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Michael completed his Honours program at The University of Western Australia (UWA) in Maths, looking at control in chaotic systems. Michael then completed his PhD at the University of Queensland in the Centre for Plant Architecture Informatics, looking at new approaches to modelling the interactions between plant form, function and environment.

Michael traveled to Montpellier, France, where he complete a post-doc. During Michael's post-doc he married stochastic models with structural models to create virtual apple trees. After completing his post-doc Michael returned to Perth to teach applied maths at UWA, before spending a couple of years creating the Weed Seed Wizard (a model of seedbank dynamics) at the Department of Agriculture and Food.

In July 2007, Michael began lecturing in computational agro-ecology in the School of Plant Biology. His current projects involve modelling of weeds, perennial pasture legumes, crops, plant competition, dispersal of biological organisms, seedbank population dynamics, optimisation of farming systems and the effects of climate change on agricultural and natural ecosystems.