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...

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...

Rob Sharwood

Research background I completed my BSc (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry) at ANU and from this degree I was particularly interested in plant...


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...
Tom Wydrzynski was born in St Louis, Missouri, USA and graduated in 1969 with biology and chemistry from the University of Missouri, St Louis. He then studied plant physiology at...
ANU congratulates distinguished scientist and ANU Professor Graham Farquhar AO for being named the 2018 Senior Australian of the Year. Professor Farquhar represented the ACT for...
Every time you breathe you are producing carbon dioxide and taking up oxygen from the atmosphere. However, plants are able to do the contrary; using sunlight they produce oxygen...
A new study involving The Australian National University (ANU) and international collaborators has found plants release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through respiration...
Distinguished scientist and ANU Professor Graham Farquhar AO has won the ACT Senior Australian of the Year award for 2018. Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC congratulated...
Dr Kai Xun Chan has been honoured for his contributions to science in the ACT Tall Poppy Awards for 2017. Kai Chan, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology at...
A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found that plants are able to forget stressful weather events to rapidly recover. The study confirms the research...

Updated:  18 January 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB