Biotechnology experts

Murdoch University’s biotechnology experts can offer insight into the commercial applications of biological techniques or biological agents, such as bacteria or isolated enzymes, in medicine, agriculture or industry.

Expertise areas include genetic engineering, immunology and vaccine production, fermentation technology and cell culture.

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Wayne Reeve

Dr Wayne Reeve

Microbiology, microbial genomics

Dr Wayne Reeve is a senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology and teaches in Cell Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry units.

Dr Reeve is an expert in the field of microbiology with research expertise in microbial physiology, biochemistry and genetics. His research is primarily focused on symbiotic and virulence determinants and adaptation processes in microorganisms.

He has completely established the genomes of five microsymbiotic bacteria and has 20 more in a sequencing facility production pipeline.

He currently coordinates the activities of the US funded GEBA-RNB (Genome Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea-Root Nodule Bacteria) project consisting of an international consortium of 32 scientists from 15 different countries involved in sequencing the genomes of 100 geographically distinct root nodule bacteria.

Robert Trengove

Associate Professor Robert Trengove

Separation science and metabolomics

Associate Professor Rob Trengove is the Director for the Murdoch Separation Science and Metabolomics Laboratory and the node leader for the Murdoch Node of Metabolomics Australia.

Professor Trengove has pioneered the development of MS-based ‘omics techniques for more than 20 years, collaborating with Australian and International researchers and industry.

He currently leads a team of more than 15 researchers working on a diverse range of topics including HIV/AIDs, iron disorders, desalination, microalgae lipidomics, fungal and bacterial metabolomics.

Professor Trengove has published more than 50 high-impact journal articles and has ongoing commercial contract research arrangements with major industry players in the petrochemical, clinical and animal health pharmaceutical sector.

Kirsty Bayliss

Dr Kirsty Bayliss

Plant biosecurity and crop disease, development of new plant varieties

Dr Kirsty Bayliss is a plant scientist with over 20 years’ experience in the plant pathology field. Since 2012, she has focussed on the management of postharvest pathogens that cause moulds on fresh fruit, vegetables and grains.

In 2015, Dr Bayliss was the recipient of an Australia-Thailand Young Researcher Exchange Award, where she investigated the use of plasma technology for plant disease control at Chiang Mai University. Dr Bayliss also presented her research in this field at the Feed the Zone forum in Jakarta in 2016.

During 2017, Dr Bayliss was named a LAUNCHFood Innovator for her work on chemical —free control of postharvest diseases. Her aim is to make more food available for more people by reducing food waste.

Ralf Cord-Ruwisch

Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch

Wastewater and solid waste processing

Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch is both a hydrologist and microbiologist and has focused for more than 15 years on harnessing the power of microbes to assist with the processing of wastewater and solid waste.

His research interests have included nitrogen removal from wastewater, process modelling, microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment, biological odour removal, thermodynamics and kinetics of reactions in aqueous systems, biofouling, microbial corrosion and methane production as a renewable energy source.

He has made significant discoveries (leading to several patents) in the role of microbes in removing contaminants from wastewater and soil and in soil solidification for the underground construction industry.

Dr Cord-Ruwisch has developed biological process simulation software to the water and mining industries and sophisticated process control technologies for the water industry.

He has also led the research into the biology of the Dicom process for conversion of municipal solid waste to energy currently being commercialised by Anaeco.

Michael Jones

Professor Michael Jones

Plant biotechnology and genetic manipulation

Michael Jones is Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology and Foundation Director of the WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC).

He specialises in plant biotechnology, biosecurity, genetically modified plants and the molecular basis of interactions between plants and plant pathogens. He heads the Plant Biotechnology Research Group with about 15 researchers.

His expertise includes molecular diagnostics and marker-assisted breeding, with current major contributions in plant virology and host-pathogen interactions of plant parasitic nematodes. In recent work his group has used new ‘short read’ nucleic acid sequencing technologies coupled with sequence assembly and analysis to identify 50 plant viruses either new to Australia or to science. In the plant nematology, his group has sequenced the transcriptomes of three plant parasitic nematodes, and used this information to develop GM plants with novel resistance to economically important nematodes.

He has published over 230 research articles, including co-authoring two books. As a member of the Commonwealth Government ‘Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council’ (ABAC, 2003-2008)), he contributed to advising government ministers on national biotechnology policy. He has also participated in many debates on GM crops.
Michael Borowitzka

Professor Michael Borowitzka

Biofuels from algae, microalgae production and algae management

Professor Michael Borowitzka oversees an international project to turn algae into affordable, clean fuel.

He is Director of the Algae Research Group and Biofuels Manager of Murdoch’s Renewable Energy Research Institute.

Professor Borowitzka helped develop the largest microalgae production plant in the world, the Dunaliella salina plant at Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia.

To reach these experts for media enquiries, contact:

Luke McManus
Media & Communications Advisor
Phone: 08 9360 2491
Mobile: 0400 297 221
l.mcmanus@murdoch.edu.au

For all other enquiries, please ring reception on 08 9360 6000.