Kate Johnson, first author of Xylem embolism spreads by single-conduit events in three dry forest angiosperm stems
Current Position: PhD candidate, Discipline of Biological Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania
Education: BSc and Hons from the University of Tasmania
Non-scientific Interests: painting, bush walking (hiking), cycling, and reading
Brief bio: I grew up on the north-west coast of Tasmania with a love of plants and nature. Throughout my schooling I developed a passion for plant science and moved south to Hobart to undertake a BSc. For my honours project, I investigated drought-induced damage to the water transport system and possible repair of this damage in wheat plants, under the supervision of Professor Tim Brodribb and Professor Greg Jordan. I am now undertaking a PhD with Tim and Greg, investigating the pattern and spread of vascular failure in trees. This is the first paper from my PhD research and shows that in angiosperms with long vessels, embolism spreads largely by discrete, single conduit cavitations and that there is a possible link between xylem connectivity and embolism spread. I aim to further investigate the link between xylem connectivity and embolism spread to understand how trees (and all plants) die in drought conditions through my PhD and beyond.