Sharon A Robinson

Sharon A Robinson
University of Wollongong | UOW · Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions

PhD (London)

About

183
Publications
71,314
Reads
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10,632
Citations
Citations since 2016
61 Research Items
6860 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,0001,2001,400
Introduction
I am a plant ecophysiologist and climate change biologist. My research examines how plants respond to climate change with an integrated systems approach using molecular to ecological techniques. Throughout my career I have pioneered novel techniques to investigate metabolic processes in vivo and I have expertise in plant nitrogen metabolism, plant respiration, photosynthesis and stress ecophysiology. For full text pdfs see http://works.bepress.com/srobinson/ http://ro.uow.edu.au/
Additional affiliations
July 2010 - present
University of Wollongong
Position
  • Professor
January 1996 - present
University of Wollongong
Position
  • Faculty Member
February 1992 - December 1996
Australian National University
Position
  • Postdoctoral research
Education
September 1987 - December 1990
University College London
Field of study
  • Plant Biochemistry
September 1985 - June 1986
King's College London
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1980 - June 1983
University College London
Field of study
  • Botany & Genetics

Publications

Publications (183)
Article
Full-text available
Successful conservation of threatened species and ecosystems in a rapidly changing world requires scientifically sound decision-making tools that are readily accessible to conservation practitioners. Physiological applications that examine how plants and animals interact with their environment are now widely used when planning, implementing and mon...
Article
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Antarctic biodiversity faces an unknown future with a changing climate. Most terrestrial biota is restricted to limited patches of ice‐free land in a sea of ice, where they are adapted to the continent’s extreme cold and wind and exploit microhabitats of suitable conditions. As temperatures rise, ice‐free areas are predicted to expand, more rapidly...
Article
Polar landscapes and their unique biodiversity are threatened by climate change. Wild reindeer are cultural and ecological keystone species, traversing across the northern Eurasian Arctic throughout the year (Wild reindeer in the sub‐Arctic in Kuhmo, Finland. Photo: Antti Leinonen, Snowchange Cooperative. Used with permission). In contrast, Antarct...
Article
Anthropogenic climate change is causing observable changes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean including increased air and ocean temperatures, glacial melt leading to sea‐level rise and a reduction in salinity, and changes to freshwater water availability on land. These changes impact local Antarctic ecosystems and the Earth’s climate system. The...
Article
Bryophytes are the group of land plants with the lowest photosynthetic rates, which was considered to be a consequence of their higher anatomical CO2 diffusional limitation compared with tracheophytes. However, the most recent studies assessing limitations due to biochemistry and mesophyll conductance in bryophytes reveal discrepancies based on met...
Article
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Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
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The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol under the United Nations Environment Programme evaluates effects on the environment and human health that arise from changes in the stratospheric ozone layer and concomitant variations in ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth’s surface. The current update is based on scientific a...
Article
The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments have been highly effective in protecting the stratospheric ozone layer and preventing global increases in solar ultraviolet‐B radiation (UV‐B; 280‐315 nm) at Earth’s surface (McKenzie et al., 2019). This international agreement has also been one of the most important societal actions to mitigate global warmi...
Article
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Environmental change and biodiversity loss are but two of the complex challenges facing conservation practitioners and policy makers. Relevant and robust scientific knowledge is critical for providing decision-makers with the actionable evidence needed to inform conservation decisions. In the Anthropocene, science that leads to meaningful improveme...
Article
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Induction of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence in leaves affords photoprotection to the photosynthetic apparatus when, for whatever reason, photon capture in the antennae of photosystems exceeds their capacity to utilise this excitation in photochemistry and ultimately in CO2 assimilation. Here we augment traditional mon...
Article
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This assessment by the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides the latest scientific update since our most recent comprehensive assessment (Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 2019, 18, 595–828). The interactive effects between the stratospheric ozone layer, solar ultraviolet...
Article
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Globally, collapse of ecosystems—potentially irreversible change to ecosystem structure, composition and function—imperils biodiversity, human health and well‐being. We examine the current state and recent trajectories of 19 ecosystems, spanning 58° of latitude across 7.7 M km2, from Australia's coral reefs to terrestrial Antarctica. Pressures from...
Technical Report
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This report highlight findings from the 2020 Update Assessment by the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Full report available at: https://ozone.unep.org/science/assessment/eeap
Article
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Continental Antarctica is a polar desert containing sparse pockets of vegetation within ice-free areas. Despite the recognized association between lichens, mosses and epiphytic diatoms, the environmental factors controlling diatom community structure are poorly understood. We investigated the association between diatom communities and host vegetati...
