Darren Plett

Dr Darren Plett

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.

  • Appointments

    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
  • Education

    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
  • Research Interests

  • 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
  • Editorial Boards

    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
  • Position: Grant-Funded Researcher (C)
  • Phone: 83131134
  • Email: darren.plett@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: The Plant Accelerator
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine - WT

Connect With Me
External Profiles