As an honours student, I researched the drought tolerance of nifty Australian geophytes and their potential use on green roofs.
Geophytes are species of plants that can go dormant to underground storage organs when conditions are unfavourable. Common examples include daffodils, tulips and other bulbs, and tuberous plants like potato and carrot.
The species that I studied are all native to Australia and include Microseris lanceolata (Yam daisy), Bulbine bulbosa (Bulbine lily) and Arthropodium milleflorum (Pale vanilla lily).
My research determined how well these species survive and recover from drought periods of 30-60 days, and how their morphological characteristics and water use strategies change.
This increased the understanding of how differing drought tolerance abilities relate to plant traits, and identified species that are ideal for green roofs.
In the future I hope to pursue a PhD into the wonderful, if somewhat neglected, world of Australian geophytes.
Julianna is now a researcher with the Healthy Liveable Cities group within the Centre of Urban Research at RMIT University.
2010 – 2014 University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Environments, major in Environmental Science (Honours)