Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa

Plant biochemist

University of Adelaide

Weeds are popping up everywhere! Not just in our backyards, but also in farms all around Australia and the world. Weeds reduce the quality and size of food harvests, costing farmers billions of dollars each year and driving up food prices. We rely on herbicides to control weeds. However, the existing herbicides on the market are failing as weeds have become resistant.

I’m a plant biochemist, who leads a research team dedicated to discovering new herbicides to safeguard food production. My team has discovered herbicides that target weeds farmers can no longer control.

I transitioned to plant biochemistry by applying lessons from tackling antibiotic resistance in superbugs to herbicide resistance in weeds. As an agricultural researcher, one of the most satisfying parts of my work is spending time in farming communities discussing how my discoveries can help.

Since getting my PhD, I’ve had lecturing positions and research fellowships from the National and Health Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. I’m now a Future Making Fellow at the University of Adelaide.

I’m passionate about making science accessible by engaging with STEM professionals, politicians, students, community and media. I was named the 2022 SA Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year and a finalist in the 2023 SA Women of the Year Awards.

Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa is a Superstar of STEM.