Associate Professor Caitlin Byrt is a plant scientist and a biotechnological innovator. Her pursuits span from advancing fundamental research, revealing how plants control cell membrane transport, to designing biotechnological solutions for addressing critical resource and water security challenges.
The focus of Caitlin’s research is the identification and characterization of molecular mechanisms that plants use to tolerate stress and to control the transport of nutrients, metals, minerals and salts across membranes.
Caitlin investigates how diverse plants successfully control cell membrane transport and uses this knowledge to design and commercialise biotechnological solutions for improving crop productivity and revolutionising membrane separation technologies for application in harvesting resources from wastewater.
Caitlin’s research identified the molecular identity of the salt transport mechanisms with critical functions in contributing to salinity tolerance. This information was used to improve pasta wheat productivity. Molecular markers developed by Caitlin for tracking these mechanisms in plant breeding programs are used across the globe to generate higher yielding crops.
Associate Professor Caitlin Byrt is co-founder and co-Director of Membrane Transport Engineers.