Associate Professor Margaret Barbour

ARC Future Fellow, Department of Environmental Sciences

C02F - Centre for Carbon, Water and Food
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 8884
Fax +61 2 8627 1099

Biographical details

Margaret Barbour holds a BSc in Biology and Earth Sciences and an MSc in Biology from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and a PhD in Plant Science from the Australian National University. During her PhD she developed new understanding, and mechanistic models, of variability in the oxygen isotope composition of plant tissue. Her work was the first to theoretically describe and demonstrate the record of leaf evaporative environment present in the oxygen isotope composition of plant material. This work has subsequently been applied to reconstruct past climates from tree ring stable isotopes, as an indicator of plant regulation of water loss, and as a selection tool for yield in grain crops. Margaret was employed by Landcare Research in New Zealand from 2001 to 2009, where she led a Foundation-funded objective investigating the exchange of carbon dioxide in terrestrial systems at site scales, and the sensitivities and uncertainties of these processes to variation in climate, environmental and land-use variables. As part of this objective, Margaret developed a suite of novel, laser-based techniques to measure the exchange of isotopes of CO2 and water vapour between the atmosphere and plants, soil and the whole ecosystem. Margaret was awarded the Outstanding Physiologist of the Year 2006, by the New Zealand Society of Plant Biologists. In 2010 Margaret joined FAFNR as an ARC Future Fellow in Biosphere-atmosphere interactions.

Research interests

My current research interests include:

  • Improving crop water use efficiency and productivity by increasing the rate of diffusion of CO2 within leaves
  • Scaling leaf-level exchange processes to the canopy.
  • Linking carbon and water cycling within ecosystems using stable isotopes of CO2 and water
  • Development of process-based models to interpret the stable isotope record in tree rings
  • Development of laser-based measurement systems for real-time measurement of plant, soil and ecosystem isofluxes

My research involves developing and applying new theory and measurement techniques to address issues related to biosphere-atmosphere exchange across a range of scales. I work in controlled-environment growth facilities, managed ecosystems (including cereal crops, pasture and plantation forests), and natural ecosystems such as old-growth forests.

Themes

Plant and crop physiology; Climate Change; Food Production, Quality and Safety

Selected grants

2013

  • Methane and nitrous oxide in agro-ecological systems: novel technologies and understandings to improve ecosystem management.; Adams M, McBratney A, Barbour M, Whitehead D, Laubach J, Millard P, Jacobson G, Rella C, Crosson E; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).
  • Sydney and Humboldt combined capabilities in sustainable land management; Barbour M, Simonin K, Gessler A; DVC International/IPDF Grant.

2012

  • Methane and nitrous oxide in agro-ecological systems: novel technologies and understandings to improve ecosystem management.; Whitehead D, Laubach J, Millard P, Jacobson G, Adams M, McBratney A, Barbour M; BMedical Pty Ltd/ActiCal Equipment Grant.
  • Improved carbon and greenhouse gas outcomes through better understanding and management of soils and plant inputs at the farm scale; Adams M, McBratney A, Minasny B, Barbour M; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Federal)/Carbon Farming Futures Action on the Ground.
  • Superior water-use efficiency through improved leaf mesophyll conductance; Barbour M; Grains Research and Development Corporation/Research and Development: Gene Discovery.

2011

  • Oxygen isotope discrimination during C4 photosynthesis; Von Caemmerer S, Evans J, Barbour M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2010

  • Novel laser isotopic techniques to assess the potential for water-use efficiency improvement of Australian crops; Barbour M; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Future Fellowships (FT).

