Staff profile

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Dr Jim Rookes

Position: Lecturer In Biological Sciences
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env
Department: School of Life & Env. Sciences
Campus: Ka5.156, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 52271394 +61 3 52271394



From an initial interest in Cell Biology and Plant Pathology, my research has expanded in recent years to encompass studies in the areas of Agricultural Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Materials Science and Biomedicine.

During my PhD studies at Deakin University I investigated signal transduction pathways and defence responses triggered in plants when challenged by pathogens. To facilitate this, I constructed genetically modified plants to enable real time tracking of plant defence induction through the development of a green fluorescent protein-reporter system. Following this, I spent the next three years of my career at the University of Queensland studying the role Heterotrimeric G proteins in plants. Interestingly, amongst other findings, we discovered that G protein-coupled signalling is in fact very important for the mounting of plant defence responses. 

In 2006 I returned to Deakin University to take up a Research Fellow position investigating plant interactions with the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. This pathogen poses a major threat to the biodiversity of natural ecosystems across Australia and is listed by the Australian Government (Department of Environment) as a 'key threatening process'. This project investigated how plants defend themselves against this pathogen, using model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana and also Australian native plants. 

In 2009 I became a lecturer within the School of Life & Enviro Sci. Since then my role his had a strong focus on teaching and I have taught across a  range of disciplines including Biotechnology, Cell biology, Biomedicine, Molecular Biology and of course, Plant Biology. I have also been involved in the coordination of the Master of Biotechnology Postgraduate Course since 2009.


  • Bachelor of Science (Biological Science), Deakin University, 1999
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2004

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Teaching Interests

Biotechnology, Biomedical and Plant Sciences

Subjects and units currently teaching

SLE141, SLE346, SLE704, SLE712 & SLE713

Knowledge areas

Cell Biology

Molecular Biology


Plant Science


Awards and prizes

  • School of Life & Enviro Sci - Award for Teaching Excellence; 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.
  • Deakin University - Commendation for Excellence in Teaching; 2010.


Research interests

Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Plant Science

Research page

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