Emeritus Professor John Pate

Started at UWA: 1973

WA Science Hall of Fame Inductee for plant physiology

Science is like an ever-expanding horizon. What you’ve found last month is likely to be superseded by something else. That’s one of the beauties of science, you never see far, there’s always new challenges in front of you. Professor John Pate
Emeritus Professor John Pate has greatly influenced plant science, particularly plant ecology and physiology, in Western Australia, with his research being inspired from a very young age. Threatened by a national food shortage during World War Two, his family grew peas and beans and it was then the professor decided to explore the carbon-nitrogen economy that underpins plant biological systems.


Professor Pate’s findings has contributed to the understanding of plant adaptation to environmental stress, increased productivity of pastures and crops, and sustainable land use and management. The major thrust of his work concerned the carbon and nitrogen economies of plants, especially legumes, and contributed to applied research on productivity of pastures and crops.

He has contributed significantly to ecological and physiological studies of native flora of Western Australia, with his research informing our understanding of environmental stresses on the WA ecosystem. He has been published extensively in more than 500 publications, including books, monographs, reviews and refereed research articles.

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WA Science Hall of Fame Inductee, 2017

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Elected to the Royal Society, London, 1985

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Elected to the Australian Academy of Science, 1980

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Head of UWA botany department, 1974-86

500+ publications


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