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Song, X., Farquhar, G., Gessler, A., Barbour, M. (2014). Turnover time of the non-structural carbohydrate pool influences δ18O of leaf cellulose. Plant, Cell and Environment.
  • Jahan, E., Amthor, J., Farquhar, G., Trethowan, R., Barbour, M. (2014). Variation in mesophyll conductance among Australian wheat genotypes. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 41(6), 568-580.
  • Flexas, J., Niinemets, U., Galle, A., Barbour, M., Centritto, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Galmes, J., Ribas-Carbo, M., Rodriguez, P., et al (2013). Diffusional conductances to CO2 as a target for increasing photosynthesis and photosynthetic water-use efficiency. Photosynthesis Research, 117(1-3), 45-59. [More Information]
  • Simonin, K., Roddy, A., Link, P., Apodaca, R., Tu, K., Hu, J., Dawson, T., Barbour, M. (2013). Isotopic composition of transpiration and rates of change in leaf water isotopologue storage in response to environmental variables. Plant, Cell and Environment, 36(12), 2190-2206. [More Information]
  • Ellsworth, P., Anderson, W., Sonninen, E., Barbour, M., Sternberg, L. (2013). Reconstruction of source water using the delta18O of tree ring phenylglucosazone: A potential tool in paleoclimate studies. Dendrochronologia, 31(3), 153-158. [More Information]
  • Franks, P., Adams, M., Amthor, J., Barbour, M., Berry, J., Ellsworth, D., Farquhar, G., Ghannoum, O., Lloyd, J., McDowell, N., et al (2013). Sensitivity of plants to changing atmospheric CO2 concentration: From the geological past to the next century. New Phytologist, 197(4), 1077-1094. [More Information]
  • De Dios, V., Turnbull, M., Barbour, M., Ontedhu, J., Ghannoum, O., Tissue, D. (2013). Soil phosphorous and endogenous rhythms exert a larger impact than CO 2 or temperature on nocturnal stomatal conductance in Eucalyptus tereticornis. Tree Physiology, 33(11), 1206-1215. [More Information]
  • Gessler, A., Brandes, E., Ferguson, J., Boda, S., Kayler, Z., Granier, A., Barbour, M., Farquhar, G., Treydte, K. (2013). The oxygen isotope enrichment of leaf-exported assimilates - does it always reflect lamina leaf water enrichment? New Phytologist, 200(1), 144-157. [More Information]
  • Song, X., Barbour, M., Farquhar, G., Vann, D., Helliker, B. (2013). Transpiration rate relates to within- and across-species variations in effective path length in a leaf water model of oxygen isotope enrichment. Plant, Cell and Environment, 36(7), 1338-1351. [More Information]
  • Flexas, J., Barbour, M., Brendel, O., Cabrera, H., Carriqui, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Dreyerc, E., Ferrio, J., Gago, J., Warren, C., et al (2012). Corrigendum to 'Mesophyll diffusion conductance to CO 2: An unappreciated central player in photosynthesis'. Plant Science An international journal of experimental plant biology, 196, 31-31. [More Information]
  • Flexas, J., Barbour, M., Brendel, O., Cabrera, H., Carriqui, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Dreyer, E., Ferrio, J., Gago, J., Warren, C., et al (2012). Mesophyll diffusion conductance to CO 2: An unappreciated central player in photosynthesis. Plant Science An international journal of experimental plant biology, 193-194, 70-84. [More Information]
  • Cieraad, E., McGlone, M., Barbour, M., Huntley, B. (2012). Seasonal Frost Tolerance of Trees in the New Zealand Treeline Ecotone. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research: an interdisciplinary journal, 44(3), 332-342. [More Information]
  • Tcherkez, G., Mahe, A., Guerard, F., Boex-Fontvieille, E., Gout, E., Lamothe, M., Barbour, M., Bligny, R. (2012). Short-term effects of CO2 and O2 on citrate metabolism in illuminated leaves. Plant, Cell and Environment, 35(12), 2208-2220. [More Information]
  • Barbour, M., Tcherkez, G., Bickford, C., Mauve, C., Lamothe, M., Sinton, S., Brown, H. (2011). d13C of leaf-respired CO2 reflects intrinsic water-use efficiency in barley. Plant, Cell and Environment, 34(5), 792-799. [More Information]
  • Menge, D., Baisden, W., Richardson, S., Peltzer, D., Barbour, M. (2011). Declining foliar and litter d15N diverge from soil, epiphyte and input d15N along a 120 000 yr temperate rainforest chronosequence. New Phytologist, 190(4), 941-952. [More Information]
  • Dickie, I., Yeates, G., St. John, M., Stevenson, B., Scott, J., Rillig, M., Peltzer, D., Orwin, K., Kirschbaum, M., Hunt, J., Barbour, M., et al (2011). Ecosystem service and biodiversity trade-offs in two woody successions. Journal of Applied Ecology: ecology with management relevance, 48(4), 926-934. [More Information]
  • Whitehead, D., Barbour, M., Griffin, K., Turnbull, M., Tissue, D. (2011). Effects of leaf age and tree size on stomatal and mesophyll limitations to photosynthesis in mountain beech (Nothofagus solandrii var. cliffortiodes). Tree Physiology, 31(9), 985-996. [More Information]
  • Song, X., Barbour, M., Saurer, M., Helliker, B. (2011). Examining the large-scale convergence of photosynthesis-weighted tree leaf temperatures through stable oxygen isotope analysis of multiple data sets. New Phytologist, 192(4), 912-924. [More Information]
  • Barbour, M., Hunt, J., Kodama, N., Laubach, J., McSeveny, T., Rogers, G., Tcherkez, G., Wingate, L. (2011). Rapid changes in d13C of ecosystem-respired CO2 after sunset are consistent with transient 13C enrichment of leaf respired CO2. New Phytologist, 190(4), 990-1002. [More Information]
  • Kodama, N., Cousins, A., Tu, K., Barbour, M. (2011). Spatial variation in photosynthetic CO2 carbon and oxygen isotope discrimination along leaves of the monocot triticale (Triticum x Secale) relates to mesophyll conductance and the Péclet effect. Plant, Cell and Environment, 34(9), 1548-1562. [More Information]
  • Sack, L., Cornwell, W., Santiago, L., Barbour, M., Choat, B., Evans, J., Munns, R., Nicotra, A. (2010). A unique web resource for physiology, ecology and the environmental sciences: PrometheusWiki. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 37(8), 687-693.
  • Uchida, Y., Hunt, J., Barbour, M., Clough, T., Kelliher, F., Sherlock, R. (2010). Soil properties and presence of plants affect the temperature sensitivity of carbon dioxide production by soils. Plant and Soil, 337, 375-387. [More Information]
  • Barbour, M., Warren, C., Farquhar, G., Forrester, G., Brown, H. (2010). Variability in mesophyll conductance between barley genotypes, and effects on transpiration efficiency and carbon isotope discrimination. Plant, Cell and Environment, 33(7), 1176-1185.

