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Dr Ricarda Jost Research Fellow, Animal Plant & Soil Sciences

The three main research areas of Dr Jost's work are: 1) the identification of cellular gatekeeper functions that control nutrient fluxes in plants, 2) the identification of sensors of nutrient status and their interaction with transcriptional regulators, and 3) the exploration of the genetic diversity of natural recombinant inbred lines of Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) to discover traits associated with improved nutrient uptake and utilization.
To study these processes, Dr Jost uses the latest molecular tools such as transcriptome sequencing and genome-wide association studies, combined with refined statistical and bioinformatics methods. In collaboration with researchers at Zhejiang University in China the knowledge gained from these studies is transferred to one of the world's staple foods, rice.
After obtaining her PhD in 2001, Dr Jost worked in the German Plant Sulfur Group at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben, Germany. In 2003, she moved to the Australian National University to work on a Grains Research and Development Corporation sponsored project on early drought responses in wheat. In 2008, she began to study adaptation to low phosphorus environments and links to the Phytophthora dieback disease in Australian native plants at the University of Western Australia. A keen interest in plant nutrition and associated cellular signalling networks attracted her to the La Trobe University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology in 2015. Dr Jost's overall aim is to study local plant adaptation to low nutrient availability and to improve nutrient utilization in crop plants.

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