Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Dr Philip G. Kerr

Dr Philip G. Kerr

BSc(Hons) (West Aust), MSc (West Aust), DipEd (Murdoch), GradDipAppSci (WAustCAE), PhD (Curtin)

Philip is a native of Perth, WA. After completing undergraduate studies (BSc Hons - organic chemistry) and graduate studies (MSc) in organometallic chemistry at UWA, he taught high school science, human biology, chemistry and computing for around 12 years, during which time a DipEd (Murd.) and GDipAppSc (WAustCAE) in computer studies were obtained. He studied the chemistry and bioactivity of a West Australian native plant with an anecdotal reputation as a cancer treatment. He was awarded a PhD from the School of Pharmacy at Curtin University in Perth.

He joined CSU in November 1998 as lecturer in medicinal chemistry.

His research interests lie principally in the field of biologically active natural products and include

  • Phytochemistry of Australian native plants (especially the Goodeniaceae)
  • Traditional Aboriginal Medicines.
  • Nutrition and nutriceuticals
  • Allelopathy – plant-plant/plant-animal/plant-ecological relations
  • Cancer, diabetes and serotonin-related disorders serve as a platform for his research efforts.

Career highlights include:

  • Study leave (2009) at the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoorte, South Africa, where he was a part of the Phytomedicine Programme. This comes under the umbrella of the Faculty of Veterinary Studies.
  • Invitation (2010) from Sancheon Medicinal Herb Industry, Sancheong, South Korea.
  • Invitation (2011) from the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China.

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PhD projects 

  • Antimicrobial activity of Fijian medicinal plants
  • Anti-oxidant properties of some Australian plants used in flavouring foods
  • Anti-diabetic plants in Traditional Aboriginal medicines
  • Ethnoveterinary medicines derived from Australian native plants
  • Studies in the phytochemistry of the Goodeniaceae
  • The use of Australian plants in the treatment of skin cancers
  • Allelopathy and ecological prospects using Australian plants 


  • Goodenia ovata - preliminary phytochemical investigations
  • Investigations into the chemistry and pharmacology of Codonocarpus cotinifolius
  • Transdermal permeation of natural products of potential medicinal importance
  • Screening of Australian native plants for antimicrobial activity using TLC-bioautography 


  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Herbal medicines

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  • Reading (Biography, Chemistry, Dickens, Christian theology)
  • Music (Baroque, Blues, and almost anything, playing guitar)
  • Nature (Plants and Birds)

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Wu Y, Hu Z, Yang L, Graham B & Kerr PG (2011). The removal of nutrients from non-point source wastewater by a hybrid bioreactor. Bioresource Technology, 102(3), 2419-2426.

Wu Y, Hu Z, Kerr PG & Yang L (2011). A multi-level bioreactor to remove organic matter and metals, together with its associated bacterial diversity. Bioresource Technology, 102(2), 736-741.

Yan R, Wu Y, Yang L, Fang Y & Kerr PG (2011). Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi controls cyanobacterial blooms and benefits the aquatic ecosystem. Fresenius' Environmental Bulletin, 20(1), 18-25.

Kerr PG (2010). Bioprospecting in Australia – sound biopractice or biopiracy? Social Alternatives, 29(3), 44-48.

Donfack JH, Simo CCF, Ngameni B, Tchana AN, Kerr PG, Finzi PV, Vidari G, Giardina S, Buonocore D, Ngadjui BT, Moundipa PF & Marzatico F (2010). Antihepatotoxic and antioxidant activities of methanol extract and isolated compounds from Ficus chlamydocarpa. Natural Product Communications, 5(10), 1607-1612.

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