Lydia K. Guja

Ph.D., Curtin University, 2014

B.Sc.(Hons), University of Western Australia, 2007


Email: Lydia.Guja@

Phone: (+61) 2 6250 9471

Postal address: Australian National Botanic Gardens, GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601

Street address: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St, Acton, ACT 2601



With a focus on Australian native seeds Lydia investigates seed conservation biology, threatened species conservation, endangered species and communities, seed ecology, seed dispersal, seed physiology, ecophysiological germination thresholds, stress tolerance, and landscape restoration.

  • Researching the ecological factors that drive germination and dormancy, and the effects of environmental stress on seed dispersal, germination, and establishment.
  • Interpreting and applying seed ecology, biology and stress physiology results to more effectively use seed bank collections for restoration and reintroduction of rare and threatened plants or communities, with regard to resilience under future climate conditions.
  • Conserving Australia's plant diversity, including rare and endangered species of the Australian Alps, ACT region and Commonwealth Terrestrial Parks, through ex situ conservation methods, namely seed banks and living plant collections.
  • Improving the collection methodology, genetic diversity and utility of seed bank collections.
  • Investigating the storage biology of seeds to inform collection management.
  • Applying methods and technologies that are new to seed science research.

The Seed Conservation Biologist plays a key role in developing and monitoring the strategic direction and scientific goals of the National Seed Bank at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and expanding existing seed banking and research activities.


Wuhrer, R., Guja, L.K., Merritt, D.J. & Moran, K. (2014), X-Ray mapping investigations of salt migration in seeds through use of window and windowless silicon drift detectors. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 20 (Suppl. 3): 634–635.

Guja, L.K., Merritt, D.J., Dixon, K.W., & Wardell-Johnson, G. (2014), Dispersal potential of Scaevola crassifolia (Goodeniaceae) is influenced by intraspecific variation in fruit morphology along a latitudinal environmental gradient. Australian Journal of Botany. 62(1): 56–64.

Guja, L.K., Wuhrer, R., Moran, K., Dixon, K.W., Wardell-Johnson, G., & Merritt, D.J. (2013), Full spectrum X-ray mapping reveals differential localisation of salt in germinating seeds of differing salt tolerance. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society. 173: 129–142.

Guja, L.K,, North, T., McAuliffe, J., & Taylor, D. (2012), Sowing seeds: Bridging the gap between ex situ collections and reintroduction. Australasian Plant Conservation. 21: 14–17.

Guja, L.K., Merritt, D., & Dixon, K. (2010), Buoyancy, salt tolerance and germination of coastal seeds: implications for oceanic hydrochorous dispersal. Functional Plant Biology. 37: 1175–1186.


Lydia is undertaking a number of collaborative conservation and research projects which aim to secure collections and develop protocols to germinate seeds of threatened plants, or plants of threatened communities. Particularly, she is focusing on the EPBC listed community of ‘Alpine Sphagnum bogs and associated fens’ and the germination ecology and seed persistence of plants that form this community.

  • Alpine seed ecology. Annisa Satyanti, ANU PhD candidate, Mar. 2014–
  • How do plant traits bias seed collecting efforts for conservation? Kathryn McGilp, CSIRO vacation scholar, Dec. 2014–Feb. 2015
  • Ecological drivers of seed germination in endangered alpine bog and fen communities in Australia. Benjamin Huttner-Koros, CSIRO vacation scholar, Dec. 2012–Feb. 2013

Updated 6 January, 2015 , webmaster, CANBR (