Apr 25, 2019: New PhD students

The Greening lab has considerably expanded over the last six months. We’re delighted to welcome Bob Leung, Katie Bayly, and David Gillett (pictured below) as PhD students, as well as Caitlin Welsh as an Honours student. Details of their backgrounds and projects can be found here.


Apr 08, 2019: Welcome Rachael

Dr Rachael Lappan has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Coming from a clinical background in Perth, she will be primarily working on the microbiological aspects of RISE, a major intervention trial focused on improving environmental and human health in Fiji and Indonesia. Learn about her here.


Jan 20, 2019: Staff Farewells

Several staff members have recently left the group to take great new positions, namely Dr Tom Lines (now University of Adelaide), Dr Maria Chuvochina (now University of Queensland), and Dr Karen Jordaan (now University of Pretoria). We wish them all the best.


Jan 1, 2019: Associate Professorship

In Monash University’s latest promotions round, Chris has been promoted from Lecturer to Associate Professor. This reflects his leadership in research, supervision, service, and teaching with the School of Biological Sciences.


Nov 10, 2019: Congrats Katie and Guy

Congratulations to Katie Bayly and Guy Shelley for being awarded first-class Honours. Both did excellent projects in the area of trace gas metabolism. Both will be returning to the lab to further build on their major findings: Katie for PhD and Guy as a research assistant.


Dec 31, 2017: Faculty Awards

Rounding off an excellent year, Chris received the Faculty of Science Exceptional Achievement Award and the School of Biological Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. The second award recognises his leadership in refreshing the unit BIO3082: Global Change Biology.


Dec 12, 2017: Medical funding success

In a major boost for our medical research program, we were awarded two major grants by the NHMRC to tackle tuberculosis infection: a New Investigator grant focused on validating new drug targets and a collaborative grant with ANU to alleviate nitroimidazole drug resistance.


Nov 10, 2017: Grant success

We have been awarded an ARC Discovery Grant with A/Prof Perran Cook to expand our research into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of hydrogen cycling in permeable sediments. These findings build on our recent Nature Geoscience article and Ya-Jou Chen’s PhD project.


Dec 1 2017: Congratulations Joanna

Congratulations Joanna Feng for being awarded first-class Honours. Joanna’s research project focused on understanding trace gas scavenging in bacteria isolated from Yellowstone National Park and Taupo Volcanic Zone, with a focus on the understudied phylum Chloroflexi.


Jul 25, 2017: Welcome Paul

We’re delighted to welcome Paul Cordero as a PhD student in the lab. Building on four years experience researching metalloenzymes at the University of Marburg, Paul will be focusing on characterising the high-affinity mycobacterial hydrogenases and their interactions with the respiratory chain.


Jun 5, 2017: Scholarship for Helena

A massive congratulations to Helena (Ya-Jou) Chen for being awarded the prestigious GSSA scholarship from the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. Helena is in the first year of her PhD investigating hydrogen cycling in marine systems and organisms.


Jun 1, 2017: Faculty award

Chris received an award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher from the Monash University’s Faculty of Science last night. It’s a great honour to receive this award within such a distinguished faculty. Thanks so much everyone for their support.


May 9, 2017: Desert research funding

We’ve been co-awarded two grants to investigate primary production mechanisms in desert ecosystems: one focused on the Antarctic (with Dr Belinda Ferrari), the other centred on the Negev (with Dr Osnat Gillor). Sean will be sampling the Negev in June.


Feb 20 2017: Welcome Zahra, Blair and Joanna
The Greening Lab is expanding! We’re delighted to welcome Zahra Islam (PhD student), Blair Ney (research assistant), and Joanna Feng (Honours student) to the lab. Learn about them here. Zahra, making the shift from Sydney, is pictured below.

Apr 15 2017: Welcome Dan
We welcome Dan Søndergaard as a visiting student from Aarhus University, Denmark for three months. He’ll be focused on developing new bioinformatics tools for the lab and enhancing HydDB.

Feb 14 2017: The Greening Lab attends AusME
Helena, Sean, and Chris attended the excellent inaugural AusME: Australian Microbial Ecology Meeting, with Chris presenting our methanotroph research. Congratulations to our department’s Jeremy Barr for winning best speaker.

Dec 10 2016: Congratulations Blair
Congratulations to Blair Ney for being awarded high distinction for his Honours thesis on the biochemistry and evolution of F420 synthesis. Blair will be returning to us as a research assistant in 2017.

Nov 3 2016: Marsden Success
Congratulations to Dr Carlo Carere for securing a competitive Marsden grant. This grant supports an ongoing project between GNS Science and Monash University to study the metabolic flexibility of methanotrophs.

Nov 1 2016: ARC DECRA Fellowship
Chris was awarded the prestigious ARC DECRA Fellowship to research the project “Atmospheric trace gases: fuelling the dormant microbial majority”. This will provide his salary over the next three years and support our ongoing environmental research.

Oct 15 2016: Welcome Sean and Helena
We’re delighted to welcome Sean Bay and Helena Chen as PhD students to the team. They’ll be respectively investigating the ecophysiology of microbial H metabolism in terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Aug 25 2016: Welcoming our research assistant
We’re delighted to welcome Thanavit, aka Tent, to the team. A joint Chemistry and Biology graduate from ANU, he’ll be in charge of the molecular biology and protein purification facilities in the Greening Lab.

