Plant science is the multidisciplinary study of plants, from the molecular workings of a plant cell to plants’ roles in ecosystem functions. It spans molecular biology and genetics of plants, plant morphology and function, plant ecology and evolution, and conservation of biodiversity and resource management.

Plant scientists address challenges of food security and environmental sustainability by:

  • improving food production
  • increasing environmental sustainability of agricultural practices, including pest and noxious weeds control
  • developing new foods, drugs and biofuels through biotechnology.

Undergraduates can focus on one of three suggested study streams in the Plant Science major: plant ecology and sustainability, plant biotechnology and molecular plant science, or plant pathology. If you opt for honours, you’ll complete a research project in your final year. Together, these experiences will prepare you for a range of careers in industry, government, business or research.

Plant science graduates typically work for multinational companies, universities, government departments, research agencies such as CSIRO, or run their own businesses.

Private tissue-culture laboratories, seed and mining companies, plant nurseries, landscape designers and environmental consultants employ plant scientists as ecologists, biotechnologists, conservationists, molecular biologists, marine biologists, physiologists, plant breeders, pathologists, floriculturists and horticulturists. Plant scientists also work in rural industries and government, in technical or policy roles.

Photo: Ian Hull