Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Dr Adam Frew

Dr Adam Frew

BSc Honours (St And), PhD (WSU), Mem.RES

Dr Adam Frew obtained his BSc (Honours) degree from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he worked on the role of silicon enhanced barley resistance to aphids and powdery mildew. Following this, Adam moved to Australia to work under the supervision of Associate Professor Scott Johnson and Associate Professor Jeff Powell investigating how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil silicon can impact plant-insect herbivore interactions.

After completion of his PhD in 2017 Adam joined Charles Sturt University (CSU) as a Research Fellow when he was awarded a CSU Faculty of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. Adam's research at CSU investigates the ecology of soil-plant-insect interactions. He has a particular interest in how mycorrhizal fungi can drive insect herbivory in both natural and managed ecosystems, as well as the role of silicon in these interactions. He is also an active collaborator in a number of projects investigating soil ecosystem processes and the impacts on plant community structure.

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Research
  • Determining how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi alter plant-invertebrate interactions – This broader project involves a series of studies which investigate how the AM symbiosis influences plant nutritional quality and secondary defence compounds driving invertebrate herbivore performance.
  • How can silicon alter plant traits driving herbivory? – This project investigates which plant primary and secondary compounds are the primary drivers of insect herbivory, and what influence silicon has on plant investment in these traits to maximize plant fitness.
  • How do sandalwoods (Santalum spp.) affect desert communities - This project (led by Prof. David Watson) investigates how Santalum spp. affect above and below-ground ecological processes.
  • How does rainfall impact decomposition, plant communities and the mycorrhizal symbiosis? – Using field sites along a natural rainfall gradient across Victoria, this project looks to understand how rainfall alters belowground processes, plant traits and community structure and the potential role of the mycorrhizal symbiosis. This project is in collaboration with Dr Megan Good (Federation University), Dr Nick Schultz (Federation University) and others.
Teaching
  • Invertebrate Pest Management (PSC201)

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CRO research profile https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/en/persons/afrewcsueduau

  • Frew A, Powell, JR, Glauser, G, Bennett, AE, Johnson, SN (2018) Mycorrhizal fungi enhance nutrient uptake but disarm defences in plant roots, promoting plant-parasitic nematode populations, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 126, 123-132
  • Johnson SN, Ryalls JMW, Gherlenda AG, Frew A, Hartley SE (2018) Benefits from below: Silicon supplementation maintains legume productivity under predicted climate change scenarios, Frontiers in Plant Science9, 202.
  • Johnson SN, Lopaticki G, Aslam TJ, Barnett K, Frew A, Hartley SE, Hiltpold I, Nielsen UN, Ryalls JMW (2018) Dryland management regimes alter forest habitats and understory arthropod communities, Annals of Applied Biology172, 282-294.
  • Frew A, Weston LA, Reynolds OL, Gurr GM (2018) The role of silicon in plant biology: a paradigm shift in research approach, Annals of Botany, vol. 121, 1265-1273.
  • Frew A, Powell JR, Allsopp, PG, Sallam, N and Johnson SN, (2017) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi promote silicon accumulation in plant roots reducing the impacts of root herbivory, Plant and Soil419, 423-433.
  • Frew A, Powell JR, Hiltpold I, Allsopp PG, Sallam N and Johnson SN, (2017) Host plant colonisation by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi stimulates immune function whereas high root silicon concentrations diminish growth in a soil-dwelling herbivore, Soil Biology and Biochemistry,112, 117-126.
  • Johnson SN, Hartley SE, Ryalls JMW, Frew A, DeGabriel JL, Duncan M and Gherlenda AN, (2017) Silicon-induced root nodulation and synthesis of essential amino acids in a legume is associated with higher herbivore abundance, Functional Ecology31, 1903-1909.
  • Frew A, Allsopp PG, Gherlenda AG and Johnson SN, (2017) Increased root herbivory under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is reversed by silicon-based plant defences, Journal of Applied Ecology54, 1310-1319.
  • Johnson SN, Benefer CM, Frew A, Griffiths BS, Hartley SE, Karley AJ, Rasmann S, Schumann M, Sonnemann I and Robert CAM, (2016) New frontiers in belowground ecology for plant protection from root-feeding insects, Applied Soil Ecology108, 96-107.
  • Frew A, Powell JR, Sallam N, Allsopp PG and Johnson SN, (2016) Trade-offs between silicon and phenolic defences may explain enhanced performance of root herbivores on phenolic-rich plants, Journal of Chemical Ecology42, 768-771.
  • Frew A, Barnett K, Riegler M, Nielsen UN and Johnson SN (2016) Belowground ecology of scarabs feeding on grass roots: current knowledge and future directions for management in Australasia, Frontiers in Plant Science7, 321.
  • Johnson SN, Gherlenda AN, Frew A and Ryalls JMW (2016) The importance of testing multiple environmental factors in legume-insect research: replication, reviewers and rebuttal, Frontiers in Plant Science7, 489.
  • Frew A, Nielsen UN, Riegler M and Johnson SN (2013) Do eucalypt plantation management practices create understory reservoirs of scarab beetle pests in the soil?, Forest Ecology and Management306 , 275-280.

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