles at these loci filtered by environmental gradients on the landscape over and above background genomic differentiation? Ultimately alleles at adaptive loci in foundation species may have an extended phenotype and determine ecosystem properties and services?

High throughput genome sequencing allows us to use Genome Wide Association Studies to determine the causative alleles and fine patterns population structure associated with adaptive trait variation. It also allows Landscape Genomic studies to determine the spatial and temporal variation of alleles at adaptive and neutral loci across environmental gradients.

Another critical tool is high resolution phenotyping by insitu imaging. These Phenomic studies are being performed on mapping populations in climate chambers to quantify growth (photosynthesis), development (photomorphogenesis), and reproduction (fitness) in real time throughout the growing season. 

The Borevitz lab studies the genetic basis of adaptation in natural plant populations, spanning model organisms, foundation species and emerging crops. We develop and use Genomic and Phenomic tools for association studies in controlled climate chambers and on the landscape. Population genomics is used to map adaptive alleles and genetic structure. Phenomics is used to capture growth, development, and yield traits throughout the growing season. These studies connect genotype to phenotype and environment with the aim to better manage lands and regenerate life supporting services. Live and work in Canberra!

The Borevitz lab plays a key role in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB), a cutting edge research centre focused on better understanding the way in which plants interconvert forms of chemical energy in response to environmental change. PEB’s vision is to enhance plant energy efficiency by simultaneously optimising energy capture, conversion and use in changing environments to improve the sustainable productivity of plants.

Technologies Specialist

Group Leader

Postdoctoral Fellows

Research Assistant

Honorary Associate Professor

Divisional Visitor

Honours Student

Masters Students

PhD Students

Research Officer

Special Project Student

Technical Assistants

Filter by keyword

Selected publications

All publications


United Nations urged to ensure open plant genomes

Story | Monday 27 April 2015
Norman Wathmann has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production.

Academic promotions: Level E Professor

Story | Monday 2 February 2015
Congratulations to the six RSB members who have been promoted to Level E Professor as of 1 January 2015.

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 17 November 2014

Three new ARC Centres of Excellence

Story | Thursday 19 December 2013

ARC Linkage grant success

Story | Friday 28 June 2013
Two ARC Linkage grants have been awarded to staff of the Research School of Biology.

PS PhD Exit Seminar: Plant genome evolution in the genus Eucalyptus driven by structural rearrangements that promote sequence divergence

Event | Fri 3 November 2023
Genomes have a highly organised architecture (non-random organisation of functional and non-functional genetic elements within chromosomes) that is essential for many biological functions, particularly, gene expression and reproduction.

RSB Director's Seminar: Genes, Trees & Forests: new paradigms for 21st century biology

Event | Mon 16 October 2023
Biodiversity rests on a foundation of adaptive and neutral variation within populations and species, that interact in communities or coexist in assemblages, to define ecosystems that provide habitat and life support services including a stable climate. New technologies span this biodiversity pyramid and allow rapid and

PS Seminar Series: Carbon sequestration with benefits to soil and plants

Event | Wed 13 September 2023
One of society’s greatest challenges is sequestering vast amounts of carbon to avoid dangerous climate change without driving competition for land and resources.

PS Seminar Series- Advances in plant and microbial science: approaches to address global food and climate security

Event | Mon 24 July 2023
Talk followed by panel discussion about future directions in Plant Science.

PS Webinar Series: Peptides take center-stage: Regulation of Nitrogen Acquisition by peptide hormones

Event | Wed 28 April 2021
The root system of a plant performs vital functions including resource uptake when nutrient availability in soil is non-homogenous; while also providing a surface for interactions with beneficial microbes.