Grant-Funded Researcher (C)
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
Darren's research goal is to improve the yield of crops to provide more food for an expanding world population. He is using plant phenotyping and agricultural biotechnology technologies to improve the tolerance of crop plants to stresses such as low soil nutrients, drought and salinity.
Darren obtained his BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Manitoba, Canada. In his MSc thesis he investigated the potential effects of climate change on leaf lipid and seed oil quality in canola. He then moved to Australia and completed a PhD project with the goal of improving salinity tolerance in rice through cell type-specific expression of genes encoding sodium transporters. Since 2008 he has been employed by the Universities of Adelaide and Melbourne to improve abiotic stress tolerance and nutrient uptake in cereal crops.
Currently, Darren is the Technology and Development Lead at the Plant Accelerator. He is identifying and developing new phenotyping technologies which will enable discovery of traits to improve agricultural crop productivity.
Date Position Institution name 2019 - ongoing Technology and Development Lead University of Adelaide 2018 - 2019 Senior Research Associate University of Melbourne 2013 - 2018 ARC Senior Research Associate University of Adelaide 2008 - 2012 Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Adelaide
Date Institution name Country Title 2004 - 2007 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD 2001 - 2003 University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada MSc 1998 - 2001 University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada BSc
Year Citation 2018 Hansen, N. J. S., Plett, D., Berger, B., & Garnett, T. (2018). Tackling Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Cereal Crops Using High-Throughput Phenotyping. In A. Shrawat, A. Zayed, & D. A. Lightfoot (Eds.), Engineering Nitrogen Utilization in Crop Plants (pp. 121-139). Switzerland: Springer.
2018 Saade, S., Negrão, S., Plett, D., Garnett, T., & Tester, M. (2018). Genomic and Genetic Studies of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Barley. In N. Stein, & G. J. Muehlbauer (Eds.), Compendium of Plant Genomes (pp. 259-286). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
2017 Plett, D., Garnett, T., & Okamoto, M. (2017). Molecular genetics to discover and improve nitrogen use efficiency in crop plants. In M. Hossain, T. Kamiya, D. Burritt, L. -S. Tran, & T. Fujiwara (Eds.), Plant Macronutrient Use Efficiency: Molecular and Genomic Perspectives in Crop Plants (pp. 93-122). Cambridge: Elsevier.
2010 Plett, D., Berger, B., & Tester, M. (2010). Genetic determinants of salinity tolerance in crop plants. In M. Jenks, & A. Wood (Eds.), Genes for Plant Abiotic Stress (pp. 83-111). USA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.
2009 Plett, D., Berger, B., & Tester, M. (2009). Genetic Determinants of Salinity Tolerance in Crop Plants. In Genes for Plant Abiotic Stress (pp. 81-111). Wiley-Blackwell.
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2022 Co-Supervisor Application of Imaging Technologies in Agricultural Phenotyping and Plant Phenomics Research Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yiting Xie 2019 Co-Supervisor Development of Sensor-based Phenotyping Approaches for Ascochyta Blight Resistance Breeding of Chickpea Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Florian Carl-August Tanner
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Identification and characterisation of vacuolar proton-pumping pyrophosphatase genes in bread wheat Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Daniel Menadue 2015 - 2019 External Supervisor Quantifying Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Wheat Using High-Precision Phenotyping Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas John Sitlington Hansen 2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Characterisation of Glutamine Synthetase to Map New Regulatory Loci Modulating Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Hexaploid Wheat Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jonathan Castel Djietror 2011 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Nitrate and Ammonium Interactions in Maize Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jessey George 2011 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Evaluating the abiotic stress tolerance of transgenic barley expressing an Arabidopsis vacuolar proton-pumping pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Rhiannon Kate Schilling 2011 - 2014 Co-Supervisor The Responses of Maize Roots to Nitrogen Supply Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Kasra Sabermanesh 2011 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Long- and short-term nitrate uptake regulation in maize Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Luke Reid Holtham 2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Characterisation of AtPQL1, AtPQL2 and AtPQL3 as Candidate Voltage Insensitive Non-Selective Cation Channels (vi-NSCCs) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Monique Kirsten Shearer
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2018 - ongoing Associate Editor Journal of Plant Physiology University of Adelaide Australia 2017 - ongoing Associate Editor Plant Methods University of Adelaide Australia
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