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A/PROF John Rayner


  • Green roofs as an adaptation to climate change (evaluating plant performance)
  • Horticultural teaching and learning (develop specialist and development programs)
  • Landscape design and plant performance (improve design outcome and sustainability)
  • Social and therapeutic horticulture projects (researching plants suitable for these applications)



  • I am a lecturer in urban horticulture at Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne. My teaching and research interests are in the design and management of urban landscape plantings, including green roofs, vertical greening, climbing plants, ground covers, children’s and therapeutic landscapes. Other roles have included Acting Head of Campus, Course Coordinator, Subject Coordinator, Manager of Knowledge Transfer activities and outreach activities with the professional and wider landscape industries. My research interests fall into three main areas - green roofs and green walls, therapeutic horticulture (community, therapy and school gardens) and plants and planting design (landscape design and plant performance). Over the last three years I have developed new subjects that reflect these interests and incorporated these into both undergraduate and postgraduate subjects, most of which I am coordinating. I have also been involved in creating new academic and research programs in urban landscapes, including the Burnley Short Course Program and courses, including the Master of Urban Horticulture and Graduate Certificate in Garden Design. My design work has been brought into the public domain through exhibition. Since 2003 I have designed 9 displays, 5 which have been award winning at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Together with Nick Williams, I have established a research program to develop green roofs suitable for Australian conditions as a climate change adaptation strategy. I am also actively involved in contracted projects and consulting activities, particularly in relation to green roof substrates research and development.   


Member of

  • Australian Open Garden Scheme. Committee Member 2009 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant: Green Roofs as an adaptation to climate change: evaluating plant performance and building energy budgets.     


Education and training

  • GradDipEd, University of Melbourne 1996
  • BAppSc, University of Melbourne - Burnley 1993
  • DipHortSc, Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture 1979

Awards and honors

  • David White Award for Excellence in Teaching (Science), The University of Melbourne, 2010
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, The University of Melbourne, 2005



Available for supervision

  • Y