Australian National University

BobProfessor Robert Furbank Bob takes over as Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Translational Photosynthesis at ANU in January 2016, having previously been Director of the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre at CSIRO from 2009 until 2014. Bob’s research is focused on improving photosynthesis and carbon partitioning traits in crop plants for increased yield. He works on both C3 and C4 photosynthesis and spans approaches from the molecular regulation of transcription to phenomics in the field.  He is passionate about developing translational links between basic plant biology and agricultural outcomes.

SusanneVonCaemmererProfessor Susanne von Caemmerer Susanne is Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology at ANU.  Her research is in CO2 fixation including the biochemistry of C3 and C4 photosynthesis and the regulation of CO2 diffusion in leaves. She has worked across scales in biochemistry, molecular biology and whole plant physiology combining mathematical modelling approaches with experimental verification. She was part of a team that presented a mathematical model of C3 photosynthesis, which is now used worldwide. She is an elected Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Science and the German Academy of Scientists.

Maria ErmakovaMaria Ermakova is a postdoc in Susanne von Caemmerer’s and Robert Furbank’s groups. She obtained her PhD in biochemistry in University of Turku working in Eva-Mari Aro’s lab. Her research is focusing on photosynthetic electron transport reactions in C4 plants and ways to improve crop yield by manipulating thylakoid proteins.




Florence-DanilaFlorence Danila Flor is currently a PhD student at ANU under the supervision of Susanne von Caemmerer and Bob Furbank. She obtained her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of the Philippines and then spent 7 years as a Research Assistant at IRRI before moving to ANU. Her research compares symplastic transport mechanisms between C3 and C4 monocot species with a focus on plasmodesmata. She has been awarded a number of scholarships including the Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship (IRRI), an HDR Merit Scholarship (ANU), and a Postgraduate Research Scholarship for her PhD.