Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Professor Leslie A. Weston

Professor Leslie Weston

BSc (Cornell), MSc (Mich St U), PhD (Mich St U)

2008 - present: NSW Life Sciences Research Award and Strategic Research Professor, Plant Biology, Charles Sturt University and Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.

1998-2008: Associate Professor, Alternative Weed Management Systems, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.

1991-1998: Associate Professor, Weed Science, Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky.

1986 - 1991: Assistant Professor, Weed Science, Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky.

MS and PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI - Specialisation in Weed Science and Plant Physiology

Bachelor of Science, Cornell University, Ithaca NY - Specialisation in Plant Breeding

Professor Weston's research interests can be separated into two major categories:

a) Chemical ecology and analytical chemistry including metabolomics of primary and secondary plant products. Our projects focus on understanding the role of bioactive root exudates in the rhizosphere, the development of bioherbicides for weed management, the study of plant and animal toxicology and natural plant products that are toxic to grazing livestock, the role of the environment on toxin production and photosensitisation.

b) Weed management, development of competitive crops, invasive weed biology and genetics. Our projects focus on study of genetics and phylogeography of invasive melon species and use of DNA barcoding to study genetics of Conyza, Mikania, Citrullus, and Echium spp. We also study the biology of invasive weeds including Paterson's curse, camel and prickly paddy melon, mile-a-minute vine, fleabane, annual ryegrass and witchgrass. We are currently developing effective methods for sustainable weed management including use of rotations, legume crops and weed suppressive crop cultivars for integrated weed management. We are also studying how invasive plants adapt over time to novel environments to become highly invasive and widespread.

Our laboratory supports research conducted by numerous talented postdoctoral research associates, postgraduate and honours students.

Plant interactions research group

Top of page


Role of bioactive root exudates in the rhizosphere, invasive weed ecology and biology, alternative weed management systems.

Plant interactions research group

Top of page


Top of page


Localisation, transport and mode of action of allelochemicals and toxins, metabolomics, photosensitisation, plant rhizosphere interactions, ecology and genetic diversity of invasive weeds, weed suppressive crops.

Plant interactions research group

Top of page


Recent publications

Weston LA, Ryan P and Watt M (2012). Mechanisms for cellular transport and release of allelochemicals from plant roots into the rhizosphere. J. Exp Botany. Doi:10.1093/jxb.ers054.

D'Arcy-Moskwa E, Noble G, Weston LA and Raidal S (2012). Effects of meloxicam and phenylbutazone on equine gastric mucosal permeability. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 26, 1494-1499.

Eom S, DiTommaso A and Weston LA (2013). Effects of soil salinity on the growth of Ambrosia artemisiifolia biotypes collected from roadside and agricultural fields. Journal of Plant Nutrition 36(14): 2191-2204. (DOI:10.1080/01904167.2011).

Weston LA, Alsaadawi I and Baerson S (2013). Sorghum: From ecosystem to molecule. Journal of Chemical Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s10886-013-0248-1.

Weston LA and Mathesius U (2013). Flavonoids, their structure, biosynthesis and role in the rhizosphere, including allelopathy. Journal of Chemical Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s10886-013-0248-5.

Eberbach PL, Hoffman JD, Moroni SJ, Wade LJ and Weston LA (2013).  Rhizo-lysimetry: Facilities for the simultaneous study of root behaviour and resource use by agricultural crop and pasture systems. Plant Methods 9(1):1-19.

Weston PA, Weston LA and Hildebrand S (2013). Metabolic profiling in Echium plantagenium: preence of bioactive pyrrolizidine alkaloids and naphthoquinones from accessions across southeastern Australia. Phytochemistry Reviews 12(4):831-837.

Quinn JC, Kessell A and Weston LA (2014). Secondary plant products causing photosensitization in grazing herbivores: Their structure, activity and regulation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15(1): 1441-1465.

Alden R, Hackney B, Weston LA and Quinn JC (2014). Phalaris toxicoses in Australian livestock production systems: prevalence, aetiology and toxicology. J Toxins 1(1): 1-7.

Weston LA, Skoneczny D, Weston PA and Weidenhamer JD (2015). Metabolic profiling: an overview – new approaches for the detection and functional analysis of biologically active secondary plant products. Journal of Allelochemical Interactions 2(1): 15-27.

Shaik RS, Gopurenko D, Urwin NAR, Burrows GE, Lepschi BJ and Weston LA (2015). Population genetics of invasive Citrullus lanatus, Citrullus colocynthis and Cucumis myriocarpus (Cucurbitaceae) in Australia: inferences based on chloroplast and nuclear gene sequencing. Biological Invasions. DOI 10.1007/s10530-015-0891-6

Top of page