Why study with the CCDM?

We are industry connected, a rising star in national and global agricultural research and a driver of improved farming systems and techniques.

Our $46 million state-of-the-art laboratories and plant growth facilities will help you advance your research career. We’ve teamed up with industry collaborators to offer a wide range of scholarship opportunities.

Currently Available Projects

Isolation of fungicide resistant Pyrenophora teres f.sp. maculata from barley seed - Honours/Masters

The major barley pathogen, Pyrenophora teres f.sp. maculata (SFNB), has recently been confirmed to be capable of being seed transmissible. Ongoing research is now investigating whether how frequently Ptm is associated with seed used by barley growers. This project will involve isolating Ptm from the seed of barley and compare the recovery frequency to the frequency of seedling disease expression.
Contact Dr Elizabeth Czislowski

Do DNA origami nanoparticles shape up as new fungicide technology? - Honours/Masters

DNA origami has been developed into a wide range of applications including nanosensors, anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial therapies. There is an opportunity to determine if DNA origami structures could also be used as novel fungicide to fight fungal pathogens. This project will investigate the stability of DNA origami structures.
Contact Dr Elizabeth Czislowski

Deciphering necrotrophic fungal susceptibility genes in oat - Honours/Masters/PhD

Septoria avenae blotch is a devastating disease of oat. To reduce the impact of the disease on oat production, the susceptibility genes need to be identified and removed from oat breeding germplasm. The goal of this project is to identify such genes and develop a tool to detect that in our oat breeding germplasms in order to produce disease resistance oat cultivars.
Contact Dr Huyen Phan

Functional studies of host-selective toxins causing septoria nodorum blotch of wheat - Honours/Masters/PhD

A set of toxin candidates were identified in an important wheat pathogen. The objective of the project is to characterise the predicted effectors by cloning them into a protein expression vector and generating gene deletion mutants. Effector activities and effector impact on pathogenicity will be assessed using various genetics and biochemical techniques.
Contact Dr Huyen Phan

Characterise necrotrophic fungal effectors in an economically important oat pathogen - Honours/Masters/PhD

Oat becomes increasingly important cereal crop due to its benefits to human health. The most limiting factor for oat production is fungal diseases. The aim of this project is to use various molecular approaches including gene insertion, deletion, proteomics and bioinformatics to understand the function of disease-causing factors in an important pathogen of oat, Parastagonospora avenae.
Contact Dr Huyen Phan

Understanding novel pathogenicity factor of a wheat pathogen - Honours/Masters/PhD

A panel of 200 P. nodorum isolates show great variation in pathogenicity in wheat. This project is set to determine pathogenicity factor which cause differences in disease severity in wheat. Outcome from this project can help to control septoria nodorum disease of wheat effectively as well as to understand how the disease works.
Contact Dr Huyen Phan

The economic impact of integrated pest management practices on the sustainability of agribusinesses - Honours/Masters/PhD

The proposed project aligns with CCDM’s goal of “Reducing the impact of crop disease in the Australian grains industry“ by focusing on economically informed crop protection decisions. By integrating economic analysis, spatial-temporal modelling, and engaging with various stakeholders, the project strives to provide growers with data-informed solutions, leading to sustainable and profitable agribusinesses.
Contact Dr Toto Olita

Characterisation of plant biochemical signals associated with disease tolerance - Honours/Masters/PhD

In this project you will apply non-destructive imaging techniques including ATR-FTIR and reflectance-FTIR methodology as a diagnostic tools for detection and monitoring of stress caused by disease, drought, and lack of nutrition in a model plant system. Critical to this project will be the ability to associate changes in FTIR spectra, with specific biochemical parameters, and gene expression.
Contact Dr Fatima Naim

Characterisation of transcriptional isoforms in stressed barley and wheat - Honours/Masters/PhD

In this project, you will use Oxford Nanopore sequencing to detect transcriptional isoforms and associate changes in isoform populations related to stress. You will learn a range of wet molecular biology techniques including RNA extraction and library preparation for sequencing using Oxford Nanopore P2 Solo, and analysis of sequencing data sets using a range of tools and draw insights into the biological role of changes observed.
Contact Dr Fatima Naim

The long-term impact of agrochemical application on soil microbiome - Honours/Masters/PhD

In this project, you will analyse the changes in microbial diversity in soils impacted by long term application of agrochemicals and compare to untempered soils. You will learn a range of techniques including soil sampling, growing plants, DNA extraction, PCR and library preparation for sequencing using Oxford Nanopore P2 Solo, analysis of sequencing data sets and draw insights into the biological role of changes observed.
Contact Dr Fatima Naim

Regulation of necrotrophic effector expression in P. nodorum - Honours/PhD

P. nodorum secrete proteinaceous necrotrophic effectors (NEs) into the host tissue during infection. This project aims to determine changes in the level of NEs when the fungus is exposed to abiotic factors such as nutrition and stress.
Contact Dr Kar-Chun Tan

Genomics of fungal co-infection on wheat- Honours/PhD

This experiment aims to determine biomass accumulation of both P.nodorum and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis during co-infection on a selection of wheat varieties.
Contact Dr Kar-Chun Tan

Fungicide persistence and movement in crops - Honours/Masters/PhD

Fungicides provide crops with protection from disease. The goal of this project is to use mass spectrometry to monitor and measure fungicide uptake, persistence and movement while crops grow.
Contact Prof Josh Mylne

Herbicide target discovery and design - Honours/Masters/PhD

The goal of this project is to use protein biochemistry and computational approaches to find small molecules that are herbicidal by acting on novel plant protein targets.
Contact Prof Josh Mylne

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