Photosynthesis and plant energy biology


The capture of CO2 by photosynthesis using sunlight is fundamental to the maintenance of life on earth. At the Research School of Biology, we study the energy metabolism of plants, algae and cyanobacteria, including the functioning of light capture, CO2 fixation and the interactions with respiration processes and how these determine growth and productivity of agricultural and natural ecosystems.


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A university degree that helps put food on the table

Laura Wey has used her undergraduate research experience at ANU to help grow a better future for us all.
Laura, originally from Sydney, is in her honours year of the Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB) conducting research that could determine the future of the...

Australia and the ‘genomics revolution’

From little things, big things could grow
We have heard about the government’s ‘Ideas Boom’. How about making ideas ‘bloom’? With the right policies, Australia could reap the rewards of an...

Caitlin Byrt

To create a future you can look forward to we need to upgrade our crop plant resources. Upgrading crops to improve productivity and adapt to...

Farmer wants a future: meet an ANU student who wants to grow enough food for the world

Genetic modification can be a prickly subject to raise at the dinner table, but not if you are Hannah Osborn. Hannah is an ANU PhD student with a...

Fred Chow - finding hope in photosynthesis

From an early age, Professor Fred Chow wondered how plant science could be used to solve famine, learning from the horror that affected his country...

Graham Farquhar

Group research focus Mainly interested in photosynthesis and water use, and how Nature has organised them at different scales from the chloroplast to...

Guillaume Tcherkez

Group research focus Our research is focused on understanding plant metabolism, mostly using stable isotopes (13C, 15N, 33S) and metabolomics. We use...

How rice loves sunrise and sunset

PhD candidate Zara Rashid from the RSB Atkin lab and the ARC Centre for Plant Enery Biology discusses her research into the photosynthesis and...

Murray Badger

Lab research My lab is focussed on understanding the ways different photosynthetic organisms have adapted their photosynthetic biochemistry and...

Owen Atkin

Group research focus The major foci of my group's research are understanding : (1) the role of genotype and environment in controlling variations in...


Australian research could help breeders develop more drought-resilient crops that can produce more food and more profit with less water.  Drought tolerance is critically important...
The Australian National University (ANU) has been awarded two Australian Laureate Fellowships from the Australian Research Council (ARC), including a project using synthetic...
Distinguished Professor Graham Farquhar has been honoured with a tapestry representing his life's work, including his Kyoto Prize, unveiled at University House. Professor Farquhar...
Professor Owen Atkin and Professor Robert Furbank from RSB analyse the ongoing issues around food security and the policy direction needed to ensure Australia's ongoing prosperity...
Plant biologist and Head of the Plant Sciences Division at the ANU Research School of Biology, Professor Owen Atkin, has been named the 2019 Vice-Chancellor's...
An international study has found a drought alarm system that first appeared in freshwater algae may have enabled plants to move from water to land more than 450 million years ago...
A scientific breakthrough intended to help boost the yields of food crops – such as wheat, cowpeas and cassava – has solved a long-standing question of how cyanobacteria, known...
An international research team has found they can increase corn productivity by targeting the enzyme in charge of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere. Maize, or corn, is a staple...
Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have engineered tiny carbon-capturing engines from blue-green algae into plants, in a breakthrough that promises to help...
A passion for the business side of science has helped John Rivers land his dream job, just weeks after finishing his PhD. John, who has been studying at the ANU Research School of...

Updated:  19 November 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB