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Professor Michelle Waycott

Michelle is the Chief Botanist at the State Herbarium of South Australia and is the H.B.S. Womersley Chair in Systematic Botany at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Michelle’s research has a focus on how plants (and animals) have become adapted to survive in relatively extreme environments and the evolutionary implications of the strategies they adopt. Her research on marine angiosperm (esp. seagrass) covers population dynamics, genetics and evolution, molecular genetics, conservation genetics, biodiversity assessment and ecophysiological adaptations. Michelle has also a strong interest in anthropogenic utilisation of native plant species and has a research program into the variability and adaptation of a range of desert plants, including bush tomato and northern sandalwood, with a focus on their potential development as 'bush produce'.

Michelle’s taxonomic work focuses on marine flowering plants, in particular the genera Halophila, Posidonia, although her students have worked on diverse groups from tassel ferns to Indigofera (legumes).

Michelle is a member of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, within the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Research expertise
Biodiversity discovery
Species and populations
Climate change
Seascapes, landscapes and communities

Phone: (+61 8) 8222 9416