Using phylogeny to predict medicinal utility of basal angiosperms (the ancient spice clades) in Australasia

co- supervisors:

Jacqui Adcock, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University; Anne Gaskett, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland; Nina Rønsted, Botanic Gardens, Natural History Museum of Denmark; Mary Gibson, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University


Plants are one of the earliest known sources of medicine and among them Magnoliids are of high therapeutic value. However apart from known medicinally important Magnoliids there are many still to be identified. But up to date there has not been any effective method of identifying plants of medicinal potential. Therefore I am going to combine phylogeny and chemosystematics of the ancient clade; Australasian Magnoliids, in making a predictive model of medicinal utility.


Describe yourself in three words- Artistic, reserved and strong


What is your earliest memory? Sitting at my father’s old fashioned office room eating Palmyrah roots


What (or who) inspired your interest in biology? The thirst to know/ learn more


What was your favourite book as a child? Wasilissa the Beautiful


Name your three favourite films- Gone with the wind, The other Boleyn girl, Great Gatsby


Which do you prefer – Cheese or chocolate? Chocolate- white


Who would play you in a film about your life? Julia Roberts


Which three people would you invite to your dream dinner party? William Shakespeare, Charles Darwin, James Watson


What is your fancy dress costume of choice? Fairy god mother from Cinderella

What would your super power be? Strictly nothing but “compassion”

What is your number one interest outside of science? Poetry

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would it be? Dodo