Professor Stephen Powles

Started at UWA: 1998

In my view, it is research and technologies in precision agriculture and robotics that require greatest attention if Australia is to substantially and sustainably lift food production and help feed the world.

Professor Stephen Powles

Professor Stephen Powles is one of the world's most highly cited plant scientists. His expertise ranges from the fundamental science on the evolution and molecular basis of herbicide resistance, through to applied agronomic research and management.

Professor Powles has strongly influenced Australian and international thinking on sustainable herbicide usage by reducing herbicide reliance and increasing diversity in agro-ecosystems. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Science & Engineering, and received the Australian Centenary Medal for his service to plant production.

In 2017 Professor Powles became the first Australian to win the American Chemical Society International Award for Research in Agrochemicals. The award is given to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of agrochemicals at the international level, with their vision and sustained contribution having opened new horizons for investigators in their field and beyond.

As a former director of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative at UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment, Professor Powles was recognised for his long-standing research contribution to identifying the role of cytochrome P450 enzymes in endowing herbicide resistance in plants.

While fighting the war against resistant weeds, Professor Powles has supervised 30 PhD students. Professor Powles and his team have more than 250 research papers published on herbicide resistance.


DipAppSc W.Syd., MSc Mich. State, PhD ANU, FAA, FTSE

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2017 American Chemical Society International Award for Research in Agrochemicals

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2017 Highly Cited Researchers List by Clarivate Analytics

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2012 Australian Academy of Science – Fellow

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2001 Centenary Medal – Federation of Australia

1999 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering - Fellow

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250+ research papers published on herbicide resistance

Herbicide: diversify and change it if it’s working


Herbicide Resistance Summit, Stephen Powles talks global herbicide resistance



Grains Research and Development Corporation 

  • Infrastructure Grants - Crop and Weed Agronomy Laboratory
  • Professor Stephen Powles, Dr Kenneth Flower, Mr Michael Ashworth


Grains Research and Development Corporation

  • Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative - Phase 5
  • Professor Stephen Powles, Dr Michael Walsh, Dr Qin Yu, Dr Roberto Busi, Dr Andrew Guzzomi


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

  • Weedy Rice in the Philippines and Vietnam
  • Dr Roberto Busi, Professor Stephen Powles, Dr Bhagirath Chauhan, Ms Leylani Mandac-Juliano, Doctor Son Tran Thi Ngoc


ARC Linkage Projects

  • Membrane Transporters Mediating 2,4-D Resistance in Wild Radish
  • Professor Stephen Powles, Mr Andrew Wells


Nufarm Australia Limited

  • Membrane Transporters Mediating 2,4-D Resistance in Wild Radish
  • Professor Stephen Powles, Mr Andrew Wells

More grants and publications.

Contact Professor Stephen Powles

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