My expertise lies in the field of Biomechanics/Biomaterials, Seed Physiology, Food Security, Sustainable agri-technologies and Seed Morphology with 18 years’ experience in the field. My current projects investigate seed priming, seed ageing, pericarp mechanics, pelleting mass characterisation, pre-harvest sprouting and seed imaging.
- The biomechanics of seed germination, endosperm weakening and the biophysics of seed and fruit traits
- The biomechanics and uniformity of seedling establishment upon abiotic stress
- Seed and fruit dispersal biophysics, including diaspore heteromorphism and bet-hedging
- Crop seed technology projects with industry, including on the propetries of pellet materials and gas plasma agriculture
- Impactful research into improving crop seed quality through environmentally sustainable technologies to benefit the seed industry and promote food security
Research interests (continued)
Fracture biomechanics of the pericarp and the effect of fungal degradation on the mechanical resistance of distinct Lepidium didymum fruit valve regions. Comparative puncture force analysis of the distal and proximal pericarp regions. Fungal activity caused a drastic decrease by ~52% in the mechanical resistance of the distal pericarp where the pericarp rupture is initiated and the radicle will emerge. A smaller but significant decrease by fungal activity of ~30% was evident in the proximal and dorsal pericarp regions. Sperber/Steinbrecher et al. (2017) Nature Comms 8: 1868