Philip Brewer

Dr Philip Brewer

ARC Ext-Funded Rsch Fellow (C)

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

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

Phil Brewer has joined the Centre for Plant Energy Biology at the University of Adelaide Waite Campus as an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Phil’s research interest involves how plant hormones help plants to respond to changed growth conditions.

Dr Phil Brewer's recent research has focused on strigolactone production and action, particularly how that relates to auxin and the transport of auxin. Strigolactones are regulators of shoot branching, root architecture and plant-fungi symbiosis. They help plants cope with sub-optimal growth conditions, such as low nutrients, shading, cold, drought and salinity, and attack from pathogens or parasitic weeds. Strigolactones seem to function directly in responsive plant tissues through regulating gene expression. However, they also display a distinctive non-transcriptional inhibition of auxin transporters. A key research aim for Dr Brewer is to uncover the mechanism of strigolactone action on auxin transport, and how this may affect root architecture in Arabidopsis and barley.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 - 2022 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2018 Research Grants and Business Development Officer Charles Darwin University
    2007 - 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Queensland
    2004 - 2006 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Tübingen
    2003 - 2004 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Monash University
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1999 - 2003 Monash University Australia PhD
    1998 - 1998 University of Melbourne Australia Bachelor of Science Honours
    1992 - 1992 Monash University Australia Graduate Diploma in Education
    1988 - 1990 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University Australia Bachelor of Applied Biology
  • Research Interests

ARC Future Fellowship, Targeting root architecture to improve plant production in sub-optimal soil, $763,527, 2019-2022

ARC Discovery Project, New plant development discoveries stem from strigolactone research, $320,000, 2011-2013

ARC Discovery Project, To move or not to move: Are insect movement strategies driven by plant-induced defences?, $720,000, 2010-2012

The majority of Dr Brewer's employment activity is in research. However, Dr Brewer is an enthusiastic teacher and is regularly involved in teaching, particularly at Higher Degree Research levels.

Dr Brewer may have projects available for Higher Degree Research on the topic of plant hormones. His projects regularly address fundamental research questions in plant biology and applied research in crops and horticulture. Please contact Dr Brewer for more details. 

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor Ecological architecture in spatial biophilic design: impact on human health and mood Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Mr John Longo Masengo
    2022 Co-Supervisor Metabolic Engineering of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Using Traditional and Molecular Approaches Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Saber Sohrabi
    2022 Principal Supervisor Harnessing hormonal signalling pathways to improve plant architecture and growth response. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jack Henry Kelly
    2021 Principal Supervisor Improving doubled haploid production in Brassica napus L. by better understanding chromosomal doubling and embryo initiation. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Kaat Lut K Devriendt
    2020 Co-Supervisor Molecular and phenotypic characterisation of synthetic auxin
    herbicide-tolerant pulse germplasm
    Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Simon Frederick Michelmore
  • Position: ARC Ext-Funded Rsch Fellow (C)
  • Phone: 83134579
  • Email:
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Plant Research Centre, floor 2
  • Org Unit: Agricultural Science

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