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Associate Professor Scott Johnson

Scott gained his PhD from the University of York in the UK and held several research positions before joining HIE in 2011. In 2017 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship which runs until 2021. He is currently the Research Coordinator for the Plants, Animals and Interactions Theme at HIE. 


Dr Casey Hall

Postdoctoral Researcher

Casey joined the team in September 2017 having worked previously at the University of Adelaide. She gained her PhD from Griffith University in 2016 and currently works on the project 'Time to prime: using silicon to activate grass resistance under higher CO2'


Dr Rebecca Vandegeer

Postdoctoral Researcher

Rebecca joined the team in September 2017 having obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2016. She currently works on the project 'Down to earth defence: unlocking soil-derived defences for plant protection' 

xime picBW.jpg

Ximena Cibils Stewart 

PhD Candidate

Xime started her PhD in 2018 having moved from the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) in Uruguay.  She gained her Masters from Kansas State University. Her PhD project is entitled 'Down to earth defence: How mutualistic fungi augment silicon-based defence against above- and belowground insect pests' 


Jamie Waterman

PhD Candidate

Jamie commenced his PhD project in 2018 having graduated from the University of Vermont. He has previously conducted research projects at Miami University. His PhD project is entitled 'Mechanistic role of silicon in plant defence against herbivory 


Rocky Putra

PhD Candidate

Rocky started at HIE in 2018 to begin his PhD project. He gained his Masters from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. Rocky's PhD project is entitled 'The functional role of silicon in legumes: from root nodulation to community-level responses' 


Tarikul Islam

PhD Candidate

Tarikul started his PhD at HIE in early 2019 having previously worked as Assistant Professor at the Bangladesh Agricultural University. His PhD project is entitled 'How does silicon in plants affect defence against insect pests? Effector interference to enemy recruitment' 


Rhiannon Rowe

Research Assistant

Rhiannon has just completed a Masters of Research at HIE and is currently working within the group in a technical capacity. Her MRes project was entitled 'Does silicon supplementation affect plant traits that impact the performance and feeding behaviour of cereal aphids?' 


Fikadu Biru

PhD Candidate

Fikadu has just completed his Masters at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and started his PhD at HIE in June 2019. His project is entitled 'Effects of CO2 on silicon uptake on Brachypodium distachyon and how this
affects leaf hair / trichome morphology and herbivore attack' 

Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr James Ryalls, Dr Andrew Gherlenda, Dr Ivan Hiltpold, Dr Carolyn Mitchell

PhD Students

Dr Adam Frew, Dr Kirk Barnett, Dr Sarah Facey, Dr James Ryalls, 

Dr Andrew Gherlenda, Dr Aidan Hall, Dr James Hourston, Dr Ruth Wade, 

Dr Will Hentley, Dr Scott McKenzie, Dr Lindsay McMenemy, Dr Katy Clark

Masters Students

Rhiannon Rowe, Jenni Kremer

Lab photographs

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