BSc PhD Belf.
Dr Harper received a BSc (Botany - Hons) and a PhD in Botany from The Queens' University, Belfast. He has spent over 20 years researching the mysteries of cell division and developmental cell biology of plants. The plants investigated range from the microscopic alga Chlamydomonas, used as a model to study cell division through mutation, to the model plant Arabidopsis.
A major theme in Dr Harper's work has been research into the functions of fibrous protein scaffolds (the cytoskeleton) composed of microtubules, actin filaments and centrin including how the cytoskeleton directs many cell functions such as in the movement of organelles around cells and cell plate formation.
Dr Harper joined the staff of CSU in 2001 where he has been actively involved in teaching Botany, Microbiology and Biochemistry.
Dr Harper is also involved with school education programs that promote the science behind Primary Industries.
Dr Harper collaborates with weed scientists and plant anatomists to investigate anatomical barriers to herbicide uptake; plant breeders to use microscopy to discover economically valuable traits of crop plants; and plant pathologists to investigate the cell and molecular biology of plant pathogens.