Poster
Full-text available
Physico-chemical features of cell wall have suggested to be the main limitation for photosynthesis in Bryophytes. Accumulation of UV-B absorbing components (AUC280-315) within the cell wall could decrease its permeability to CO2, affecting photosynthesis. In order to test this, gas exchange measurements and AUC280-315 quantification were analyzed f...
Article
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Biogeographic patterns of globally widespread species are expected to reflect regional structure, as well as connectivity caused by occasional long-distance dispersal. We assessed the level and drivers of population structure, connectivity, and timescales of population isolation in one of the most widespread and ruderal plants in the world — the co...
Article
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The terrestrial flora of Antarctica’s frozen continent is restricted to sparse ice-free areas and dominated by lichens and bryophytes. These plants frequently battle sub-zero temperatures, extreme winds and reduced water availability; all influencing their ability to survive and grow. Antarctic mosses, however, can have canopy temperatures well abo...
Article
Combined enhanced UV‐B radiation and drought may induce different morphological and physiological alterations in plants than either abiotic stress alone. We evaluated morphology, biomass, primary and secondary metabolism changes in seedlings of two common bean cultivars, IAC Imperador (drought‐resistant) and IAC Milênio. To test the hypothesis that...
Article
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Climate change is affecting Antarctica and minimally destructive long-term monitoring of its unique ecosystems is vital to detect biodiversity trends, and to understand how change is affecting these communities. The use of automated or semi-automated methods is especially valuable in harsh polar environments, as access is limited and conditions ext...
Article
This assessment, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP), one of three Panels informing the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, provides an update, since our previous extensive assessment (Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2019, 18, 595–828), of recent findings of current and projected interactive en...
Article
Full-text available
Applying physiological tools, knowledge and concepts to understand conservation problems (i.e. conservation physiology) has become commonplace and confers an ability to understand mechanistic processes, develop predictive models and identify cause-and-effect relationships. Conservation physiology is making contributions to conservation solutions; t...
Article
This summer, a heatwave across Antarctica saw temperatures soar above average. Temperatures above zero are especially significant because they accelerate ice melt. Casey Station had its highest temperature ever, reaching a maximum of 9.2°C and minimum of 2.5°C. The highest temperature in Antarctica was 20.75°C on 9 February. Here we discuss the bio...
Article
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Green roofs help ameliorate some of the adverse social, economic and environmental effects of urbanisation. However, green roofs are harsh environments for plants, as they must cope with shallow soils, low nutrient availability, high solar radiation, low water availability and high pollution/disturbances. The effect of shade plants on vegetation su...
Article
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As interest in improving urban air quality grows, phytoremediation-amelioration through plants-is an increasingly popular method of targeting particulate matter (PM), one of the most harmful pollutants. Decades of research has proven that plants effectively capture PM from air; however, more information is needed on the dynamics of PM accumulation....
Article
Antarctic moss communities, found in the spatially fragmented and fragile moss beds, can serve as indicators of the regional impacts of climate change. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) carrying visible and near infrared (VNIR) sensors are a suitable nonintrusive mapping platform. UAS deployments in Antarctica are, due to weather and logistical restric...
Article
Ozone depletion has altered conditions at the Earth’s surface and interacts with climate change. This Review assesses the effects on humans and ecosystems, including implications for food and water security, and the mitigating and ongoing influence of the Montreal Protocol.
Article
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Plants adjust the relative sizes of PSII and PSI antennae in response to the spectral composition of weak light favouring either photosystem by processes known as state transitions (ST), attributed to a discrete antenna migration involving phosphorylation of light-harvesting chlorophyll-protein complexes in PSII. Here for the first time we monitore...
Article
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Urbanisation largely consists of removing native vegetation. Plants that remain interact with air quality in complex ways. Pollutants can be detrimental to plant growth; plants sometimes reduce air quality, yet some species also improve it through phytoremediation. A common pollutant of concern to human health in urban areas is particulate matter (...
Article
Heatwaves, with increases in day and night time temperatures, are predicted to increase in frequency. We investigated the response of forbs, shrubs, grasses and non‐grass monocotyledons from warm temperate environments in Australia to repeated heatwaves to determine if responses differed with growth form and whether the addition of hot night temper...
Article
Exposure of plants and animals to ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B; 280-315 nm) is modified by stratospheric ozone dynamics and climate change. Even though stabilisation and projected recovery of stratospheric ozone is expected to curtail future increases in UV-B radiation at the Earth's surface, on-going changes in climate are increasingly exposing p...
