Dr Barbara Bowen
BSc (Hons), PhD

Senior Lecturer

About me

My teaching responsibilities at Murdoch are significant and include both undergraduate teaching and supervision of student research projects. I like the challenge of sharing and instilling knowledge that will make a difference, particularly about the natural world and the amazing biodiversity within. While my main area of expertise is in plant biology, I contribute to a wide range of core units including an interdisciplinary Foundation Unit, Environmental Biology, Australian Biodiversity and Forensics. I enjoy learning about new areas and adapting my teaching to the needs of different student cohorts. It is particularly stimulating to empower first year students by developing their fundamental skills, and then to encourage them to refine and apply those skills in more advanced units.

My research expertise is on the effect of disturbance, particularly fire, within our forest communities. This includes determining strategies employed by plants for seedling establishment, growth and recovery following fire. I have determined the patterns of growth, biomass allocation, and deployment and storage of nutrients for a range of plant species. I have also demonstrated the significance of stored carbohydrates in the recovery of plant shoot biomass and have shown that, in some species, the timing and intensity of fires is a significant factor in their regeneration and survival. Furthermore, my background in both Botany and Zoology has allowed me to extend my research to the effect of ecosystem disturbance on animal populations. This interdisciplinary approach is particularly useful because of the interdependency of plant and animal populations within ecosystems and provides a firm basis on which to establish management strategies.

Research areas

  • Impact of disturbance, particularly fire, on ecosystem health.
  • Strategies employed by plants for seedling establishment, growth and recovery following fire.
  • Influence of Food Studies in Tertiary Education- Impact beyond the class room.

Current projects

  • Anatomical investigation of starch distribution in the roots of plants from the family Proteaceae
  • Preliminary investigation: looking at the importance of food studies in tertiary education and their influence beyond the classroom.

Awards and grants

  • 2007 Murdoch University Teaching Excellence Award (General Teaching Excellence within Discipline)
  • 2006 Joint CI -Cause(s) and Management of the Eucalyptus gomphocephala decline epidemic in WA.  ARC Linkage funded project: $802,000 over three years.
  • 2006 Dietary analysis and comparison between Black-Flanked Rock Wallabies, Euros and feral goats at Cape Range National Park. Department of Conservation and Land Management funded project: $1000.
  • 2004 The importance of mycorrhizal associations for growth and survival of Tuarts (Eucalyptus gomphocephala). Research Excellence Grant (REG) Scheme: $16,500.
  • 2003 Joint CI -Eucalyptus gomphocephala (tuart) decline in Western Australia ARC Linkage funded project:  $343 000 over 3 years.
  • 1997 Effect of season of fire on flowering in Stirlingia latifolia. Murdoch University Special Research Grant: $3,,828.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

PhD
Archibald, R.D. (2006) Fire and the Persistence of Tuart Woodlands

Nature, Significance and Key Findings of the Research:This study found that natural Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) regeneration relies on fire and that Tuart health can respond positively to low-intensity fire.  Poorer Tuart health was associated with a dense peppermint (Agonis flexuosa) midstorey which may develop in the absence of frequent fire.   While this study was unable to directly link the recent decline of Tuart at Yalgorup with fire history, it is clear that fire has an important role in Tuart woodland restoration and conservation.

Honours Projects:
• 2002: Flower visitation by mammals in healthy and diseased Jarrah forest ecosystems.
• 2003: The diet of the Southern brown bandicoot or Quenda (Isoodon obesulus), in Banksia woodlands, Western Australia.
• 2004: Biodiversity of ecotomycorrhizal fungi associated with tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) in Yalgorup National Park
• 2004/05: Role of Fire on Phytophthora cinnamomi in the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia.
• 2006/07: A Comparative Dietary Analysis of the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis), Euro (Macropus robustus) and Feral Goat (Capra hircus) in Cape Range National Park, Exmouth, Western Australia
• 2006/07: Resistence of Lambertia Taxa to Phytophthora cinnamomi

