The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Michael Renton

Assoc/Prof Michael Renton

Associate Professor
School of Plant Biology

Contact details
Address
School of Plant Biology
The University of Western Australia (M090)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
6488 1959
Fax
6488 1108
Email
michael.renton@uwa.edu.au
Personal homepage
www.michaelrenton.info
Location
Room 120, Botany Building, Crawley campus
Qualifications
BA W.Aust., CertAppLang TAFE, GradDipEd E.Cowan, PhD Qld
Biography
Michael completed his Honours program at UWA in Maths, looking at control in chaotic systems, and his PhD at the University of Queensland in the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics, looking at new approaches to modelling the interactions between plant form, function and environment with functional-structural plant models (FSPMs). His post-doc in Montpellier, France, married stochastic models with structural models to create virtual apple trees and he then returned to Perth to teach applied maths at UWA, before spending a couple of years creating the Weed Seed Wizard (a model of seedbank dynamics) at the Department of Agriculture and Food. He started as an Assistant Professor in computational agro-ecology in the School of Plant Biology at UWA in a joint appointment with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences in July 2007 and his current projects involve modelling of weeds and seedbank population dynamics, evolution of resistance to herbicides and pesticides, competition and interactions between plants and their environments in natural and managed systems, bio-economic modelling and optimal land use in agricultural systems and mixed-use landscapes, and dispersal of biological organisms.
Key research
Computational simulation modelling of plants in complex biological, agricultural and ecological systems, including areas such as:
•evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds in agricultural systems and the effect of different genetics and management strategies on the rate of this evolution
•competition between species, individual plants, and parts of plants and the effect of spatial patterns on this competition
•weed seed bank population dynamics and the effects of different seed biology and management strategies
•seed dormancy, germination and persistence, and the influence of environmental factors and management options
•the way that plant structure emerges over time in relationship with physiology and environment
•the optimisation of land use sequencing and analysis of tactical and strategic decisions in agricultural systems, taking into account the effects of factors such as weeds, disease, plant nutrients, yields, economics and climate variability
•water use, root architecture, drought and climate change, in relation to applications such as the prediction and management of the establishment and survival of annual and perennial crop and pasture plants in drought-susceptible environments, or the long-term health of natural ecosystems in the face of climate change
•the spread of invasive biological organisms such as weeds, insects and plant diseases
•predicting the fate of plant species under climate change, accounting for landscape characteristics, population dynamics and dispersal
•constructing useful decision support systems for managing agricultural and natural ecosystems
Publications
Please see www.michaelrenton.info and/or link below under Research profile.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Michael has a teaching and research position with UWA Plant Biology. His role involves leading and contributing to research projects, supervising postgraduate and Honours research students and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in biostatistics, simulation modelling, ecology and agriculture.
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The modelling approaches in which he has interest and experience include:
• individual-based models and simulation (IBMs)
• L-systems and functional-structural plant models (FSPMs) for modelling dynamic plant architecture
• simulation of evolutionary dynamics and evolutionary optimisation
• numerical/computational simulation of the movement and spread of biological substances or organisms
• constructing statistical 'summary models' to represent more complex bio-physical simulation models
• continuous and discrete dynamical systems, including chaotic systems and S-systems
• applied statistical modelling of biological data, including linear and non-linear modelling, multivariate analysis, Bayesian analysis, and mixed-effect models