Article
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of current knowledge about effects of UV radiation in inland and oceanic waters related to stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change.
Article
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Background: Antarctic bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are resilient to physiologically extreme environmental conditions including elevated levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation due to depletion of stratospheric ozone. Many Antarctic bryophytes synthesise UV B absorbing compounds (UVAC) that are localised in their cells and cell walls, a location...
Article
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Future increases in the intensity of heat waves (high heat and low water availability) are predicted to be one of the most significant impacts on organisms. Using six native grasses from Eastern Australia, we assessed their capacity to tolerate heat waves with low water availability. We were interested in understanding differential response between...
Data
Mean leaf water content (measured as in Fig 4) of six individual native Australian grass species (Poaceae family, after four different treatments. Means are of pooled biological replicates (n = 6) with standard error. Treatments are labelled as C = control, H = heat, D = drought and HD = heat + drought. Letters represent results from Tukeys tests u...
Data
Relative leaf senescence (as a proportion of total biomass) in six individual native Australian grass species (Poaceae family) after four different heat wave treatments. Means are of pooled biological replicates (n = 6) with standard error. Treatments are labelled as C = control, H = heat, D = drought and HD = heat + drought. Letters represent resu...
Data
Mean maximum photosynthetic efficiency, (Fv/Fm) for six individual native Australian grass species (Poaceae family) after four different treatments. Means are of pooled biological replicates (n = 6) with standard error. Treatments are labelled as C = control, H = heat, D = drought and HD = heat + drought. Letters represent results from Tukeys tests...
Article
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East Antarctica has shown little evidence of warming to date1–3 with no coherent picture of how climate change is affecting vegetation4–6. In stark contrast, the Antarctic Peninsula experienced some of the most rapid warming on the planet at the end of the last century2,3,7,8 causing changes to the growth and distribution of plants9–11. Here, we sh...
Article
The xanthophyll cycle regulates the energy flow to photosynthetic reaction centres of plant leaves. Changes in the de-epoxidation state (DEPS) of xanthophyll cycle pigments can be observed as changes in the leaf absorption of light with wavelengths between 500 to 570 nm. These spectral changes can be a good remote sensing indicator of the photosynt...
Article
Moss beds are one of very few terrestrial vegetation types that can be found on the Antarctic continent and as such mapping their extent and monitoring their health is important to environmental managers. Across Antarctica, moss beds are experiencing changes in health as their environment changes. As Antarctic moss beds are spatially fragmented wit...
Article
Full-text available
The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) is one of three Panels of experts that inform the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The EEAP focuses on the effects of UV radiation on human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, air quality, and materials, as well as on the interactive effects of UV radiation and global climate change. When c...
Article
Understanding the net photosynthesis of plant canopies requires quantifying photosynthesis in challenging environments, principally due to the variable light intensities and qualities generated by sunlight interactions with clouds and surrounding foliage. The dynamics of sunflecks and rates of change in light intensity at the beginning and end of s...
Article
The prototype light-induced fluorescence transient (LIFT) instrument provides continuous, minimally intrusive, high time resolution (∼2s) assessment of photosynthetic performance in terrestrial plants from up to 2m. It induces a chlorophyll fluorescence transient by a series of short flashes in a saturation sequence (180 ∼1s flashlets in <380s) to...
Article
Lianas are prevalent in gaps and edges of forests where they compete intensely with trees, reducing growth and recruitment. Invasive lianas have the potential to be particularly harmful as the competitive advantage of the liana life history may be coupled with the more competitive qualities of invasiveness. However, in early stages of growth of lia...
Article
Ceratodon purpureus is a cosmopolitan moss that survives some of the harshest places on Earth: from frozen Antarctica to hot South Australian deserts. In a study on the survival mechanisms of the species, nine compounds were isolated from Australian and Antarctic C. purpureus. This included five biflavonoids, with complete structural elucidation of...
Article
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Solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) emissions of photosynthetically active plants retrieved from space-borne observations have been used to improve models of global primary productivity. However, the relationship between SIF and photosynthesis in diurnal and seasonal cycles is still not fully understood, especially at large spatial scales,...
Article
Plants like mosses can be sensitive stress markers of subtle shifts in Arctic and Antarctic environmental conditions, including climate change. Traditional ground-based monitoring of fragile polar vegetation is, however, invasive, labour intensive and physically demanding. High-resolution multispectral satellite observations are an alternative, but...