Publications

Journals

  • Moore, N., Barrett, S., Howard, K., Craig, M., Bowen, B., Shearer, B., Hardy, G., (2014), Time since fire and average fire interval are the best predictors of Phytophthora cinnamomi activity in heathlands of south-western Australia, Australian Journal of Botany, 62, 7, pages 587 - 593.
  • Archibald, R., Bradshaw, J., Bowen, B., Close, D., McCaw, L., Drake, P., Hardy, G., (2010), Understorey thinning and burning trials are needed in conservation reserves: The case of Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala D.C.), Ecological Management & Restoration, 11, 2, pages 108 - 112.
  • Cai, Y., Barber, P., Dell, B., O'Brien, P., Williams, N., Bowen, B., Hardy, G., (2010), Soil bacterial functional diversity is associated with the decline of Eucalyptus gomphocephala, Forest Ecology and Management, 260, 6, pages 1047 - 1057.
  • Bowen, B., Pate, J., (2004), Effect of season of burn on shoot recovery and post-fire flowering performance in the resprouter Stirlingia latifolia R. Br. (Proteaceae), Austral Ecology: a journal of ecology in the Southern Hemisphere, 29, 2, pages 145 - 155.
  • Gleadell, E., Bamford, M., Bowen, B., Davies, S., (1999), An annotated list of Walmajari and Mangala names for natural features, plants and animals in the Great Sandy desert, Western Australia, The Western Australian Naturalist, 22, 3, pages 199 - 204.

Conference

  • Bowen, B., Moore, N., Hardy, G., Shearer, B., Barrett, S., (2007),The role of fire on Phytophthora dieback caused by the root pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi in the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia,In: 11th International Mediterranean Ecosystems (MEDECOS) Conference (2007).
  • Archibald, R., Bowen, B., Hardy, G., Fox, J., Ward, D., (2005),Changes to tuart woodland in Yalgorup National Park over four decades,In: 6th National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society (AFHS) (2004).

Additional Publications

Journals

  • Pate, J.S., Jeschke, W.D., Dawson, T.E., Raphael, C., Hartung, W. and Bowen, B.J. (1998)  Growth and seasonal utilization of water and nutrients by Banksia prionotes Lindley.  Australian Journal of Botany. 46. pp 511-532.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Pate, J.S. (1993) The significance of root starch in post-fire shoot recovery of the resprouter Stirlingia latifolia R. Br. (Proteaceae).  Annals of Botany.  72. pp 7-16.
  • Pate, J.S., Froend, R.H., Bowen, B.J., Hansen, A. and Kuo, J. (1990) Seedling growth and storage characteristics of seeder and resprouter species of Mediterranean-type ecosystems of SW. Australia.  Annals of Botany.  65. pp. 585-601.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Morgan, E.H. (1988) Effect of osmolar and ionic composition of the extracellular fluid on transferrin endocytosis and exocytosis and iron uptake by reticulocytes.  Journal of Cellular Physiology.  134. pp.  1-13.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Morgan, E.H.  (1987) Anaemia in the Belgrade rat: evidence for defective membrane transport of iron.  Blood.  70. pp. 38-44.
  • McArdle, H.J., Douglas, A.J., Bowen, B.J. and Morgan, E.H. (1985) The mechanism of iron uptake by the rat placenta.  Journal of Cellular Physiology.  124. pp. 446-450.
  • Bowen, B.J., Codd, C.G. and Gwynne, D.T. (1984) The katydid spermatophore (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): male nutritional investment and its fate in the mated female.  Australian Journal of Zoology.  32. pp. 23-31.
  • Gwynne, D.T., Bowen, B.J. and Codd, C.G. (1984) The function of the katydid spermatophore and its role in fecundity and insemination (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae).  Australian Journal of Zoology.  32. pp. 15-22.