Conferences

  • Poladian, L., Barbour, M., Kelly, C. (2013). Resource use and study habits in a first-year mathematics service unit. 19th Annual UniServe Science Conference: Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME), The University of Sydney: Uniserve Science.

2014

  • Song, X., Farquhar, G., Gessler, A., Barbour, M. (2014). Turnover time of the non-structural carbohydrate pool influences δ18O of leaf cellulose. Plant, Cell and Environment.
  • Jahan, E., Amthor, J., Farquhar, G., Trethowan, R., Barbour, M. (2014). Variation in mesophyll conductance among Australian wheat genotypes. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 41(6), 568-580.

2013

  • Flexas, J., Niinemets, U., Galle, A., Barbour, M., Centritto, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Galmes, J., Ribas-Carbo, M., Rodriguez, P., et al (2013). Diffusional conductances to CO2 as a target for increasing photosynthesis and photosynthetic water-use efficiency. Photosynthesis Research, 117(1-3), 45-59. [More Information]
  • Simonin, K., Roddy, A., Link, P., Apodaca, R., Tu, K., Hu, J., Dawson, T., Barbour, M. (2013). Isotopic composition of transpiration and rates of change in leaf water isotopologue storage in response to environmental variables. Plant, Cell and Environment, 36(12), 2190-2206. [More Information]
  • Ellsworth, P., Anderson, W., Sonninen, E., Barbour, M., Sternberg, L. (2013). Reconstruction of source water using the delta18O of tree ring phenylglucosazone: A potential tool in paleoclimate studies. Dendrochronologia, 31(3), 153-158. [More Information]
  • Poladian, L., Barbour, M., Kelly, C. (2013). Resource use and study habits in a first-year mathematics service unit. 19th Annual UniServe Science Conference: Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME), The University of Sydney: Uniserve Science.
  • Franks, P., Adams, M., Amthor, J., Barbour, M., Berry, J., Ellsworth, D., Farquhar, G., Ghannoum, O., Lloyd, J., McDowell, N., et al (2013). Sensitivity of plants to changing atmospheric CO2 concentration: From the geological past to the next century. New Phytologist, 197(4), 1077-1094. [More Information]
  • De Dios, V., Turnbull, M., Barbour, M., Ontedhu, J., Ghannoum, O., Tissue, D. (2013). Soil phosphorous and endogenous rhythms exert a larger impact than CO 2 or temperature on nocturnal stomatal conductance in Eucalyptus tereticornis. Tree Physiology, 33(11), 1206-1215. [More Information]
  • Gessler, A., Brandes, E., Ferguson, J., Boda, S., Kayler, Z., Granier, A., Barbour, M., Farquhar, G., Treydte, K. (2013). The oxygen isotope enrichment of leaf-exported assimilates - does it always reflect lamina leaf water enrichment? New Phytologist, 200(1), 144-157. [More Information]
  • Song, X., Barbour, M., Farquhar, G., Vann, D., Helliker, B. (2013). Transpiration rate relates to within- and across-species variations in effective path length in a leaf water model of oxygen isotope enrichment. Plant, Cell and Environment, 36(7), 1338-1351. [More Information]

