Assoc Prof Brett Ferguson
The University of Queensland
AI Ferguson’s research focuses on the discovery of signalling interactions in plant development, with an emphasis on the legume-rhizobia symbiosis that is vital to agricultural sustainability and food security. His work contributed to identification of a family of glycopeptide hormones in legumes that have critical roles in controlling plant development, often by regulating the stem cell population of meristems. Shoot and root architecture, vascular formation, fruit size, and legume nodulation, are all regulated by different glycopeptide members. This presents an exciting opportunity to develop new factors that benefit plant science and agriculture, in addition to establishing new genetic targets for selecting or genetically editing superior crop varieties. His role within the Centre will involve aspects of molecular genetics, genomics, plant physiology and bioinformatics to identify and functionally characterise new glycopeptides in controlling plant development.