Book Chapters

  • Bowen, B., van Keulen, M. and McComb, J. (2009) The greening of the land – plant diversity Part I. In: Calver, M.C., Lymbery, A.J., McComb, J.A. and Bamford, M., (eds.) Environmental biology. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
  • Bowen, B. and Ladd P (2009) Living Together: Communities and Ecosystems In: Calver, M.C., Lymbery, A.J., McComb, J.A. and Bamford, M., (eds.) Environmental biology. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
  • Dell, B., van Keulen, M., McComb, J. and Bowen, B. (2009) The greening of the land – plant diversity Part II. In: Calver, M.C., Lymbery, A.J., McComb, J.A. and Bamford, M., (ed.) Environmental biology. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
  • Archibald, R.D., Bowen, B.J., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Fox, J.E.D. and Ward, D.J. (2005) Changes to tuart woodland in Yalgorup National Park over four decades. In: Calver, M.C., Bigler-Cole, H., Bolton, G., Dargavel, J., Gaynor, A., Horwitz, P., Mills, J. and Wardell-Johnston, G., (eds.) A Forest Conscienceness: Proceedings 6th National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society Inc. Millpress Science Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 363-372.
  • Bowen, BJ (2001) Chapter14 – Reproduction, Growth and Development in Plants. In M.C. Calver (ed) Instructors Resource Manual to Biology 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Australia.
  • Bowen, BJ (2001) Chapter 17 – Structure of Plants. In M.C. Calver (ed) Instructors Resource Manual to Biology 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Australia.
  • Bowen, BJ (2001) Chapter18  – Plant Nutrition, Transport and Adaptation to Stress. In M.C. Calver (ed) Instructors Resource Manual to Biology 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Australia.
  • Bowen, BJ (2001) Chapter 24 – Plant Hormones and Growth Responses. In M.C. Calver (ed) Instructors Resource Manual to Biology 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Australia.

Reports

  • Hüberli, D., Shearer, B.L., Calver, M.C., Paap, T., Moore, N.A., Barrett, S., Freebury, G., Howard, K., O’Gara, E., Dunstan, W., Bowen, B., Gower, K., Palmer, B., Long, N., Crane, C., Spadek, T., Dell, B., O’Brien, P., McComb, J.A. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2008) Research into natural and induced resistance in Australian native vegetation of Phytophthora cinnamomi and innovative methods to contain and/or eradicate within localised incursions in areas of high biodiversity in Australia. Does the physiological status of the plant at the time of spraying affect the efficacy of phosphite? Prepared by the Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management for the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
  • Bowen BJ, Froend, RH & O’Neil, K (2002). Literature Review: Wetland Values and Threats and the Function and Management of Wetland Buffers. Technical Report, Ministry of Planning, West. Aust.
  • Bowen, BJ (1994) Wetland Plant Species of the Swan Coastal Plain and the South West of Western Australia: An annotated list. Claris: File Maker Pro.
  • Bowen, BJ & Froend, RH (1989) Forrestfield Hot Fire Training Centre-Vegetation Survey. Report to Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA.

Conference Papers

  • Barber, P.A., Archibald, R., Drake, P., Edwards, T., Eslick, H., Legault, A., Moore, N.A., Scott, P.M., Taylor, K., Bowen, B., Calver, M.C., Colquhoun, I.J., Dell, B., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Haswell, D., McCaw, L., McGrath, J. and Froend, R. (2005) Investigating the cause(s) of the Eucalyptus gomphocephala (Tuart) decline epidemic in Western Australian native forest. In: 15th Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference, 26-29 September 2005 , Geelong, Australia.
  • Reid, A., Bowen, B.J., Fuss, A., Ladd, P., Lamont, B.B., Markey, A., Ladd, P.G. and Pate, J.S. (1996) Understanding Stirlingia – an important export crop. Proceedings of IV National Workshop for Australian Native Plants. 4. pp. 263-269.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Pate, J.S. (1991) Adaptations of S.W. Australian Members of the Proteaceae: Allocation of Resources During Early Growth.  Proceedings of the International Protea Associations Sixth Biennial Conference.  6. pp. 289-301.
  • Bowen, B.J., Hebbert, D.R. and Morgan, E.H. (1985) Effects of EDTA and EGTA on transferrin receptors in reticulocytes.  Proceedings of the Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society.  17. pp. 26.
  • Bowen, B.J., Bakker, H. and Bradshaw, S.D. (1983) Kidney Function in Arid Zone Macropods.  ANZAAS.  Perth, Western Australia.

Conference Item (Abstract/Posters)

