Assoc Prof Jeff Powell awarded 2019 Future Fellowship

Associate Professor Jeff Powell

Associate Professor Jeff Powell will receive just under $1 million for his project, Understanding mycorrhizal phenotypes using functional traits. The project will study plant-fungal partnerships  which will lead to significant impact associated with trustworthy assessments of commercial products while supporting economic and environmental benefits linked with more productive soils and improved ecosystem health.

“This funding will help me to establish a collection of microbes obtained from varied Australian environments, to evaluate what makes some beneficial and others less so. It will also provide a fantastic opportunity to use facilities here and overseas to understand their interactions with plants and with global change drivers,” said Associate Professor Powell.

FULL PROJECT DETAILS: 

Title: Understanding mycorrhizal phenotypes using functional traits

Total awarded budget: $992,693

Project summary: This project aims to develop a new framework linked to tangible, measurable traits of beneficial plant-fungal partnerships that lead to empirical predictions.

The project expects to deliver an understanding of how ecological strategies of plant-fungal partnerships control plant productivity and soil nutrient cycling.

Expected outcomes include new methods for predicting whether beneficial partnerships can be realised and knowledge that can be transformed into recommendations for practitioners.

This should lead to significant impact associated with trustworthy assessments of commercial products and of management recommendations, supporting economic and environmental benefits linked with more productive soils and improved ecosystem health.