Article
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With an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, plants are likely to reach their thermal limits and show slower growth or increased mortality. We investigated differences amongst coastal native and invasive shrubs and grasses to investigate if particular species might be more at risk in the future. Using an ecologically rele...
Article
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Consequences of shifting species distributions Climate change is causing geographical redistribution of plant and animal species globally. These distributional shifts are leading to new ecosystems and ecological communities, changes that will affect human society. Pecl et al. review these current and future impacts and assess their implications for...
Article
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Lianas use other trees for mechanical support and convert freed resources into other structures such as leaf biomass. Consequently, lianas can contribute significantly to leaf biomass in forests. As invasive species tend to have higher growth rates, we predicted that invasive lianas would have higher biomass accumulation which would cause greater d...
Article
Species distributions are often simplified to binary representations of the ranges where they are present and absent. It is then common to look for changes in these ranges as indicators of the effects of climate change, the expansion or control of invasive species or the impact of human land use changes. We argue that there are inherent problems wi...
Conference Paper
Antarctica has experienced major changes in temperature, wind speed and stratospheric ozone levels over the last 50 years. Whilst West Antarctica and the peninsula have shown rapid warming and consequent ecosystem change, East Antarctica appeared to be little impacted by climate warming, thus biological changes were predicted to be relatively slow....
Poster
Continental Antarctic vegetation forms sparse, isolated communities on small patches of ice-free land, predominantly on coastal outcrops, larger islands and some inland nunataks. These communities are good baseline environments for research into human impacts, as they have a relatively simple trophic structure, few biotic interactions and have been...
Article
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Many ecological questions require information on species' optimal conditions or critical limits along environmental gradients. These attributes can be compared to answer questions on niche partitioning, species coexistence and niche conservatism. However, these comparisons are unconvincing when existing methods do not quantify the uncertainty in th...
Article
Full-text available
The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) is one of three Panels that regularly informs the Parties (countries) to the Montreal Protocol on the effects of ozone depletion and the consequences of climate change interactions with respect to human health, animals, plants, biogeochemistry, air quality, and materials. The Panels provide a detail...
Article
Plants infected with hemiparasites often have lowered rates of photosynthesis, which could make them more susceptible to photodamage. However, it is also possible that infected plants increase their photoprotective capacity by changing their pigment content and/or engagement of the xanthophyll cycle. There are no published studies investigating inf...
Article
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Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) is a diesel fuel dominated by aliphatic hydrocarbons that is commonly used in Antarctic and subantarctic regions. The past and present use of SAB fuel at Australia’s scientific research stations has resulted in multiple spills, contaminating soils in these pristine areas. Despite this, no soil quality guidelines or rem...
Article
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The health of several East Antarctic moss-beds is declining as liquid water availability is reduced due to recent environmental changes. Consequently, a noninvasive and spatially explicit method is needed to assess the vigour of mosses spread throughout rocky Antarctic landscapes. Here, we explore the possibility of using near-distance imaging spec...
Article
Fuel pollution is a significant problem in Antarctica, especially in areas where human activities occur, such as at scientific research stations. Despite this, there is little information on the effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on Antarctic terrestrial biota. This paper demonstrates that the Antarctic mosses Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Schistidium ant...
Article
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Preface The assessments presented in the seven papers published in this journal deal with the effects of ozone depletion on human health and the environment and the consequences of interactions between ozone depletion and global climate change. This report is produced in the first instance as a limited edition for governments, via the United Nation...
Article
Full-text available
In this assessment we summarise advances in our knowledge of how UV-B radiation (280-315 nm), together with other climate change factors, influence terrestrial organisms and ecosystems. We identify key uncertainties and knowledge gaps that limit our ability to fully evaluate the interactive effects of ozone depletion and climate change on these sys...
Article
Increased aridity is of global concern. Polar regions provide an opportunity to monitor changes in bio-available water free of local anthropogenic influences. However, sophisticated proxy measures are needed. We explored the possibility of using stable carbon isotopes in segments of moss as a fine-scale proxy for past bio-available water. Variation...
Article
Climate scientists have concluded that stratospheric ozone depletion has been a major driver of Southern Hemisphere climate processes since about 1980. The implications of these observed and modelled changes in climate are likely to be far more pervasive for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems than the increase in ultraviolet-B radiation due to...
Chapter
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Polar ecosystems, and particularly Antarctica, are one of the few environs in which bryophytes dominate the flora. Their success in these regions is due to bryophytes’ ability to withstand an array of harsh conditions through their poikilohydric lifestyle. However, the unique conditions that allow bryophytes to proliferate over other forms of veget...