  • Hardy, G.E.St.J.., Barber, P.A., Dell, B., Lyons, T., Moore, S.A., Baudains, C., Veneklass, E., Renton, M., Calver, M.C., Bowen, B., Ruthrof, K., Fleming, T. and Hobbs, R.J. (2008) The new West Australian Centre of Excellence for Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health. In: The FORTROP II Conference: Tropical Forestry Change in a Changing World, 17 – 20 November, Kasetsart University Bangkok, Thailand.
  •  Moore, N., Barrett, S., Bowen, B., Shearer, B. and Hardy, G. (2007) The role of fire on Phytophthora dieback caused by the root pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi in the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia. In: 11th International Mediterranean Ecosystems (MEDECOS) Conference (2007), 2 – 5 September, Perth, Western Australia.
  • Barber, P., Ruthrof, K., Archibald, R., Behn, G., Bougher, N., Bowen, B., Cai, Y-F, Calver, M., Colquhoun, I., Dell, B., Drake, P., Edwards, B., Eslick, H., Fleming, T., Froend, R., Harris, J., Haswell, D., Henson, J., Hewison, A., Long, N., Malcolm, A., McCaw, L., Scott, P., Stone, C., Taylor, K., Wentzel, K. and Hardy, G. (2007) The severe and disturbing decline of an iconic Mediterranean ecosystem endemic to Western Australia. In: International Mediterranean Ecosystems Conference, MedEcos XI, 2 – 5 September, Perth, Western Australia.
  • Barber, P.A., Archibald, R.D., Bowen, B., Calver, M. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2006) The distribution and impact of Mycosphaerella cryptica on regenerating Eucalyptus gomphocephala. In: 8th International Mycological Congress, 21 – 25 August, Cairns, Queensland.
  • Barber, P.A., Archibald, R., Bowen, B., Calver, M. and Hardy, G.St.J (2006) The distribution and impact of Mycosphaerella cryptica on regenerating stands of Eucalyptus gomphocephala in native forests of W.A. 8th International Mycological Congress (Cairns, August 2006).
  • Barber, P.A, Archibald, R., Bowen, B., Calver, M. and Hardy, G.St.J. (2005) Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) regeneration and Mycosphaerella cryptica - has this pathogen always had a big impact on recruitment? Proceedings of the 15th Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference. Geelong, Victoria. 26-29 September.2005.
  • Barber, P.A., Archibald, R., Drake, P., Edwards, T., Eslick, H., Legault, A., Moore, N., Scott. P., Taylor, K., Bowen, B., Calver, M., Colquhoun, I., Dell, B., Hardy, G., Haswell, D., McCaw, L., McGrath, J. and Froend, R. (2005) Investigating The Cause(s) of the Eucalyptus Gomphocephala (Tuart) Decline epidemic in Western Australian Native Forest. Proceedings of the 15th Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference. Geelong, Victoria. 26-29 September.2005.
  • Armistead,R., Garkaklis, M.J., Hardy,G.E., Dell, B., Bowen, B.J., Wood, J., Gaskin, C., Lilith,M., Annettes, K., Colquhoun, I. and  Wilson B.A. (2002) The impact of plant disease on guilds of mammals in southern Australian ecosystems. The Australian Mammal Society 48th Scientific Meeting. Deakin University , Victoria, Australia.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Pate, J.S. (2000) Effect of fire and season of burn on recovery in the resprouter Stirlingia latifolia R. Br. (Proteaceae). Plant Form and Function: Adaptations to Stress (Symposium). The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. (Paper)
  • Bowen, B.J. (1999) Effect of fire season on flowering in the resprouter Stirlingia latifolia R. Br. (Proteaceae).  ESA99- Ecological Connections.  Fremantle, Western Australia.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Pate, J.S. (1988) Aspects of fire regeneration strategies in the family Proteaceae.  The Royal Society of Western Australia Banksia Woodlands Symposium.  Perth, Western Australia.
  • Ladd, P.G. and Bowen, B.J. (1997) Comparison of pollen presenter and stigma form and development between the Australian and South African Proteoideae. 2nd Southern Connection Congress, Southern Temperate Biota and Ecosystems, Past, Present and Future, Chille.
  • Bowen, B.J. and Ladd, P.G. (1996) Pollen presenter and stigma form and development in the Australian Proteoideae.  Proteaceae: International Symposium on the Biology of Proteaceae, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Pate, J.S., Jeschke, W.D., Dawson, T.E., Raphael, C., Hartung, W. and Bowen, B.J. (1998). Growth and seasonal utilization of water and nutrients by Banksia prionotes Lindley.  Proteaceae: International Symposium on the Biology of Proteaceae, Melbourne, Australia.

Other

  • Dell, B., Bowen, B., Barber, P. and Thomas, S. (2006) Beneficial fungi and the health of tuart. Tuart Bulletin, 8 . pp. 1-2.
  • Archibald, R., Bowen, B., Hardy, G., McCaw, L. and Close, D. (2006) The role of fire in tuart decline at Yalgorup? Tuart Bulletin, 6 . pp. 1-4.