Sharon Robinson

Sharon Robinson

Senior Professor at University of Wollongong

Thursday, 13 October 2016 16:10

King George Island 2015 - The Science

This page is an overview of the sceince projects that I was involved with on our January 2015 trip to King George Island with INACH, the Chilean Antarctic Program. I was working with two Chilean scientists on this trip -

Angelica Casanova-Katny and Gustavo Zuniga.


Angelica is from  Centro de Biotecnología, Universidad de Concepción.

Gustavo is from the University of Santiago, Chile and his projects for this trip were....


Here is my introduction to the work from the field site at Collins Glacier on Maxwell Bay.





We also worked with a team of scientists from Portland State University including Dr Todd Rosentiel and Dr Sarah Eppley. Here is Todd talking about one part of his research.





Todd_Rosenstiel _KG1_scenttalk

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Monday, 10 October 2016 16:46

King George Island Trip 2015

In January of 2015 I went down to Chile's Escudero Base on King George Island with the Chilean Antarctic Program - INASCH. I was working with Angélica Casanova Katny of the Universidad de Concepción and Professor Gustavo Zuniger from Santiago University. My partner Andrew Netherwood accompanied us as the expedition photographer on this trip and most of the photos you see on this page are taken by him.

This page is mostly about King George Island and Escudero Base where we stayed. For the science projects that we were attempting to accomplish see this page.

Sunday, 01 February 2015 17:42

Climate Change Research in Antarctica

Antarctic Plants and Global Change

An Overview of my Antarctic Research Projects

Since plant growth in Antarctica is very slow, we use a range of chemical, molecular and physiological techniques to predict how terrestrial biodiversity in Antarctica will change as a result of climate change.

Our work is providing important insights into the biology of these plants that survive and grow in conditions equivalent to a freezer. Our research provides evidence that the Antarctic endemic moss Schisitidium antarctici is likely to be more susceptible to climate change than two co-occurring cosmopolitan species Ceratodon purpureus and Bryum pseudotriquetrum (Robinson et al 2005 PDF 681k, Wasley et al 2006 a, b).

Tuesday, 04 October 2016 17:39

Photosynthesis Research

L.I.F.T  Laser Induced Fluorescence transients



Plant Stress Ecophysiology

Using chlorophyll fluorescence to investigate plant stress

Physiological techniques can help to answer many questions in ecology, conservation biology and agriculture. These research areas involve collaboration with colleagues at Wollongong (weed ecophysiology - Kris French, Mangroves and salt marshes - Todd Minchinton) and around Australia (Phylloxera DPI Victoria and CSIRO Land and Water).

Plants and extreme events

Thursday, 29 September 2016 13:08


Brief History

I was born in London but did most of my growing up on the North Coast of Cornwall. I moved back to London to study Genetics & Botany at University College London (UCL) and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. I then worked for two years in student poltics, first at UCL as a Sabbatical Officer running UCL Student's Union  and then as an Executive Officer of the UK National Union of Students. My portfolios included equity in education, antiracism, diversity and student welfare. I completed a Graduate Certificate in in Science Education at Kings College London and worked as a high school science teacher in a London before returning to UCL to start a PhD on plant nitrogen metabolism.


 sharon robinson portrait web s


Professional Experience


2020 -present

Deputy Director (Science Implementation), Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future Program

2020 -present

Executive Director, Global Challenges Program, University of Wollongong

2018 -present

 Leader, Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones, Global Challenges Program, University of Wollongong

2016 - present

Senior Professor, SEALS, The University of Wollongong

2016 - 2018

Associate Dean Graduate Research, University of Wollongong

2010 - 2015

Professor, Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong


Deputy Director, Institute for Conservation Biology and Environmental Management, The University of Wollongong
Visiting Professor, University of Vienna
2005 - 2008
Director, Institute for Conservation Biology and Law, The University of Wollongong
2004-  2010
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong
2000 - 2005
Head of Postgraduate Studies, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong
1999 - 2004
Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong
1996 -1999
Lecturer, Biological Sciences, The University of Wollongong
Research Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences ANU
1992 - 1994
Postdoctoral Fellow, Research School of Biological Sciences, ANU
1990 - 1991
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Duke University, North Carolina


