Noushka Reiter

Senior Research Scientist  

Noushka Reiter’s research focuses on improving the conservation and translocation of threatened species by unravelling their unique associations with mycorrhizal fungi, pollinators and habitat. Noushka has a particular interest in the conservation and ecology of orchids. She leads RBGV’s Orchid Conservation Program and the Preventing extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora program. Much of Noushka’s research is underpinned by the creation of one of Australia’s most significant ex situ collections of threatened plants, with >220 species and >30,000 individuals.  Her program has optimised symbiotic propagation for >90 threatened species and developed methods for genera previously unable to be effectively propagated. Noushka was the winner of the 2023 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Botanical Science (see 2023 Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners).



Refereed journal articles

Phillips, R.D., Hatley, J., Li, X., Dimon, R., and Reiter, N. (2024) Resilience to summer bushfire in the threatened orchid, Caladenia tessellata, in terms of pollination success, herbivory, and mycorrhizal associations, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, boad079,

Phillips, R.D., Bohman, B., Peakall, R., and Reiter, N. (2023) Sexual attraction with pollination during feeding behaviour: implications for transitions between specialized strategies, Annals of Botany, mcad178,

Reiter, N., Dimon, R., Arifin, A., and Linde, C. (2023) Culture age of Tulasnella affects symbiotic germination of the critically endangered Wyong sun orchid Thelymitra adorata (Orchidaceae). Mycorrhiza, 33, 409–424.

Reiter, N., Wicks, M., Pollard, G., Brown, G., Menz, M., and Bohman, B. (2023) Improving conservation and translocation success of an endangered orchid, Caladenia xanthochila (Orchidaceae), through understanding pollination. Plant Ecology, 224, 715–727.

Ackerman, J.D., Phillips, R.D., Tremblay, R.L., Karremans, A., Reiter, N., Peter, C.I., Bogarin, D., Pérez-Escobar, O.A., and Liu, H. (2023). Beyond the various contrivances by which orchids are pollinated: global patterns in orchid pollination biology. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 202, 295–324.

Freestone, M., Linde, C., Swarts, N., and Reiter, N. (2023). Asymbiotic germination of Prasophyllum (Orchidaceae) requires low mineral concentration. Australian Journal of Botany, 71(2), 67–78.

Whitehead, M.R., Silcock, J.L., Simmons, C.L., Monks, L., Dillon, R., Reiter, N., Jusaitis, M., Coates, D.J., Byrne, M., and Vesk, P.A. (2023). Effects of common management practices on threatened plant translocations. Biological Conservation, 281, 110023.

Arifin, A.R., Reiter, N., May, T. W., and Linde, C.C. (2022). New species of Tulasnella associated with Australian terrestrial orchids in the subtribes Megastylidinae and Thelymitrinae.  Mycologia, 114(2), 388–412.

Freestone, M., Linde, C., Swarts, N., and Reiter, N. (2022). Ceratobasidium orchid mycorrhizal fungi reveal intraspecific variation and interaction with different nutrient media in symbiotic germination of Prasophyllum (Orchidaceae). Symbiosis, 87(3), 255–268.

Hayashi, T., Reiter, N., Phillips, R.D., & Peakall, R. (2022). Sexual deception of male Bradysia (Diptera: Sciaridae) by floral odour and morphological cues in Pterostylis (Orchidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 200(3), 433–449.

Reiter, N., and Menz, M.H. (2022). Optimising conservation translocations of threatened Caladenia (Orchidaceae) by identifying adult microsite and germination niche. Australian Journal of Botany, 70(3), 231–247.

Ayre, B.M., Hayashi, T., Phillips, R.D., and Reiter, N. (2021). The Kiandra leek orchid is the previously presumed extinct mignonette leek orchid (Orchidaceae; Orchidoideae): evidence from morphological comparisons. Phytotaxa, 528(2), 71–83.

Freestone, M.W., Swarts, N.D., Reiter, N., Tomlinson, S., Sussmilch, F.C., Wright, M.M., Holmes, G.D., Phillips, R.D., and Linde, C.C. (2021). Continental-scale distribution and diversity of Ceratobasidium orchid mycorrhizal fungi in Australia. Annals of Botany, 128(3), 329–343.

Reiter, N., Kosky, W., and Clements, M. (2021). Two new species of Pterostylis (Orchidaceae; Orchidoideae) from the Sunset Country, Victoria, Australia. Phytotaxa, 500(3), 153–165.  

Phillips, R.D., Reiter, N., and Peakall, R. (2020). Orchid conservation: from theory to practice. Annals of Botany, 126(3), 345–362.

