Professorial Chair

Professorial Chair in Botany Secured for the Future

Major gifts have endowed the Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany to support innovative research that supports Australia's future.

The Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany honours distinguished plant scientist Laureate Professor Adrienne Clarke AC FAA FTSE and is supported by a University Trust established with funds from The University of Melbourne Botany Foundation. The Chair is to be held by an internationally outstanding plant scientist who will provide academic leadership in research and teaching.  Following the departure of the inaugural Chair Professor Mark Burgman FAA, the position was advertised in 2019.

michelle watt

Professor Michelle Watt
Professor of Crop Root Physiology, University of Bonn

Professor Michelle Watt to lead research on plant root physiology

The Botany Foundation is delighted that Professor Michelle Watt, Professor of Crop Root Physiology at the University of Bonn and a Director of the Plant Sciences Institute at the Helmholtz Juelich Research Centre in Germany, has accepted the Clarke Chair of Botany to commence in 2020.

Michelle Watt’s research is focused on the function of plant roots.  She aims to discover how root-microorganism dynamics can be optimised with genetics or management to save water, land and fertiliser in agricultural and natural systems.  Michelle has led projects around the world with private and public funding sources, and is the President of the International Society of Root Research.