John is a plant eco-physiologist and biochemist by training, joining the CMSR recently from Singapore. He would be using the latest and also traditional ecophysiological, biochemical, microbial and biotechnological tools and concepts to understand plant (seeds, seedlings, shrubs/trees) survivorship and performance (ecophysiological traits, environmental tolerance, longevity, fecundity) when growing under unfavourable conditions such degraded soils, abiotic stress, presence of heavy metals/metalloids, and other perturbations. The new findings would be harness to improve holistically the ecological restoration outcomes in mine sites across the diverse ecosystems of Australia and beyond.
John has a wide interest in terrestrial and marine plants, eco-physiology and hormone biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, soil health and fertility, and biodiversity. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the National University of Singapore and Australian National University. As a well-travelled and multi-disciplinary focused plant scientist, John went over to Brown University (2003-2004) and later, MIT (2011-2012), on various US Fellowships (Fulbright, MIT-Singapore) to push new boundaries in various aspects of plant biology, developing novel research tools, and science education. At present, John is the IUCN Mangrove Red List coordinator and helping to support global efforts in mangrove conservation and ecological restoration and especially in developing countries.