Aug 25 2016: Collaborative funding success
We’ve been awarded a grant through the Science-BPS Strategic Research Seed Funding scheme to investigate the structure and function of novel hydrogenases with Max Cryle.

Mar 11 2019: Nature Microbiology articles

Congratulations to Helena for her first-author paper in Nature Microbiology. This article, co-led with Perran Cook, reveals how microbial communities mediate biogeochemical cycling in coastal sediments. We also contributed to an article on eukaryogenesis led by Anja Spang and Thijs Ettema.


Feb 10 2019: ISME article

As shown in the publications page, we have several articles coming out in the next few months in top journals ISME Journal, Nature Communications, and Nature Microbiology. These include Zahra’s first-author paper on Chloroflexi persistence than has been published in ISME.


Dec 17 2018: JBC article

We have published a co-corresponding author with Prof Greg Cook and Prof Colin Jackson in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This extensive article reveals the structure and function of a flavin-binding protein involved in adaptation of mycobacteria to hypoxia.


Oct 1 2018: Bergey’s chapter

We have published a book chapter with Dr Matthew Stott in the definitive resource Bergey’s Manual of Systematics of Bacteria and Archaea. Its details characterisation of the volcanic acidobacterial isolate Pyrinomonas, building on our work published in PNAS.


Jul 10 2018: Flying high

Over the last six months, we have published three new papers with Prof Paul Sunnucks and Dr Sasha Pavlova on selection for mitochondrial function in climate adaptation of songbirds. These papers were published in Nature Ecology & EvolutionMolecular Ecology, and Heredity.


Apr 1 2018: New ISME & ES&T papers

We’ve published a new paper in the ISME Journal, presenting a deadly twist on the ecological phenomenon of interspecies hydrogen transfer, looking at hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments. We’ve also published a paper on organohalide-contaminated ecosystems in Environmental Science & Technology.


Dec 7 2017: Co-first Nature paper

Chris is co-first author on a new paper in Nature funded by his ARC DECRA Fellowship. We helped resolve the conundrum of why the extremely nutrient-starved soils of Antarctica hosts rich microbial diversity — they can live on thin air by using atmospheric trace gases as energy and carbon sources.


Feb 21 2018: Cover photo article

Sean and Chris have published a new perspective piece on primary production and microbial diversity in desert ecosystems. This article was featured on the cover of an excellent special issue of the Australian Society for Microbiology’s official journal. Thank you to Linda Blackall for the invitation.


Sep 13 2017: New biochemistry article

Blair, Tent and Chris have published Cofactor tail length modulates catalysis of bacterial F420-dependent oxidoreductases at Frontiers in Microbiology. Blending enzyme kinetic measurements and molecular dynamics simulations, this article reveals why the redox cofactor F420 has a long charged tail.


Aug 25 2017: New ISME Journal article

We’ve published the paper Mixotrophy drives niche expansion of verrucomicrobial methanotrophs as part of our Marsden-funded collaboration with Dr Carlo Carere and Dr Matthew Stott on the hidden metabolic flexibility of methanotrophs.


June 9, 2017: Tuberculosis book chapter

In collaboration with Prof Gregory Cook, we contributed the chapter Oxidative phosphorylation as a target space for tuberculosis: success, caution, and future directions for the new book Tuberculosis and the Tubercle Bacilli.


May 18 2017: Biocatalysis article

We’ve published a new article in Frontiers in Microbiology, which describes the broad substrate range and chemical mechanism of a family of mycobacterial reductases. This biotechnology-focused article features work from Tent, Blair, and CSIRO collaborators.


Jan 10 2017: Nature Geoscience article

We collaborated on an article published in Nature Geoscience. This article is the first to come from an ongoing collaboration with A/Prof Perran Cook on hydrogen cycling in marine ecosystems. See the commentary here.


Feb 18 2017: New collaboration
Last year, we established a collaboration with Paul Sunnucks to explore the role of oxidative phosphorylation in ecological adaptation of Australian biota. The first article from our study is up on Frontiers in Genetics, with another available as a preprint.

Sep 7 2016: Antimicrobials article
We have published an article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, based on the findings of Tent and Blair’s Honours studentships, describing the discovery of a new family of antimicrobial-detoxifying enzymes.

Sep 25 2016: F420 article in Nature’s ISME Journal
Our article on the evolution and ecology of F420 is published in the top microbial ecology journal. Based on Blair’s summer studentship findings, the article shows a methanogen cofactor is also widely synthesised by aerobic bacteria.

Sep 1 2016: Hydrogenase database goes live
We have released HydDB, a web database and classification tool for hydrogenases developed in collaboration with Aarhus University. Read the accompanying article in Scientific Reports to learn about the tool’s capacity.

May 3 2016: Gut microbiology article
In collaboration with world-renowned gastroenterologist Prof Rex Gaskins, we have investigated the molecular basis of H2 oxidation and production in the GI tracts of healthy and diseased humans. Check out the first article here.

Apr 27 2016: MMBR review, cover article in press
Our comprehensive review on the metabolism of the redox cofactor F420 has been published in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. Check out the review and the accompanying cover photo in the current issue.

Feb 20 2016: ISME article online
The ISME Journal have published our article showing that the genetic determinants of hydrogen metabolism are widely distributed among ecosystems and microbial taxa.