Caitlin Byrt

Dr Caitlin Byrt

Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

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


My expertise is in the area of plant biology, particularly as it relates to membrane transport and cell wall biology. The main focus of my research is identifying traits that influence cereal crop productivity. For example, I am part of a team that identified a gene in a wild wheat which contributes to salinity tolerance. Using this information we were able to improve the salinity tolerance of modern durum wheat resulting in increased grain yields on saline soil. I am also interested in plant water channels that function like pores in cell membranes that can be opened and closed to control the flow of solutes throughout the plant. We have discovered that some water channels can transport salt and we are using this information to figure out how salt and drought tolerant plants control this mechanism to help them maintain growth in challenging environmental conditions.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2015 Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow The University of Adelaide
    2014 - 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
    2011 - 2014 Postdoctoral Researcher ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls
    2008 - 2011 Postdoctoral Researcher Plant Science Group, University of Newcastle
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Award ASPS Peter Goldacre Award Australian Society of Plant Scientists Australia
    2017 Award Women in Innovation Award for Science 2017
    2017 Award 2017 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Grains Research and Development Corporation Winner
    2016 Award ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Grains Research and Development Corporation Inaugural Rana Munns Award
    2016 Award University of Adelaide Faculty of Sciences Early Career Researcher 2017 International Conference Travel Award
    2016 Achievement Waite In The Spotlight 2016 https://youtu.be/SNK4UjHE1Vc Waite Research Institute
    2015 Award 2015 Australian Institute of Policy and Science South Australian Young Tall Poppy Award
    2015 Fellowship Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2015
    2014 Award University of Adelaide 2014 Edith Dornwell Medal for Early-Career Research Excellence
    2011 Research Award Journal of Integrative Plant Biology Best Expert Review Article Award
    2008 Invitation Invited interview for the educational documentary Seed Hunter
    2007 Research Award CSIRO Plant Industry Chief's Award for Excellence in Team Research CSIRO Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2005 - 2008 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2000 - 2004 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons)

Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Grains Research Development Corporation Award

ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Grains Research and Development Corporation Inaugural Rana Munns Award 2017

ARC DECRA Fellowship (2015-2018)

Development and delivery of two laboratory practical courses and lectures for Masters in Biotechnology students (2012-2016). Guest Lectures for Biomolecules undergraduate course (University of Newcastle): Applications of plant genetic engineering (2009-2010). Guest lectures for Masters in Plant Biotechnology: Studying salinity tolerance by combining forward and reverse genetics approaches (2007)

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 Co-Supervisor Enhancing Crop Performance with Energy Use Efficient Abiotic Stress Tolerance Traits Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Muhammad Khairul Hisyam Ahmad Sohaimi
    2017 Principal Supervisor Exploring The Roles of Dual Water in Channels Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Hoai Thi Thanh Phan
    2016 Principal Supervisor Investigating Aquaporins Linked to Drought Tolerance Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Samantha McGaughey
    2015 Co-Supervisor Physiological and Molecular Cues Influencing Female Development in Cereal Crops Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Laura Gay Wilkinson
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Regulation of Reserve Carbohydrates in Hull-less Barley Grain Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Wai Li Lim
    2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Characterization of Agro-Industrial Residues and Development of Processing Strategies for Conversion to Bioethanol Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kendall Corbin
    2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Metabolic Engineering of C4 Grasses for Biofuel Applications Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Riksfardini Annisa Ermawar
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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2016 - ongoing Adelaide Protein Group
    2013 - ongoing American Society of Plant Biologists
    2006 - ongoing Australian Society of Plant Scientists
  • Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Phone: 83136652
  • Email: caitlin.byrt@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Research Centre, floor 1
  • Room: 1 88
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Connect With Me
External Profiles