 Professional Activities


National & International Committees and Editorships

United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (2010 -)
Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (2009 - 2012)
Editor, Global Change Biology (2005 - present)
Editorial Advisory Committee, Functional Plant Biology (2002 - 2007)
Custodian Antarctic State of the Environment Indicator (2002 - present)


 University Governance

2005 - 2008 University Research Committee
2004 - present University Promotion and Probation Committee
1998 - 2002, 2005 - 2008 Science Faculty Research Committee
2002 - present Science Faculty Workloads Committee
2001 - 2005 University Library Consultative Committee
1996 - 2000 Science Faculty Library Committee (Chair 2001 – 2005)
1997 - 2000 Academic Senate
1998 - 1999 Co-chair University of Wollongong Tertiary Literacies Working Party
1998 - 1999 Science Faculty Representative at Health & Behavioural Science Faculty meetings
1998 Science Faculty Internationalisation Committee
1997 Introduction to Tertiary Teaching Curriculum Advisory Committee





2019 UOW Vice Chancellor’s Researcher of the Year
2019 Collaborative Team prize, UOW Scholars Impact Competition
2018 UOW Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Achievement in Research Partnership and Impact Award
2017 The Sun Foundation Australia 2017 Peer Prize for Women 
2009 Chlorotube 2nd prize (You tube The Science of Cool)
2003 American Society of Plant Biologists
2001 (US$1000 to present Photosynthesis in silico CD)
2002 Australian Society of Plant Scientists’ Teaching Award
2001 Australian College of Education (Illawarra Branch)
2001 Outstanding contribution to Higher Education Award
1991 Irene Manton Prize, Linnean Society of London. Best UK PhD in Botany



Email:      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone:    +61 2 4221 5753
Office:     20.205a

University of Wollongong
Northfields Avenue






Antarctica is a natural subject for interdisciplinary exploration because it ignites passion and curiosity on so many fronts. The day brought together a kaleidoscope of interested parties from the worlds of visual art, toxicology, history, climate science, law, plant biology and the humanities. Such disciplinary diversity gave a taste of the contradictions that Antarctica embraces - whether from the point of view of temperature change, ice movement or the tourism industry of this remote continent.

Friday, 23 September 2016 17:36

A Talk at the Eco Antarctica Symposium

Here are links to a video of a presentation that I gave at the Eco Antarctica Symposium - "INTERDISCIPLINARY PATHWAYS TO ANTARCTICA" on 9 August 2016 at the Leon Kane-Maguire Theatre, Innovation Campus, University of Wollongong.


The video is available in HD from my multimedia page

and also on Youtube, where you can find some of my other media presentations.

Many ecological questions require information on species' optima in relation to environmental gradients. These attributes can be important in determining which species will coexistence and how this may vary with climate changes. However, existing methods do not quantify the uncertainty in the attributes or they rely on assumptions about the shape of species' responses to the environmental gradient. To remedy this, Mick Ashcroft and the team recently developed a model to quantify the uncertainty in the attributes of species response curves and allow them to be tested for differences without making assumptions about the shape of the responses.

The 3 minute thesis competition is where students have to explain their project in 3 minutes with just one slide and no props.  It is a national competition and starts off with Faculty heats. Rhys Wyber's very short talk was called "LIFTing photosynthesis to new heights" and he won against stiff competition across the SMAH Faculty. We look forward to similar success in the university finals.  Go Rhys!

On Wednesday we celebrated four graduands.  Dr Mel Waterman and Dr Johanna Turnbull were awarded their PhDs. Professor Bob Furbank became Dr Dr Bob. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science.  In his inspiring graduation speech he told the graduands how important it was to try and work in an area which you love. I certainly agree with that sentiment.  He also talked about the important part played by mentors, peers and of course serendipity. 

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