2012

  • Flexas, J., Barbour, M., Brendel, O., Cabrera, H., Carriqui, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Dreyerc, E., Ferrio, J., Gago, J., Warren, C., et al (2012). Corrigendum to 'Mesophyll diffusion conductance to CO 2: An unappreciated central player in photosynthesis'. Plant Science An international journal of experimental plant biology, 196, 31-31. [More Information]
  • Flexas, J., Barbour, M., Brendel, O., Cabrera, H., Carriqui, M., Diaz-Espejo, A., Douthe, C., Dreyer, E., Ferrio, J., Gago, J., Warren, C., et al (2012). Mesophyll diffusion conductance to CO 2: An unappreciated central player in photosynthesis. Plant Science An international journal of experimental plant biology, 193-194, 70-84. [More Information]
  • Cieraad, E., McGlone, M., Barbour, M., Huntley, B. (2012). Seasonal Frost Tolerance of Trees in the New Zealand Treeline Ecotone. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research: an interdisciplinary journal, 44(3), 332-342. [More Information]
  • Tcherkez, G., Mahe, A., Guerard, F., Boex-Fontvieille, E., Gout, E., Lamothe, M., Barbour, M., Bligny, R. (2012). Short-term effects of CO2 and O2 on citrate metabolism in illuminated leaves. Plant, Cell and Environment, 35(12), 2208-2220. [More Information]

2011

  • Barbour, M., Tcherkez, G., Bickford, C., Mauve, C., Lamothe, M., Sinton, S., Brown, H. (2011). d13C of leaf-respired CO2 reflects intrinsic water-use efficiency in barley. Plant, Cell and Environment, 34(5), 792-799. [More Information]
  • Menge, D., Baisden, W., Richardson, S., Peltzer, D., Barbour, M. (2011). Declining foliar and litter d15N diverge from soil, epiphyte and input d15N along a 120 000 yr temperate rainforest chronosequence. New Phytologist, 190(4), 941-952. [More Information]
  • Dickie, I., Yeates, G., St. John, M., Stevenson, B., Scott, J., Rillig, M., Peltzer, D., Orwin, K., Kirschbaum, M., Hunt, J., Barbour, M., et al (2011). Ecosystem service and biodiversity trade-offs in two woody successions. Journal of Applied Ecology: ecology with management relevance, 48(4), 926-934. [More Information]
  • Whitehead, D., Barbour, M., Griffin, K., Turnbull, M., Tissue, D. (2011). Effects of leaf age and tree size on stomatal and mesophyll limitations to photosynthesis in mountain beech (Nothofagus solandrii var. cliffortiodes). Tree Physiology, 31(9), 985-996. [More Information]
  • Song, X., Barbour, M., Saurer, M., Helliker, B. (2011). Examining the large-scale convergence of photosynthesis-weighted tree leaf temperatures through stable oxygen isotope analysis of multiple data sets. New Phytologist, 192(4), 912-924. [More Information]
  • Barbour, M., Hunt, J., Kodama, N., Laubach, J., McSeveny, T., Rogers, G., Tcherkez, G., Wingate, L. (2011). Rapid changes in d13C of ecosystem-respired CO2 after sunset are consistent with transient 13C enrichment of leaf respired CO2. New Phytologist, 190(4), 990-1002. [More Information]
  • Kodama, N., Cousins, A., Tu, K., Barbour, M. (2011). Spatial variation in photosynthetic CO2 carbon and oxygen isotope discrimination along leaves of the monocot triticale (Triticum x Secale) relates to mesophyll conductance and the Péclet effect. Plant, Cell and Environment, 34(9), 1548-1562. [More Information]

2010

  • Sack, L., Cornwell, W., Santiago, L., Barbour, M., Choat, B., Evans, J., Munns, R., Nicotra, A. (2010). A unique web resource for physiology, ecology and the environmental sciences: PrometheusWiki. Functional Plant Biology: an international journal of plant function, 37(8), 687-693.
  • Uchida, Y., Hunt, J., Barbour, M., Clough, T., Kelliher, F., Sherlock, R. (2010). Soil properties and presence of plants affect the temperature sensitivity of carbon dioxide production by soils. Plant and Soil, 337, 375-387. [More Information]
  • Barbour, M., Warren, C., Farquhar, G., Forrester, G., Brown, H. (2010). Variability in mesophyll conductance between barley genotypes, and effects on transpiration efficiency and carbon isotope discrimination. Plant, Cell and Environment, 33(7), 1176-1185.

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