Chris Greening

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Chris studied Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the University of Oxford before heading down under to complete his PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Otago. Completed in 2013, his doctoral research focused on unravelling the physiological roles of the enzymes responsible for H2 metabolism in environmental and pathogenic mycobacteria. He subsequently gained postdoctoral experience in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution at the University of Otago, CSIRO, and the Australian National University. Chris joined Monash University as a lecturer in June 2016. He is affiliated with the Centre for Geometric Biology.

Chris’ research group (the Integrative Microbiology Lab) explores how bacteria persist under adverse environmental conditions. Bacteria are able to dominate practically all ecosystems due to their unprecedented ability to enter dormant states that resist environmental change. The Greening lab is interested in understanding the metabolic processes that enable aerobic bacteria to remain energised and survive stress in these dormant states. Towards this goal, they have identified multiple novel mechanisms through which aerobic bacteria survive starvation, hypoxia, and oxidative stress. The group employs a wide range of techniques to explore biological processes from enzymes to ecosystems, including bacterial culturing, genetic dissection, protein biochemistry, and environmental surveys.

Chris’ research is centred on two main themes. His environmental research is exploring the physiological and ecological significance of microbial metabolism of reduced gases, i.e. hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. This research has shown that soil bacteria can enhance their long-term survival by scavenging trace gases from the atmosphere. He is exploring the significance of trace gas scavenging and other hydrogen-dependent processes in relation to microbial community structure and greenhouse gas cycling. His medical research is centred on identifying new drug targets for the treatment of tuberculosis, which continues to cause 1.5 million deaths per year. Through this research, he has shown that multiple hypothetical proteins upregulated by mycobacteria during stress-inducing conditions are critical for maintaining redox and ion homeostasis.

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Research Output

Editorial: Microbial Hydrogen Metabolism

Greening, C. & Boyd, E., 30 Jan 2020, In : Frontiers in Microbiology. 11, 4 p., 56.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

Open Access

Molecular Hydrogen Metabolism: a Widespread Trait of Pathogenic Bacteria and Protists

Benoit, S. L., Maier, R. J., Sawers, R. G. & Greening, C., Mar 2020, In : Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 84, 1, 52 p., e00092-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Predicting nitroimidazole antibiotic resistance mutations in Mycobacterium tuberculosis with protein engineering

Lee, B. M., Harold, L. K., Almeida, D. V., Afriat-Jurnou, L., Aung, H. L., Forde, B. M., Hards, K., Pidot, S. J., Ahmed, F. H., Mohamed, A. E., Taylor, M. C., West, N. P., Stinear, T. P., Greening, C., Beatson, S. A., Nuermberger, E. L., Cook, G. M. & Jackson, C. J., 7 Feb 2020, In : PLoS Pathogens. 16, 2, 27 p., e1008287.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

A revised biosynthetic pathway for the cofactor F420 in prokaryotes

Bashiri, G., Antoney, J., Jirgis, E. N. M., Shah, M. V., Ney, B., Copp, J., Stuteley, S. M., Sreebhavan, S., Palmer, B., Middleditch, M., Tokuriki, N., Greening, C., Scott, C., Baker, E. N. & Jackson, C. J., 1 Dec 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 1, 12 p., 1558.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
5 Citations (Scopus)

Assessing the fitness consequences of mitonuclear interactions in natural populations

Hill, G. E., Havird, J. C., Sloan, D. B., Burton, R. S., Greening, C. & Dowling, D. K., Jun 2019, In : Biological Reviews. 94, 3, p. 1089-1104 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Jim Pittard Award for Early Career Researcher

Chris Greening (Recipient), 30 Jun 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)