Professor Harvey Millar

Plant protein biochemist creating sustainable futures

I work on proteins in plants. Why proteins? Because it is the little things that make big things grow. Our future bio-economy will see the use of plants, not just as food, but as sustainable resources for new industries. I hope there is a desire in Western Australia to engage in the science because of what it can achieve for the future.

Professor Harvey Millar

Professor Harvey Millar's research focuses on mitochondrial function in plants and the role of metabolism in the energy efficiency of plants. He aims to understand the role respiration plays in the primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism of plants and their response to oxidative stress, and the dynamics of the plant proteome under limiting conditions.

His work has provided key new insights into antioxidant defence pathways in mitochondrial, diurnal rhythms in mitochondrial metabolism, tissue-specific mitochondrial functions, plant-specific features of the electron transport chain, regulatory networks governing respiratory activity in plants, and the mechanisms of mitochondria damage during oxidative stress.

His team also works on advances in plant proteome analysis to allow measurements of protein turnover rates and targeted quantitation of enzymes in metabolic pathways in both model plants and crops. In international collaborations using novel dataset and software developments, Professor Millar has been involved in building plant proteome databases, protein location prediction and protein-protein interaction prediction in plants.

Professor Millar directs the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Enrgy Biology, and has held fellowships at the University of Oxford (HFSPO) and UWA (ARC APD 2000-2002, ARC QEII 2002-2007, ARC APF 2008-2011, ARC Future Fellow 2012-2015).

He also serves on the Editorial Board of The Plant Cell, The Biochemical Journal, The Arabidosis Book, Journal of Protemomis, and Plant Methods.

Research techniques and expertise include:
  • Organelle isolation from plants
  • Protein subcellular location in plants
  • Proteome analysis by peptide mass spectrometry
  • Stable isotope labelling of plant components
  • Protein purification: gel filtration, ion exchange, SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, BN-PAGE electrophoresis, native PAGE electrophoresis, western blotting
  • Enzymology of proteins and antioxidant defence systems
  • Respiration measurement: whole tissues, isolated organelles, in liquid and gas phase
  • Metabolomics by GC-MS
  • Bioenergetics for analysis of mitochondrial function.


  • BSc (Hons) and PhD in plant biochemistry and molecular biology, ANU, Canberra


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Premier’s Scientist of the Year Premier of Western Australia Science Awards, 2017

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ISI Highly Cited Researcher Thomson Reuters ISI - Plant and Animal Sciences, 2014-2016

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Charles Albert Shull Award American Society of Plant Biologists, 2013

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Fenner Medal for Biology Australian Academy of Science, 2012

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Australian Life Scientist of the Year, Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science, 2005

Harvey Millar: a world leader in plant science




ARC Discovery Grant

  • Defining factors in the control of protein turnover in plants
  • Professor Andrew Millar


Monash University ex NCRIS Australian National Data Service

  • ‘The Compendium of cropPAL',
  • Professor Andrew Millar, Dr Cornelia Hooper

Monash University ex NCRIS Australian National Data Service

  • 'The Compendium of cropPAL - Phase 2'
  • Professor Andrew Millar, Dr Cornelia Hooper
  • Australian National University ex International Wheat Yield Partnership

    • 'Improving yield by optimising energy use efficiency'
    • Professor Andrew Millar, Dr Nicolas Taylor

    Monash University ex NCRIS Australian National Data Service

    • 'Connecting High Value Collections and NCRIS Capabilities: Agriculture Data - Australia'
    • Professor Andrew Millar, Dr Cornelia Hooper


    ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology

    • Professor Andrew Millar et al

Supervisor opportunity

Contact Professor Harvey Millar

For PhD or honours project enquiries, email Professor Millar.

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