RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Our research looks to identify novel approaches for managing pest species and preserving ecosystem services, based on a better understanding of how organisms within ecosystems interact. This includes exploiting plant defences such as silicon, chemical signals used by insects to locate resources, enhancing biological control and using plant-microbes to help plants resist herbivore attack.

 

We principally work on root-feeding and sap-sucking (e.g. aphid) herbivores, but within a community level context.

A major theme of this research involves understanding how atmospheric and climate change affects insect herbivores, especially in terms of ecosystem resilience, resistance breakdown in crops and disruption of behavioural interactions (e.g. predator-prey interactions, insect mutualisms).

 ‘By characterising multi-trophic interactions, particularly in response to global change, we identify vulnerabilities in ecosystems, but more crucially where resilience and the opportunities for adaptation lie’ 

CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH

We're investigating how changes in our atmosphere and climate will affect invertebrates 

CURRENT and RECENT GRANTS

Are we really heading for ‘insectageddon’? Characterising changes in Eucalypt invertebrate communities under rising CO2

Chief Investigator: Scott N. Johnson

Funding Agency: The Hermon Slade Foundation

Period: 2019-2022

Time to prime: using silicon to activate grass resistance under higher CO2

Chief Investigators: Scott N. Johnson

 

Funding Agency: ARC Future Fellowship (FT170100342)

Period: 2017-2021

Down to earth defence: unlocking soil-derived defences for plant protection

Chief Investigators: Scott N. Johnson & David T. Tissue

Partner Investigators: Susan E. Hartley

Funding Agency: ARC Discovery (DP170102278)

Period: 2017-2020

Get tough, get toxic and get a bodyguard: Using silicon to augment direct and indirect anti-herbivore defences in cereals.

Chief Investigator: Scott N. Johnson

Partner Investigators: Australian Steel Mill Services

Funding Agency: WSU Industry Partnership 

Period: 2016-17

 

Exploiting soil microbe associations with sugarcane roots for resistance to canegrubs.

Chief Investigators: Scott N. Johnson & Jeff R. Powell

Partner Investigators: Peter G. Allsopp & Nader Sallam,

Funding Agency: Sugar Research Australia

Period: 2014-17

Get tough, get toxic or get a bodyguard: how root herbivores shape grass defences

Chief Investigators: Scott N. Johnson & Ben D. Moore

Funding Agency: ARC Discovery (DP140100363)

Period: 2014-17

 

Drought, deluge and diversity decline - how do root herbivores affect grassland resilience to predicted changes in rainfall patterns? 

Chief Investigators: Sally A. Power & Scott N. Johnson

Funding Agency: The Hermon Slade Foundation

Period: 2013-16

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) Western Sydney University

© 2019 Scott Johnson