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Ms Naomi Glancy

profile_glancy_thumbMs Naomi Glancy
PhD student

Topic: genetic and chemical basis of browsing resistance of Eucalyptus nitens

University of Tasmania

Seedling browsing is a major problem for the forestry industry and damage causes financial losses each year. However individual trees within populations can vary in their natural resistance to browsers like pademelons and possums, and we already know that plant secondary metabolites (PSMs; chemicals produced naturally by plants) play a major role in this variation.

Determining levels of key PSMs in leaves may allow tree breeders to select from naturally resistant plants in order to minimise the damage caused by browsers in plantations.

The specific aims of my project include:

  • Using near infa-red spectroscopy (NIRS) as a fast way to predict natural chemical defence (foliar defensive chemistry) in leaves.
  • Looking at foliar chemistry to determine if there is a genetic basis to defensive chemistry in Eucalyptus nitens.
  • Examining the relationship between genotypes of E. nitens and browser behaviour (pademelons, Thylogale billardierii, and common brushtail possums, Trichosurus vulpecula) using both captive feeding trials and common garden experiments in the field.

My supervisors are Dr Julianne O'Reilly-Wapstra and Professor Brad Potts, both of the School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania.

Funding for my project comes from an ARC Linkage grant and an Australian Postgraduate Award Industry.