Brad Posch | Desert Botanical Garden


Home  » Research and Conservation Staff  »  Brad Posch

Brad Posch

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Plant Eco-Physiology

Ph.D. Australian National University, 2022



As a plant ecophysiologist, my research focuses on understanding the various ways that plants are affected by changes in their environment, and spans from the molecular to the whole-organism level. I am particularly interested in the ways that plants respond to high temperature, including how heat exposure influences the critical processes of photosynthesis and mitochondrial respiration. I began working on plant physiology and thermal acclimation during my PhD at the Australian National University, where I studied the effect of daytime and nighttime warming on wheat photosynthesis and respiration. After starting a post-doc position at Texas Tech University, I expanded my work on photosynthetic heat acclimation to include natural, non-cultivated species. In my current position at the Desert Botanical Garden (in the Dryland Plant Ecophysiology Lab) I am leading an NSF-funded research project studying alternative plant water use strategies and thermal tolerance during episodes of extreme heat. By gaining a better understanding of the different survival methods and water use strategies that plants employ during heatwaves, we will be able to more accurately predict how specific species/populations may respond in a future, warmer world.

Google Scholar link

Select Publications
Posch BC. 2024. How a boiling river is helping to highlight the risks of warming for tropical forests. New Phytologist 241(4): 1381–1383.

Zhu L, Scafaro AP, Vierling E, Ball MC, Posch BC, Stock F, Atkin OK. 2024. Heat tolerance of a tropical–subtropical rainforest tree species Polyscias elegans: time-dependent dynamic responses of physiological thermostability and biochemistry. New Phytologist 241(2): 715–731.

Blonder BW, Aparecido LMT, Hultine K, Lombardozzi D, Michaletz ST, Posch BC, Slot M, Winter K. 2023. Plant water use theory should incorporate hypotheses about extreme environments, population ecology, and community ecology. New Phytologist 238(6): 2271–2283.

Scafaro AS, Posch BC, Evans JR, Farquhar GD, Atkin OK. 2023. Rubisco deactivation and chloroplast electron transport rates co-limit photosynthesis above optimal leaf temperature in terrestrial plants. Nature Communications 14(2820).

Posch BC, Hammer J, Atkin OK, Bramley H, Ruan YL, Trethowan R, Coast O. 2022. Wheat photosystem II heat tolerance responds dynamically to short- and long-term warming. Journal of Experimental Botany 73(10): 3268–3282.

Posch BC, Zhai D, Coast O, Scafaro AP, Bramley H, Reich PB, Ruan YL, Trethowan R, Way DA, Atkin OK. 2022. Wheat respiratory O2 consumption falls with night warming alongside greater respiratory CO2 loss and reduced biomass. Journal of Experimental Botany 73(3): 915–926.

Scafaro AP, Fan Y, Posch BC, Garcia A, Coast O, Atkin OK. 2021. Responses of leaf respiration to heatwaves. Plant, Cell & Environment 44(7): 2090–2101.

Coast O*, Posch BC*, Bramley H, Gaju O, Richards RA, Lu M, Ruan YL, Trethowan R, Atkin OK. 2021. Acclimation of leaf photosynthesis and respiration to warming in field‐grown wheat. Plant, Cell & Environment 44(7): 2331–2346. *co-first authors

Geange SR, Arnold PA, Catling AA, Coast O, Cook AM, Gowland KM, Leigh A, Notarnicola RF, Posch BC, Venn SE, Zhu L, Nicotra AB. 2021. The thermal tolerance of photosynthetic tissues: a global systematic review and agenda for future research. New Phytologist 229(5): 2497–2513.

Posch BC, Kariyawasam BC, Bramley H, Coast O, Richards RA, Reynolds MP, Trethowan R, Atkin OK. 2019. Exploring high temperature responses of photosynthesis and respiration to improve heat tolerance in wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany 70(19): 5051-5069.