Future research
For more information on research or potential student projects, please go to www.michaelrenton.info or contact me at michael.renton@uwa.edu.au
Funding received
•University of Queensland Early Offer PhD Scholarship 2000
•APA PhD Scholarship 2000
•Top-up PhD scholarship from the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics 2000
•Grant from INRA for post-doctoral project on ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ in France 2004
•Grant from INRA for six month extension to ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ project 2005
•‘Weed Seed Wizard’ project funded by CRC for Australian Weed Management 2007-2008 ($50,000)
•‘Quantifying Protein in Wheat Decision Support System’ project funded by Dept. of Agriculture and Food WA 2008-2009 ($145,000)
•‘Aerial Detection of Plant Pathogens’ project funded by CRC for National Plant Biosecurity 2008-2010 ($102,000)
•‘Summary Models for Complex Agricultural Production Simulation Models’ project funded by CRC for Future Farm Industries 2008-2010 ($39,000)
•‘Spatial Colonisation by Seagrass’ project funded by Dept. of Industry and Resources and Cockburn Cement 2008 ($15,000)
•‘Herbicide Resistance Model Interface Development’ project funded by Western Australian Herbicide Initiative 2008 ($15,000)
•‘Extension to Weed Seed Wizard’ project funded by CRC for Australian Weed Management 2008 ($20,000)
•‘Spatial Colonisation by Seagrass’ follow-up project funded by Dept. of Industry and Resources and Cockburn Cement 2009 ($20,000)
•‘PestFax’ project funded by Dept. of Agriculture and Food WA 2008 ($6,000)
•Improving Student Learning grant entitled ‘Understanding Ecological Population Dynamics Using Interactive Computer Simulations’ awarded by the Centre for Teaching and Learning UWA 2008 ($3,000)
•‘Rootmap’ project funded by the University of Tasmania 2008-2009 ($31,071)
• ‘Modelling Organism Spread for Rapid Response’ project funded by CRC for National Plant Biosecurity 2008-2010 ($380,000)
•‘Modelling Evolution and Management of Pesticide Resistance in Stored Grain Pests’ project funded by CRC for National Plant Biosecurity 2008-2010 ($102,000)
•‘Drought tolerance of novel perennial legumes’ awarded by Rural Industries Research Development Corporation (RIRDC) 2009-2010 – my role as associated investigator (total budget of $187,268)
•‘Weed Seed Wizard: Validation and Improvement of a Weed Management Decision Support Tool’ project 2009-2013 ($1,071,763 to UWA from Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), spread over five years, plus $1,599,800 in-kind from other project participants)
•Variation to ‘Rootmap’ project funded by the University of Tasmania 2009 (extra $22,597)
•‘Effect of herbicide rotation on delaying resistance’ research consultancy funded by Syngenta 2009 ($10,000)
• ‘Improving Nitrogen and Phosphorous in south east Australian cropping systems’ project funded by GRDC, 2010-2011 - in collaboration with University of Tasmania (total from GRDC $750,000, plus $1,161,500 from project participants, $26,520 from GRDC to UWA)
•Project on using Rootmap model to test Lupin root system ideotypes funded by ARC – my role as associated investigator (my allocation of budget $52,353.7)
•Centre of Excellence for Climate Change and Woodland and Forest Health (total budget $4,115,000 spread over five years, $1,084,000 to UWA)
•‘Map-based interactive web interface for Pestfax’ project funded by GRDC 2010-2012 ($339,900 to UWA from GRDC, plus $512,500 from project participants)
•‘Completing the Smoke Effect Picture: Systems development to reduce the negative effects of smoke on grapes and wine’ project funded by Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation (GWRDC) 2010-2012 (total budget $890,659, GWRDC contribution $365,273, $67,556 to UWA)
•‘Potassium-Wheat Yield Web-based Calculator’ project funded by Dept. of Agriculture and Food WA 2010 ($8,789)
•Extension to ‘Quantifying Protein in Wheat Decision Support System’ project funded by Dept. of Agriculture and Food WA 2010 ($21,095)
•‘Phosphorus-Wheat Yield Web-based Calculator’ project funded by Dept. of Agriculture and Food WA 2010 ($12,000)
•‘Sustainability of Wheat-Selective Pre-emergent Herbicides in a Changing Climate’ funded by RIRDC 2011 ($132,876)
•‘Predicting weed seed persistence in soils: assembling the Seed-Persistence Tool Kit’ funded by RIRDC 2011 ($200,000)
•Variation to ‘Improving Nitrogen and Phosphorous in south east Australian cropping systems’ project funded by GRDC via University of Tasmania, (extra $18,000 to UWA)
•‘Improving models of weed dynamics and herbicide resistance evolution’ funded by RIRDC ex CSIRO 2011 ($58,000)
•‘Improving Representation of Disease in the Land Use Sequence Optimiser’ funded by GRDC ex CSIRO 2011 ($28,000)
Industrial relevance
Agriculture - including cropping and pastures
Horticulture
Ecology and conservation biology
Languages
English (native)
Indonesian (good)
French (good)
Spanish (fair)
Memberships
Treasurer of the Asian Pacific Weed Science Society, since 2007

Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Australia, since 2004
Honours and awards
•Convocation Prize, University of Western Australia, 1991
•University of Queensland Early Offer PhD Scholarship 2000
•APA PhD Scholarship 2000
•Top-up PhD scholarship from the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics 2000
•Grant from INRA for post-doctoral project on ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ in France 2004
•Grant from INRA for six month extension to ‘Modelling Structural Development of Apple Trees’ project 2005
•Award for Best Scientific Program in Program 2 for the ‘Weed Seed Wizard’ project by the CRC for Australian Weed Management 2008
•UWA Teaching and Learning Award 2008 for supervision of fourth year student projects
•Inaugural Robson Medal for best paper in agricultural science at UWA in 2011
Previous positions
2005-2007 Dept. of Agriculture and Food, WAPerth, Australia
Research Officer

2005 University of Western AustraliaPerth, Australia
Applied Mathematics Lecturer

2005 Murdoch UniversityPerth, Australia
Applied Mathematics Tutor

2004 – 2005 National Institute of Agronomic ResearchMontpellier, France
Post-doctoral Researcher, Plant Architecture Modelling Trainer

2000 – 2003University of QueenslandBrisbane, Australia
Mathematics Tutor, Plant Architecture Modelling Trainer

1999University of Western AustraliaPerth, Australia
English Teacher (ESL)

1998ELS Language SchoolPadang, Indonesia
English Teacher (ESL)
Teaching
I currently coordinate and/or teach in the following units:
•Ecology
•Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
•Australian Vegetation
•Cropping Systems
•Pasture Systems
•Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences
•Simulation Modelling in the Natural Sciences

Useful links
www.michaelrenton.info

http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/contact/michael_renton

Current projects
For more information on current research or potential student projects, please go to www.michaelrenton.info or contact me at michael.renton@uwa.edu.au
Research profile
Research profile and publications
 

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Monday, 1 October, 2012 4:15 PM

http://www.uwa.edu.au/117768