The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Johannes Lambers

Professor Hans Lambers

Plant Biology, School of

Contact details
School of Plant Biology
The University of Western Australia (M084)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 7381
+61 8 6488 1108
Room 1120B, Agriculture Central Wing Building, Perth campus
BSc PhD Groningen, FRNAAS, FAA
I was born on a farm in the Netherlands and completed my undergraduate degree in biology (1976), with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, followed by research projects in plant physiology and microbiology. I finished my PhD degree (1979) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, working on (cyanide-resistant) plant respiration and effects of flooding. My PhD supervisors were Dr Rinie Hofstra, and Professors Pieter Kuiper and Rienk Brouwer.
After completion of my PhD, I did postdoctoral work at the University of Western Australia, with Professor John Pate, Melbourne University, with Dr Michael Dalling, and the Research School of Biological Science at the Australian National University, with Professor Barry Osmond, working on various aspects of the metabolism and transport of carbon and nitrogen in wheat, white lupins, and a range of other species. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow back in Groningen, I was offered the chair of Ecophysiology at Utrecht University (in 1985).
While in Utrecht, I continued work on plant respiration and started a new program on the physiological basis of variation in plant growth rate and productivity. Twenty eight fascinating theses have come to fruition under my supervision during that great time.
My teaching activities in ecophysiology have led to the completion of a textbook, Plant Physiological Ecology, Springer, New York, just before I moved to UWA. The textbook was translated in both Chinese and Persian. The second, completely revised edition of this book appeared in 2008.
For three years, after my move to UWA, I maintained a fractional appointment at Utrecht University, to promote exchange of students between Utrecht University and UWA and to build collaborative research programs.
Key research
Mineral nutrition of Australian native plants
Phosphorus nutrition of crop and pasture legumes
Proteoid roots
P-use efficiency
Dauciform roots
Australian Society of Plant Scientists (President 2000-2004);
American Society of Plant Biology;
Ecological Society of Australia;
Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (Secretary-General from 1992-1998);
Royal Society of Western Australia
Honours and awards
Honorary Member of the Bulgarian Union of Scientists
Member of the Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen (the Dutch Academy of Sciences)
Highly Cited Researcher (ISI)
Honorary Professor at China Agricultural University, Beijing, China:
Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
Previous positions
President of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists - (2001-2004)
Professor of Ecophysiology, Utrecht University (1985-1998)
Research Fellow, University of Groningen, the Netherlands (1982-1985)
I currently teach various aspects of plant biology in 1st and 3rd/4th year. The lecture notes are all available online and recordings are available via Moodle, those students enrolled in these courses.
I enjoy supervising 4th year students on projects within my wide area of interest in ecophysiology of crops and native plants. Information on future 4th year projects is available.
Current external positions
Editor in chief of Plant and Soil - (1992- )

Member of the Editorial Review Board of Plant, Cell and Environment -

Member of the International Review Board of Annals of Botany -

Current projects
At the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with Prof Erik Veneklaas, A/Prof. Megan Ryan, AssProf. Michael Renton and AssProf Etienne Laliberte, I work on various aspects of plant ecophysiology: phosphorus nutrition of crop and pasture plants and Australian native species, and plant water relations. I maintain my interests in cyanide-resistant respiration.
A major focus is on cluster roots of Proteaceae and Fabacea, in collaboration with Greg Cawthray and Prof. Erik Veneklaas. The Proteaceae are a fascinating group of plants, with many endemic species in south-western Australia which are very successful on P-impoverished sand and/or P-fixing soils, where most of our crops need large inputs of superphosphate, most of which is not available to crop growth. Lessons can be learned from these Australian plants which can then be taught to our crops. Therefore, the research line on Western Australian plants could lead to major applications and a more sustainable agriculture in Western Australia which is a major reason to go down this track. The projects on crop plants are in close collaboration with Dr Megan Ryan and Dr Michael Renton.
FOR codes: 0607, 0603, 0703, 0503
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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