Christopher Blackman

Western Sydney University
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Dr Chris Blackman is a Research Fellow in the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. His research in plant eco-physiology aims to better understand the coordination between water transport and carbon dynamics in plants, both under optimal conditions and in response to environmental stress, especially drought.

Dr Chris Blackman joined Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Climate Change in January 2014. He is currently working with Prof David Tissue on a project entitled 'Forests for the future: making the most of a high CO2 world' (opens in new window). The project broadly aims to examine the genetics and physiology of tree species in order to identify potential winners and losers under a future climate of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, warmer temperatures and drought.

Dr Blackman completed his PhD at the University of Tasmania in 2011 under the supervision of Assoc Prof Tim Brodribb and Dr Greg Jordan. His PhD research in plant hydraulics aimed to better understand plant structure and function across a number of different levels, from leaf anatomy, hydraulics and physiology to whole plant responses to drought and their ecological implications. A particularly strong focus of this research was centred on the physiological response of plants to water-stress and the coordination between leaf structure and function in relation to drought resistance.

Moving to Sydney in 2011, Dr Blackman spent two and a half years within the Comparative Ecology Lab at Macquarie University working with Professor Mark Westoby. This work examined how leaf hydraulic vulnerability varies across broad environmental gradients of aridity and contributes to species differences in drought tolerance strategy. It also examined the underlying coordination between vulnerability and key aspects of leaf anatomy and structure.  

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