Photo Cuin, Tracey Ann

Dr Tracey Ann Cuin

Post-Doctoral Fellow

University of Tasmania

Tracey is fascinated about how plants work. How plants take up nutrients and how they know what nutrients to take up, what to try to keep out and how much they want. And how these nutrients get into a plant and once inside, to where they are used.

Tracey’s driving force is to increase the productivity of our farming systems in a way that does not further damage the planet. By knowing more about plant nutrition, we can reduce and fine-tune our use of both synthetic and organic fertilisers. This will reduce costs and work for the farmer and importantly, reduce the damage to the environment that results from farming. The latter point is vital; fertiliser use pollutes ground and surface water as well as releasing greenhouse gases and gases that destroy the ozone layer.

Originally from England, Tracey got her first degree in Environmental Science from the University of Sheffield, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from Bangor University in Wales. A post-doc at Rothamsted Research was followed by a fellowship at Cambridge University before Tracey left England for Stavanger, Norway. She originally came to Tasmania in 2004, leaving in 2010 after the award of a Marie-Curie International Reintegration Fellowship at INRA, Montpellier France. Then it was three years in Würzburg, Germany. All these research positions involved figuring out various aspects of plant nutrition.

After becoming seriously ill, a near-death experience and ending up a bit disabled, Tracey accepted how homesick she was for Tasmania and returned to the University of Tasmania in 2017.

Tracey is now passionate about improving access for disabled people in science - there are very few physically disabled people in STEM and being a practical scientist with physical disabilities can be somewhat challenging. Europe is now starting to deal with this, but disability is not yet considered an aspect of diversity and inclusion down here….

Electorate: Lyons
MP: Brian Mitchell