Membrane Transporter Engineers (MTE) are empowering industry to pursue a circular economy by developing plant-inspired technology to harvest resources from liquid waste.
MTE is the brainchild of plant scientists Associate Professor Caitlin Byrt, Dr Annamaria De Rosa and Dr Samantha McGaughey, from the Australian National University Research School of Biology.
MTE’s initial work focused on improving crop yields and tolerance to environmental stresses. Having observed the exceptional capability of plants to separate different molecules from the soil into their roots and leaves, the team were inspired to borrow from nature – developing advanced membrane separation technologies for multiple applications.
Caitlin 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.
Annamaria has long been fascinated by plants, and is currently focused on understanding how the function of selective pores in plant cell membranes can be used to reframe approaches to wastewater management.
As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Plant Sciences Division of the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University (ANU), Sam is passionate about making real world differences through plant science research.
Fluid solutions borrowed from nature
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The research team thank ANU for supporting the MTE initiative, which involves translating research outcomes from the Byrt lab at ANU into solutions for future resource management