Doctor Alex Watson-Lazowski

Alex Watson LazowskiDr Alex Watson-Lazowski joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) as a post-doctoral fellow in July 2015. He currently works with Dr Oula Ghannoum and Dr Alexie Papanicolaou within the Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, researching the genetic differences in C3, C3 intermediates and C4 species.

Dr Watson-Lazowski completed his PhD in June 2015 at the University of Southampton (UoS), under the supervision of Professor Gail Taylor (UoS), Dr Mark Chapman (UoS) and Dr Rich Edwards (UNSW).  His PhD research focused on the multi-generational effects of elevated CO2 using a naturally elevated CO2 spring.

Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), physiological measurements and population genetics he was able to elucidate the multi-generational effects of elevated CO2 on Plantago lanceolata. He completed his undergraduate studies in June 2011 at the University of Nottingham, graduating in Biotechnology (Hons).

Areas of Research

Dr Watson-Lazowski's research incorporates molecular, physiological and bioinformatic aspects to elucidate the regulation and diversification of C4 photosynthesis, particularly at the level of gene expression.

Comparisons between C3, C3-C4 intermediates and C4 species, alongside comparisons between the C4 subtypes serve to dissect the photosynthetic machinery. Utilising gene expression can give an insight into the genetic underpinnings of key physiological phenotypes, thus unearthing potential pathways for photosynthetic improvement and biological responses.

Dr Watson-Lazowski will NGS technology and bioinformatics tools to pinpoint gene expression patterns which control contrasting phenotypes and subtypes within C4 species.


Watson-Lazowski A, Papanicolaou A, Sharwood R, Ghannoum O, (2018) 'Investigating the NAD-ME biochemical pathway within C-4 grasses using transcript and amino acid variation in C-4 photosynthetic genes', Photosynthesis Research, vol.138, no.2, pp 233-248

Watson-Lazowski A, Lin YA, Miglietta F, Edwards RJ, Chapman MA, Taylor G, (2016) 'Plant adaptation or acclimation to rising CO2? Insight from first multigenerational RNA-Seq transcriptome' Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.11, pp 3760-3773