About Us

We are a young and growing group of people interested in plant molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry. Our lab at UWA was established in December 2012.

The work we do in plant biology is strongly influenced by our colleagues within the School of Molecular Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology on the Crawley campus of The University of Western Australia.

To learn more about us, go to the Members section or read individual biographies here. Also, see examples of our work "In the news" listed below.

Bayliss Building

The Bayliss Building houses research labs and teaching facilities for the molecular sciences and is located at The University of Western Australia in Perth.

The Bayliss Building on UWA’s Crawley Campus in Perth is home to UWA's School of Molecular Sciences (SMS) and The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (ARC CoE PEB). This makes it the ideal place for research in plant genetics and biological chemistry. A vigorous seminar series called The Bayliss Seminar Series runs twice a week, see its website for details.

The University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the largest and oldest university in Western Australia.

Established in 1911, The University of Western Australia (UWA) is both the largest and oldest university in the state of Western Australia with more than 24,000 students and 3,500 staff. UWA is a Group of Eight university – a coalition of the top research universities in Australia – and one of only two Australian members the Worldwide Universities Network, a partnership of 18 research-led universities from Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific

Since 2012, UWA has been among the top 100 universities in Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s internationally recognised Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and is regularly in the top 1% of universities according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS rankings. Recently, ARWU gave UWA a 2017 ranking of 91.

Specifically in the Life and Agricultural Sciences disciplinary field the ARWU rankings saw UWA lead Australia and place 24th in the world. In 2015 The Good Universities Guide rated UWA equal first in Australia with five-star ratings for student demand, graduate starting salaries, research intensivity, and research grants. See this UWA website on reputation and here, which details UWA's growing strength.

Past students: Testimonials

UWA and the School of Molecular Sciences have a great reputation for higher education. Josh Mylne currently supervises 7 PhD students; 5 as principal supervisor at UWA and 2 as co-supervisor at UWA and UQ. Since 2007 he has seen completions for another 7 post-graduate students including 2 Masters students, 2 Honours students (100% & 50% loads) and 4 PhD students (80%, 50%, 50%, 85% load). Here are comments from students that recently completed post-graduate degrees:

  • Amy James
    2018 PhD (UWA)

    "I joined Josh’s lab as a PhD candidate after completing my Undergraduate and Masters degree at University of Victoria, BC, Canada. I submitted my PhD as a series of publications which included two published first author publications, one first author publication ready for submission, one co-authored published manuscript and one co-authored publication ready for submission. During my PhD, I developed numerous techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry. Along with Josh’s background in plant genetics and molecular biology, my co-supervisor Prof. Charlie Bond, with whom Josh maintains an active collaborative relationship, has exceptional knowledge and expertise in structural biology. Josh’s supervisory philosophy is to prepare his students for the next stage in their career by providing a well rounded and fulfilling experience. Beyond scientific ability, Josh encourages students to develop other skills important to a successful scientific career. For example, I had the opportunity to take part in all aspects of producing a published research article including writing of the manuscript, generating figures and writing the response to reviewers. He offers several workshops to assist in these skills including a photoshop/illustrator course and a bi-annual writing retreat." (9 Feb 2018)

  • Achala Jayasena
    2016 PhD (UWA)

    "I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Sri Lanka and gained a Masters of Biology from Adelphi University, New York studying Arabidopsis genetics. With a desire to expand my skill set, I joined what would become the Mylne lab (while Josh was hosted by the Craik lab at IMB, UQ) as a PhD candidate in 2012. I got to be the first student in the official 'Mylne lab' at UWA where I continued working on my project studying the evolution of the dual-fate protein PawS1. My PhD journey (2012-2016) was an extremely successful and interesting one. I developed skills in de novo transcriptomics and proteomics in addition to strengthening my skills in molecular biology. I graduated in 2016 authoring six manuscripts in respected journals and I have a few more on the way. I was lucky enough to submit my PhD thesis as a series of publications. Despite being a small lab, we were well connected with big labs from whom we sought expertise in next generation sequencing, proteomics and daisy evolution. The lab always had a very friendly working environment and it was a pleasant surprise to see our lab head working in the lab along with us most of the time. Josh was a very supportive supervisor with a positive mindset, who helped me with all the steps in my candidature from the scholarship application to the thesis submission. I enjoyed my time in the Mylne lab and thank Josh, my lab colleagues and our collaborators for their wonderful support." (2 Nov 2016)

