My background is in geology and plant sciences, having studied these subjects during a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at Monash University, in Australia. Since then, I have had a passion for areas where botany and geology combine. I have worked with plant fossils and amber research at Monash University, with a focus on discovery and imaging of fossils.
In late 2022, I completed a PhD looking into Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulator plants at the University of Queensland. These plants are able to uptake and store Se to extraordinary concentrations, usually from (naturally) Se enriched soils. The project focussed on two key Australian Se hyperaccumulators, Neptunia amplexicaulis and Coelospermum decipiens, aiming to (re)examine the ecological and biochemical apects of these plants that had been looked at in historical research, as well as use dosing trials and X-ray mapping to develop new understandings into their anatomy and Se-hyperaccumulation capacity.
I am now continuing and expanding this research in a postdoctoral position at WUR, through the project “Living on the edge: unravelling the secrets of selenium hyperaccumulator plants". This project aims to use Se-hyperaccumulators, particularly Neptunia, to expand our understanding of plant adaptations to extreme environments, using a highly multidisciplinary approach.