Sarah McInnes

Sarah McInnes

PhD Student
Centre for Ecosystem Science
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

I'm a fire ecologist who applies techniques from chemistry and molecular biology to answer ecological questions. I graduated from UNSW in 2021 with a B. Adv. Sci in Chemistry with Ecology Honours and a BA in Politics/International Relations. In 2022, I started my PhD in the Ooi lab studying fire ecology - specifically, plant responses to bushfire. I'm also an avid soccer player and lover of oat milk flat whites!

Project: Seed persistence during bushfires

Supervised by: Mark Ooi, Ryan Tangney and David Keith

Project Description: My research focuses on understanding how seeds persist during the extreme heat of a bushfire. Seeds in the soil are exposed to temperatures up to 150 °C during a bushfire, yet they are able to survive and germinate into the post-fire environment - and we ultimately don't know why. Research on understanding these mechanisms is very limited, and in my PhD, I aim to understand how biochemical and molecular mechanisms contribute to seed persistence and survival during extreme heat.

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