  • Alysha Elliott
    2013 PhD (UQ)

    "Starting a graduate program in 2009 as Associate Professor Josh Mylne’s first primary PhD student was an exciting, challenging and rewarding time for us both. It was a great position to be in with a young and enthusiastic post doctoral supervisor who was keen to be by my side in the laboratory when needed as well as giving me the independence to find my own grounding and niche as a scientist. My thesis “A New Class of Daisy Seed Peptides” describes the discovery of a new and structurally diverse class of seed peptides. The majority of this work was [recently accepted] for publication in Plant Cell and other elements are currently being continued in the lab. I learnt a vast number of new techniques, as this project was multidisciplinary based on Josh’s plant molecular biology expertise, my own prior skill set in peptide chemistry and, via a strong collaboration with Dr. Johan Rosengren (NMR expert), structural biology. During my candidature, with the passionate support of Josh, I had the opportunity to attend international conferences, where I won student bursaries and prizes for my work, visited international collaborators to collect samples on a student travel award and competed in the GlaxoSmithKline student awards. My time in the Mylne lab was highly successful and enjoyable thanks to a great group, of not only intelligent and enthusiastic but friendly and supportive young people." (21 Oct 2013)

  • Joseph O'Neill
    2011-2012 Summer, IMB Summer Scholar

    "I was lucky enough to receive an IMB Summer Scholarship for an internship with Assoc. Prof. Mylne. I worked on a project that built on the effect antimalarial drugs have on plants. Specifically, I sterilised and sowed mutated Arabidopsis seed onto antimalarial-drug-containing plates of media, aiming to find a drug-resistant line. It is hoped that, given the shared evolutionary history between malaria parasites and photosynthetic plants, Assoc. Prof. Mylne's work in this area will help elucidate the mode of action of antimalarial drugs in parasites. Being in charge of my own project, albeit with expert guidance, I was able to learn and develop new skills that I was yet to do in my undergraduate education. I learned much about drug design and action, as well as practical skills like sterile technique, liquid and gas seed sterilisation, plant husbandry, making media, following scientific methods, researching techniques, and keeping a lab book. All of which will be useful for my science career. During my time I was supervised by the competent and engaged members of Assoc. Prof. Mylne's and Prof. Craik's group, and as my first experience of the research world my time in Assoc. Prof. Mylne's lab offered me invaluable experience and knowledge. As I am graduating from my B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UQ in June, I feel I have made connections at the IMB that will serve me in my postgraduate education and my future career. I had a great summer and thoroughly enjoyed my time at the IMB." (13 Feb 2012)

  • Christina Delay
    2011 Honours (UQ), First Class, Dean's Commendation

    "For my honours project, I set out to investigate how and when cyclic peptides first arose albumin genes in the daisy family. This project gave me the opportunity to use a range of different experimental techniques, including molecular biology, plant biology and protein chemistry. I received First Class Honours with a Dean's Commendation for High Achievement and my results will be included in a forthcoming publication [see here]. Josh is extremely passionate about his work and his enthusiasm certainly rubs off onto his students. The lab has a great dynamic, with a good mix of students and RAs who are always able to offer advice when needed. Additionally, the lab has a number of excellent collaborators. Next year, I will be starting a Ph.D. in plant sciences under the supervision of Assoc. Professor Michael Djordjevic at the Australian National University in Canberra." (3 Dec 2011)

  • Kate Martinac
    2011 Honours (UQ), First Class

    "I recently completed my honours in B. Biotechnology on in planta peptide processing at the IMB and received First Class Honours. It was a privilege to have Josh as my supervisor and to work with such an intelligent team of researchers in state-of-the-art facilities. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the lab and found the experience both challenging and rewarding. I now work at QUT bluebox, assisting in the commercialisation of research outcomes." (30 Nov 2011)

  • Zaiyang Phua
    2010 Masters (UQ), Dean's Commendation

    "I did my Masters in Molecular Biology in 2010 with Josh at the IMB on the genetic evolution of seed peptides and received a grade of straight sevens [7 is the highest mark possible] as well as the Dean's Commendation for High Achievement. It was a tremendously rewarding experience working under Josh and I have learned many invaluable laboratory techniques and skills which I will hold on to for my scientific career. I really enjoyed my time in the lab and Josh's dedication and passion towards his work will always be an inspiration for me. I now work at the Genome Institute of Singapore as a research officer performing next-generation sequencing." (17 Dec 2011)