The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Bruce Webber

Adj/A/Prof Bruce Webber

Adjunct Associate Professor
Adjunct, Honorary and Visiting Staff (Plant Biology)

Contact details
Adjunct, Honorary and Visiting Staff (Plant Biology)
The University of Western Australia
c/o CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Private Bag 5, WEMBLEY WA 6913
+61 8 9333 6802
+61 8 9333 6646
Bruce is a plant ecophysiologist specialising in plant-resource allocation and plant-ecosystem interactions. With interests in invasion science and conservation biology, he applies an ecophysiological approach to address questions relating to (i) the effect of rapid environmental change on invasive plants, (ii) the implications of landscape connectivity and fragmentation on both invasive and threatened plant populations, and (iii) the effect of climate change on yield and nutritional value in tropical crops. The common theme underpinning his current research is how plant fitness is variously influenced by abiotic, biotic and dispersal drivers, and how this fitness, in turn, impacts on population dynamics and species ranges.

Bruce leads the Ecosystem Change Ecology team, which is part of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), based in Perth, Western Australia. This multidisciplinary team delivers to both Land & Water and Health & Biosecurity in CSIRO, has strong links with the School of Plant Biology and the School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia via joint appointments, collaborative research and student supervision, and undertakes research with a network of collaborators both in Australia and overseas.

The Ecosystem Change Ecology team generates knowledge on the mechanistic links and synergistic interactions between landscape change, species invasions and native species decline in terrestrial ecosystems. Working on both natural and agricultural systems, we undertake research and develop theory to underpin more effective policy and management actions for conservation, invasion and production challenges in the face of rapid global change.
Key research
competition dynamics of plant invasions
global change impacts on plants (climate change, landscape modification)
plant-animal interactions (plant defence mechanisms, ant-plant mutualisms, plant food rewards)
Ryparosa (Achariaceae) taxonomy
For a full list of Bruce's publications, including links to PDF copies, please see his profiles at ResearchGate, Google Scholar or Researcher ID.

Five selected publications:

• Webber, BL, van Klinken, RD, Scott, JK (2014). Invasive plants in a rapidly changing climate: an Australian perspective. In: Invasive species and climate change (ed. by L.H. Ziska and J.S. Dukes). CABI International, London. pp 169-197. [View article]

• Webber, BL, Le Maitre, DC, Kriticos, DJ (2012). Technical comment on “Climatic niche shifts are rare among terrestrial plant invaders”. Science, 338: 193. [View article]

• Webber BL, Scott JK. (2012). Rapid global change: implications for defining natives and aliens. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21: 305-311. (With cover image). [View article]

• Webber BL, Yates CJ, Le Maitre DC, Scott JK, Kriticos DJ, Ota N, McNeill A, Le Roux JJ, Midgley GF. (2011). Modelling horses for novel climate courses: insights from projecting potential distributions of native and alien Australian acacias with correlative and mechanistic models. Diversity and Distributions, 17: 978-1000. [View article]

• Webber BL, Woodrow IE. (2009). Chemical and physical plant defence across multiple ontogenetic stages in a tropical rain forest understorey tree. Journal of Ecology, 97: 761-771. [View article]
Press and Media
For details of the media coverage associated with our research, please visit the media page of the Ecosystem Change Ecology team website.
Previous positions
2009-2012: Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, Floreat, Australia (Lead collaborator: Dr John Scott).

2006-2008: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS, Montpellier, France (Lead collaborator: Prof Doyle McKey).

2005-2006: Visiting Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom (Lead collaborator: Dr Douglas Yu).
BIOL1130: Frontiers in biology

ENVT2221: Global climate change & biodiversity
Student supervision
* Melinda Trudgen: "Street trees and climate change: the invasive potential of rosewood" at The University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Hans Lambers and John Scott. Read more about Melinda's work here.

* Poasa Nauluvula: "Understanding the sensitivity of cassava, a Pacific staple crop, to rapid global climate change" at The University of the South Pacific, co-supervised with Bill Aalbersberg and Ros Gleadow.

* Edward Tsen: "Landscape connectivity and keystone frugivores: implications for the rare rainforest tree Ryparosa kurrangii" at The University of Melbourne, co-supervised with Ian Woodrow. Read more about Edward's work here.

* Juliana Pille Arnold: "Plant-pollinator networks and the spatial energetics of pollination failure in degraded landscapes" at the University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Raphael Didham and Jason Tylianakis.

* Alice Watt: "Informing land managers on climate resilient restoration – optimising resource allocation in Eucalyptus rudis seedlings along a 600mm rainfall gradient" at the University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Raphael Didham and Helen White.

Research group alumni
* Timm Döbert (2015) "Land use change and species invasion: synergistic effects of multiple drivers of global change on species interaction networks" PhD, The University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Raphael Didham and Kath Dickinson. Read more about Timm's work here.

* Caroline Delaisse (2015) "Understanding processes influencing seed germination in Rubus anglocandicans to improve weed invasion management" BSc(Hons), The University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Pieter Poot.

* Samantha Harris-Wetherbee (2013) "Ontogenetic defence trajectories in the rainforest sub-canopy tree, Ryparosa kurrangii" MSc, The University of Melbourne, co-supervised with Ian Woodrow.

* Nikolai MacNee (2013) "Responses of Cassava and Taro to elevated carbon dioxide" BSc(Hons), Monash University, co-supervised with Ros Gleadow and Cecilia Blomstedt.

* Leonard Tan (2013) "Does competition with native plants limit the invasion risk of Tipuana tipu in south-western Australia?" BSc(Hons), The University of Western Australia, co-supervised with Hans Lambers.
Current external positions
CSIRO Land & Water | Health & Biosecurity: Senior Research Scientist
Useful links
* Ecosystem Change Ecology Team

* Bruce Webber @ ResearchGate

* Bruce Webber @ Google Scholar

* CliMond climate data
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM