Bettina Berger

Dr Bettina Berger

Scientific Director - The Plant Accelerator

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


After a degree in biotechnology and a PhD in molecular biology of plants, I used a two-year fellowship to focus on the emerging field of plant phenomics. I joined the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics in 2008, where I used non-destructive imaging to study the effects of salinity on barley.

When The Plant Accelerator opened in 2010, I joined the team as Senior Scientist and became Scientific Director in 2015. The Plant Accelerator is one of the nodes of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) funded under the National Collaborative Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and provides critical infrastructure and services to the plant science community in Australia and abroad. In my roles, I have set up novel screening techniques to study plant growth and performance using automated, non-destructive imaging. I have engaged with researchers at all stages of their career, from the public sector and industry. Users of The Plant Accelerator include Australian researchers, as well as overseas customers from Europe, North America and Saudi Arabia, and I enjoy the possibility of hosting visiting students and scientists and train them in modern phenotyping approaches. I have managed large scale phenotyping projects looking at various aspects of crop performance, including early vigour, salinity tolerance and nutrient use efficiency.

While my basic research has focused on salinity tolerance, I am equally passionate about developing novel phenotyping approaches to support plant scientists in answering their research questions. Working together with customers and learning from each other to achieve the best possible outcome for their research project has been my biggest motivation.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Scientific Director The University of Adelaide
    2010 - 2015 Senior Scientist The University of Adelaide
    2008 - 2010 Feodor-Lynen Research Fellow ACPFG, University of Adelaide
    2007 - 2008 Research Assistant University of Cologne
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    German Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2003 - 2007 International Max-Planck Research School, Cologne Germany PhD in Plant Science
    2000 - 2003 Ecole Superieure de Biotechnology, Strasbourg France Master in Biotechnology
    1998 - 2000 Eberhardt-Karls University, Tuebingen Germany Undergraduate Diploma in Biology
  • Research Interests

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 Co-Supervisor A 3-D Hyperspectral Imaging System For Measuring Plant Properties and Phenotypic Traits Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Brooke Bruning
    2015 Co-Supervisor Understanding Durnal Variation in Wheat, Barley and Maize Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas John Sitlington Hansen
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Assessment of Stress-induced and Developmentally-induced DNA Methylation Changes in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Moumouni Konate
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Salinity detection and control of sodium transport in Arabidopsis thaliana Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sandra Manuela Schmoeckel
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Modifying sodium transport to improve salinity tolerance of commercial rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L.) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr . Aris Hairmansis
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  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Chair - Expert Working Group - Wheat Phenotyping to Support Wheat Improvement Wheat Initative
  • Position: Scientific Director - The Plant Accelerator
  • Phone: 83130825
  • Email: bettina.berger@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 0828
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Accelerator Building, floor 1
  • Room: 1 37
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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