Natalie Betts

Natalie Betts

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

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

Molecular biologist with experience in plant and fungal systems and recent specialisation in developing and germinating barley grain. Writing and editing experience in scientific, medical (regulatory) and business management fields.

Adelaide GlycoScience Group

My research focuses on defining fundamental barley malt and plantsgrain physiology, both during grain development and germination, with an end view to improving malting and brewing processes.

Working with industry partners Carlsberg and Coopers Breweries, I use molecular, bioinformatic and biochemical techniques to characterise genes involved in the many biological processes  required for successful barley germination. In particular, I am interested in which genes are expressed in separate tissues of the barley grain in very early germination.


barley tissuesI have developed new techniques to dissect the grain into its individual tissues, then analyse spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression by RNA sequencing. Coupled with in silico exploration of the newly published barley genome to identify complete gene families, my research has examined physiological processes in the barley grain such as cell wall re-modelling and degradation, and starch metabolism.


2018 Barbara Kidman Women's Fellowship

Understanding barley grain development and germination to improve industrial malting processes


Courses Developed

Techniques in Plant Biotechnology

Date Course Title Institutions Course Level Code
2012 - 2017 First year Master of Science - Coursework students The University of Adelaide PLANT SC 7126 WT
2012 - 2017 Microsoft Excel course ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls,
The University of Adelaide
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    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
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Cell wall degradation in barley grain Univeristy of Adelaide MSc-Coursework Master Full Time Hanyue (Mia) Wang
    2016 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Analysis of Plantago mucilage mutants The University of Adelaide - Honours Full Time James Morgan Cowley
    2015 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Nitrogen affects grain development in elite malting barley The University of Adelaide - Master Full Time Haoyu Lou
    2014 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Transcription of hydrolytic genes throughout the malting of barley The University of Adelaide - Honours Full Time Laura Gay Wilkinson
    2012 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Sorghum stem traits influencing biomass to biofuel conversion efficiency The University of Adelaide - Master Full Time Hai Yen Nguyen
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2014 - ongoing Member Selection Committee for the South Australian Rhodes Scholarship - Australia

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