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Monday, 03 May 2021 17:55

John Martyn Research Grant Award for 2021

Erin Rogers

We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the John Martyn Research Grant for 2021 is Erin Rogers. She has provided the following description of her work.

I have a keen interest in plant science and ecology and am particularly passionate about how plants respond physiologically to changes in environmental conditions. I have a foundational background in Environmental Biology, having completed my undergraduate degree at UTS at the end of 2020. I have also worked in bush regeneration within the greater Sydney region for over three years. This sparked my love of plants and my curiosity into understanding the many wonderful ways in which they survive.

Having started my master of research with the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University at the beginning of this year (2021), I was keen to explore how nutrients in the soil limit plant growth and function. Given that low phosphorus soils predominate across Australia and Sydney’s east coast, I aim to investigate phosphorus limitation on photosynthesis on a range of native plants with my thesis titled: The Rich and Poor: Plant Phosphorus and Photosynthesis Follow Soil Fertility.

Under the John Martyn Grant for the Conservation of Bushland I will investigate the effects of increasing fire severity and subsequent phosphorus liberation on the re-growth capacity of native plants. This grant will allow me to explore an area of phosphorus limitation that would otherwise not be examined under my master of research thesis. This research aims to provide a unique insight into species recovery and will give a snapshot of how quickly our native plants can respond to different levels of fire disturbance.

I would like to thank STEP and its members for this opportunity, and I am keen to get out in the field and start this research.