CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Research Field: Botany and Environmental Science

Dr Webber explores the effect of rapid global change on plant-resource allocation and plant-ecosystem interactions focusing on the effect of climate change on invasive plants and future food security. His research on invasive plants looks at the competitive ability of weed species, the interaction of weeds with their ecosystems, and plant range studies based on modelling climatic and ecophysiological parameters.

Bruce has provided the first way to appropriately define native and alien species in a rapidly changing climate, challenged existing methodology to improve species distribution modelling and generated a freely available global climate dataset. His research on food security examines the effect of climate change on yield and nutritional value in globally important crops such as cassava, the ‘drought, war and famine crop’.

Bruce participates in the Scientists in Schools program and his research has been featured in the media (New Scientist, Australasian Science) and in an Australian school textbook (Heinemann Biology 1). Bruce was part of the 2011 Australia Day celebrations on ABC Radio National (Bush Telegraph) and has given community talks to the Weeds Society of WA and at the 2009 Kwongan Colloquium (York) where he gave locals insight into what climate change meant for them. Photos from his fieldwork have been featured in the popular media including National Geographic Traveler magazine.