Kronzucker Group

"Declining soil fertility, increasing soil salinization, and a burgeoning human population have led to severe strains on the world's agricultural systems. A key factor in the relief from such strains is the better understanding of plant responses to soil nutrients and toxicants, and the application of this understanding to the improvement of cultivars and farming practices. Our laboratory seeks to directly engage in this urgent mission, by use of a combination of physiological approaches designed to address questions of ion acquisition and stress tolerance at cellular and whole-plant levels, in the world's most important plant species.

We examine the role of nutrient ion fluxes at cellular, whole-organism, and ecosystem levels, focusing on yield potential in cereals, cellular ionic interactions, and drought and salt stresses. Our approach is multidisciplinary, ranging from mathematical modelling to radiotracing of ion fluxes and ecological analyses in the field. The techniques we use include the subcellular tracing of ion fluxes and compartmentation, the genetic manipulation of plant metabolism and nutrient acquisition, electrophysiology, gas exchange, ionic and metabolic profiling of tissues, and analyses of plant growth and yield. We strive to investigate the physiology of intact model and non-model organisms, and develop methods to tackle the complexity associated with whole systems.

Our research program has attracted over 10 million dollars in research funding since 1999, and has been supported by The University of Melbourne, The University of Toronto, The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canada Research Chair (CRC) program, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Canada's national Green Crop Network (GCN), aimed at increasing greenhouse gas capture through biological means. Our international collaborative partners include The International Rice Research Institute, The University of Copenhagen, The University of Bonn, The Technical University of Munich, and The Chinese Academy of Sciences. In Canada, we have formed partnerships with diverse groups, including, in Toronto, the Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH), the Centre for Global Engineering (CGEN), the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, St. Michael's Hospital, and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST); in Vancouver, the Tri-University Meson Facility (TRIUMF); in London, the BIOTRON facility at Western University; and in Quéc City, the University of Laval."

Research Interests

Our laboratory is designed for the study of the physiological ecology of nutrient acquisition by terrestrial plants. We examine the role of nutrient ion fluxes at cellular, whole-organism, and ecosystem levels, focusing on several key areas: yield potential in cereals, forest succession, cellular ionic interactions, and drought and salt stresses. Our approach is multidisciplinary, ranging from mathematical modelling to radiotracing of ion fluxes and ecological analyses in the field. The techniques we use include the subcellular tracing of ion fluxes and compartmentation, the genetic manipulation of plant metabolism and nutrient acquisition, electrophysiology, gas exchange, ionic and metabolic profiling of tissues, and analyses of plant growth and yield. We strive to investigate the physiology of intact organisms, and develop methods to tackle the complexity associated with whole systems.

Group Members

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Dev T. Britto

Graduate Students

Ahmed Hamam, Ph.D. candidate.
2016 Recipient of an Ontario Graduate Fellowship (OGS)

Shadman Zaman, M.Sc. candidate (co-supervised with Arun Ramachandran, Centre for Global Engineering)

Honours Students

Senthujan Gunaseelan
Abdulwahab Sidiqi
Anam Zaheer

Professor Herbert J. Kronzucker

Professor Herbert J. Kronzucker
Distinguished Professor
Head of School
School of BioSciences
Faculty of Science
University of Melbourne

Editor-in-Chief
Journal of Plant Physiology (Elsevier)
 
School of BioSciences
The University of Melbourne
BioSciences 4, Building 147
Laboratory: Bio21
Parkville 3010
Victoria, Australia
Phone: +61 39035 9793
Mobile: +61 481 915 468
E-mail: herbert.kronzucker [at] unimelb.edu.au
Research Group Page
 
Executive Assistant to the Head (Mr. Carlos C. Martin): +61 39035 9541;
carlos.campanero [at] unimelb.edu.au

Head of School, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, 2017-
Distinguished Professor, University of Toronto, 2015-2020
Founder and Inaugural Director, Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR)
Canada Research Chair (Systems Biology of Plant Nutrition & Ion Transport), 2005-2015
Bayer Science for a Better Life Award, for Canadians who have made a mark on society through science and innovation. Also see this article.
Lifetime Achievement Award, Laval University, 2013
Principal's Research Award, UTSC, 2012-2013. Watch the lecture associated with this award here.
2013 Spring Convocation Speaker, University of Toronto, Science
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Plant Physiology (Elsevier), October 2014-
Consulting Editor, Plant & Soil, 2015-
Editorial Board, Plant, Cell & Environment, 2006-
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Plant Science, 2011-
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Chemistry (Agricultural Biological Chemistry), 2014-
Evaluation Group, Biological Systems & Functions, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), 2010-2013
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Research Grants Board of the UK, 2013-
Advisor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013-

Biography

Professor Herbert J. Kronzucker – Short Biography

Professor Kronzucker pursued his undergraduate education at the University of Würzburg, Germany, in biology, chemistry, medicine, and the arts. A professionally trained violinist, he relocated to Canada in 1988 on a one-year arts scholarship. After finishing his undergraduate studies in Germany, he returned to Canada in 1991 to pursue a Ph.D. in plant biology at the University of British Columbia.

In 1996, Prof. Kronzucker joined the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, as a Rockefeller ‘Human Frontier’ Fellow, joining the mission of developing novel approaches to the study of nitrogen acquisition by tropical-lowland rice, the world’s principal food crop. In 1998, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, and was recruited three years later by the University of Toronto, Canada’s leading research university. He was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 2007.

Prof. Kronzucker is renowned for his studies on ion acquisition by trees and cereals, from cellular to ecosystem levels, with a focus on nitrogen dynamics, potassium relations, and salt toxicity. He has held a Canada Research Chair in Systems Biology of Plant Nutrition and Ion Transport, and established the Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR) at the University of Toronto, a multidisciplinary think tank and research base dedicated to addressing the challenge of world hunger through cutting-edge research. He served as its Director until moving to Australia in 2017. He has published >113 articles, including in the foremost international science journals (Nature, Nature Plants, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Trends in Plant Science), and his studies are covered in over 90 textbooks as well as the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (www.els.net). His work is ranked in the top 0.1% of his field and has been frequently featured in the media, including the New York Times, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Christian Science Monitor, the Economic Times, the Times of India, and cover articles in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life Magazine. He is an award-winning teacher, winner of the 2012 and 2013 Principal’s Research Award at the University of Toronto, a lifetime achievement award from Laval University, Canada, and a Science for a Better Life Award, presented by Bayer Canada to an elite group of scientists who have made a mark on society through science and innovation. Prof. Kronzucker has served in many major university roles, as panel member on 12 granting councils, as scientific advisor for organizations such as IRRI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as member of the Times Higher Education (THE) world university rankings panel, member of seven editorial boards, and reviewer for 36 scientific journals. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Plant Physiology (Elsevier) and as Consulting Editor for the journal Plant & Soil (Springer). His laboratory has attracted >10 million AUD in public research funding since 1999. Prof. Kronzucker has been nominated for membership in the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), and, in 2015, received the title of Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto, one of the University’s highest honours. In 2017, he accepted the post of Head of School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne.

Follow this link to Professor Herbert Kronzucker's citation list on Google Scholar.

Read about Professor Kronzucker's research here.


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