Teaching in 2019
- as Course Coordinator and Lecturer
PGDip Victoria University of Wellington │PhD University of Manchester │BSc (Hons) University of Bath
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I’d become a botanist. Indeed, when I enrolled in my first degree in Applied Biology at the University of Bath, I was 100% certain that I’d end up specialising as a zoologist. It took the combination of a hauntingly bad lab exercise involving a cockroach dissection, and a superb lecturer with an inescapable enthusiasm for botany to persuade me that plants were really cool! I changed tack, abruptly, irreversibly, and have never regretted that decision for an instant.
Following an enjoyable three years in Manchester studying pea leaf morphogenesis for my PhD, I moved to California for a two year postdoc position at Riverside, where I researched stamen development in Easter lilies. I then saw an advert for a position as junior lecturer in the Botany Department at Auckland University, in a far-away country at the bottom of the world…
During my sixteen years at Auckland, two people had a dramatic influence on my career. My mentor, Professor Peter Lovell, was the first person to encourage me to explore new ways of teaching; many years later, I was awarded a national award for tertiary teaching excellence for innovative approaches to teaching first year plant biology. During a sabbatical in Miami in 1994, Professor David Lee introduced me to the intriguing world of anthocyanin pigments; this has become the mainstay of my research, for which I was given a Roger Slack Award in 2007, and the Leonard Cockayne Lecture Award in 2012.
In 2004, I took up an Associate Professor position in the Department of Botany at Otago University, and then in 2007 I moved to Victoria University of Wellington. My current role as Professor in Plant Biology puts me in the privileged position of being paid to follow two of my life's passions: to study plants, and to help students learn about plants. And I continue to learn myself; in 2016, I proudly graduated from Victoria University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education Learning & Teaching , and I’m now studying art and learning yoga!
My group’s research has focused on the structural and physiological mechanisms through which plants tolerate environmental stressors. Recent projects have included:
- role of betacyanin pigments in salinity tolerance;
- roles of anthocyanin pigments in the photoprotection, UV-B screening, and thermotolerance of leaves, stems and peduncles;
- foliar aposematism as an anti-herbivore defence;
- Batesian mimicry in plants;
- free radicals and antioxidant defences in shoots and roots under stress;
- evaluation of antioxidants from native plant extracts and traditional Maori foods as nutritional supplements for humans.
In addition to these topics, I conduct research in teaching and learning, focusing especially on improving the first-year student experience of tertiary science.
Jordheim, M., Calcott, K., Gould, K. S., Davies, K. M., Schwinn, K. E., & Andersen, O. M. (2016). High concentrations of aromatic acylated anthocyanins found in cauline hairs in Plectranthus ciliatus. PHYTOCHEMISTRY, 128, 27-34. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2016.04.007
Yager, K. G., Schaefer, H. M., & Gould, K. S. (2016). The significance of shared leaf shape in Alseuosmia pusilla and Pseudowintera colorata. BOTANY, 94(7), 555-564. doi:10.1139/cjb-2016-0049
Mawalagedera, S. M. M. R., Ou, Z. -Q., McDowell, A., & Gould, K. S. (2016). Effects of boiling and in vitro gastrointestinal digestion on the antioxidant activity of Sonchus oleraceus leaves. FOOD & FUNCTION, 7(3), 1515-1522. doi:10.1039/c5fo01508a
Menzies, I. J., Youard, L. W., Lord, J. M., Carpenter, K. L., van Klink, J. W., Perry, N. B., . . . Gould, K. S. (2016). Leaf colour polymorphisms: A balance between plant defence and photosynthesis. Journal of Ecology, 104(1), 104-113. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12494
Jay-Allemand, C., Tattini, M., & Gould, K. S. (2015). New evidence for the functional roles of secondary metabolites in plant-environment interactions Special issue of Environmental and Experimental Botany (EEB). ENVIRONMENTAL AND EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY, 119, 1-3. doi:10.1016/j.envexpbot.2015.06.011