Barry Osmond studies photosynthesis, the miracle in which plants turn sunlight, air and water into the food, fuel and fibre that sustains life on Earth. Solar energy conversion by photosynthesis is the most energetic of all biological processes, and plants from diverse environments have evolved many ways of coping with variations in light, water, temperature and nutrients. Two main areas of interest are the readily reversible processes of photoprotection, and the slowly reversible processes of photoinactivation leading to photodamage. The former involve pigment/protein transformations in the light harvesting antennae of photosystems that dump unused light as heat, thereby minimizing damage to core water splitting/oxygen evolving enzymes in reaction centres. His research depends on measuring the small amount of fluorescence emitted from chlorophyll in leaves when exposed to sunlight (about 1% of the light absorbed). Support from the University of Wollongong has led to development of new instruments for non-invasive monitoring of these processes at a distance.
TAKAYAMA K, KING D, ROBINSON S, OSMOND B (2013) Integrating transient heterogeneity of non-photochemical quenching in shade-grown heterobaric leaves of avocado (Persea americana L.): responses to CO2 concentration, stomatal occlusion, dehydration and relative humidity. Plant and Cell Physiology 54: 1852-1866
OSMOND B (2014) Our eclectic adventures in the slower eras of photosynthesis: from New England down under to Biosphere 2 and beyond. Annual Review of Plant Biology 65: 1-32
HOLTUM J, WINTER K, OSMOND B (2014) Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) Chapter 2.2.8 (12 pp) Plants in Action (2nd edition; online) http://plantsinaction.science.uq.edu.au/content/228-crassulacean-acid-metabolism-cam. Australian Society of Plant Scientists
OSMOND B (2015) Perspectives on photoprotection and photoinhibition. Feature Essay 12.1 (6 pp) Plants in Action (2nd edition; online) http://plantsinaction.science.uq.edu.au/node/276/ Australian Society of Plant Scientists