Reiter, N., Phillips, R.D., Swarts, N.D., Wright, M., Holmes, G., Sussmilch, F. C., Davis B.J., Whitehead, M.R., and Linde, C. C. (2020). Specific mycorrhizal associations involving the same fungal taxa in common and threatened Caladenia (Orchidaceae): implications for conservation. Annals of Botany, 126(5), 943–955.

Reiter, N., Dimon, R., and Freestone, M. (2020). Saving orchids from extinction: The RBGV orchid conservation program 'ex situ’ collection. Australasian Plant Conservation29(3), 11–13. 

Reiter, N. (2020). Conservation translocation of the endangered colourful spider-orchid ('Caladenia colorata'). Australasian Plant Conservation, 29(3), 13–15. 

Reiter, N., Bohman, B., Batley, M., and Phillips, R.D. (2019). Pollination of an endangered Caladenia species (Orchidaceae) by nectar-foraging behaviour of a widespread species of colletid bee. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 189(1), 83–98.

Reiter, N., Bohman, B., Freestone, M., Brown, G.R., and Phillips, R.D. (2019). Pollination by nectar-foraging thynnine wasps in the endangered Caladenia arenaria and Caladenia concolor (Orchidaceae). Australian Journal of Botany, 67(7), 490–500. 

Reiter, N., Freestone, M., Brown, G., and Peakall, R. (2019). Pollination by sexual deception of fungus gnats (Keroplatidae and Mycetophilidae) in two clades of Pterostylis (Orchidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 190(1), 101–116. 

Silcock, J.L., Simmons, C.L., Monks, L., Dillon, R., Reiter, N., Jusaitis, M., Vesk, P.A., Byrne, M., and Coates, D.J. (2019). Threatened plant translocation in Australia: a review. Biological Conservation, 236, 211–222.

Reiter, N., and Thomson, R. (2019). Involvement in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's Orchid conservation program by volunteers from the Australasian Native Orchid Society Victoria Group. Australasian Plant Conservation 27, 19–22.

Reiter, N., Bohman, B., Flematti, G.R., and Phillips, R.D. (2018). Pollination by nectar-foraging thynnine wasps: evidence of a new specialized pollination system for Australian orchids. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 188(3), 327–337. 

Reiter, N., Lawrie, A.C., and Linde, C.C. (2018). Matching symbiotic associations of an endangered orchid to habitat to improve conservation outcomes. Annals of Botany, 122(6), 947–959. 

Reiter, N., O’Brien, N., Gibson, M., Pitts, D., Brown, G.R., Phillips, R.D. (2018). Caladenia hastata (Nicholls) Rupp (Melbloms Spider-orchid), orchidaceae: Pollinator rarity limits conservation translocation sites in a rare orchid. Australasian Plant Conservation 26, 9–12.

Reiter, N., Vlcek, K., O’Brien, N., Gibson, M., Pitts, D., Brown, G.R., Bower, C.C., Phillips, R.D. (2017). Pollinator rarity limits reintroduction sites in an endangered sexually deceptive orchid (Caladenia hastata): implications for plants with specialized pollination systems. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 184, 122–136.

Reiter, N., Whitfield, J., Pollard, G., Bedggood, W., Argall, M., Dixon, K., Davis, B., and Swarts, N. (2016). Orchid re-introductions: an evaluation of success and ecological considerations using key comparative studies from Australia. Plant Ecology 217, 1–15.

Reiter, N., Walsh, N.G., Lawrie, A.C. (2015). Causes of infertility in the endangered Australian endemic plant Borya mirabilis (Boryaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 63, 554–565.

Reiter, N., Lawrie, A., Walsh, N. (2013). Mycorrhizal associations of Borya mirabilis. Muelleria 31, 81–88.

Reiter, N., Vlcek, K., Clements, M. (2013). Pterostylis lingua a new species for Victoria and habitat preferences for Pterostylis xerophila. Muelleria 31, 69–76.

Reiter, N., and Pollard, G. (2013). The response of Grampians Duck-orchid and Grampians pincushion lily in Victoria to wildfire. Australian Plant Conservation 22, 15–17.

Reiter, N., Thomson, R., Bedggood, W., Jenek, C., Cross, R., Whitfield, J., Lawrie, A., Pollard G., Argall, M., Johnson, G., Lester, K. (2013). Victorian orchid conservation. Australian Plant Conservation 21, 12–14.

Weste, G., Hewett, M., and Reiter, N. (2005). Dieback threatens endangered native plants. Will they survive? The Victorian Naturalist 121, 148–153.

Reiter, N., Weste, G., and Guest, D. (2004). The risk of extinction resulting from disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi to endangered, vulnerable or rare plant species endemic to the Grampians, Western Victoria. Australian Journal of Botany 52, 425–433. 

Book Chapters

Reiter, N., Dimon, R., Freestone, M., Davis, B., Newby, Z.J., Swarts, N., Sommerville, K.D. (2021). Chapter 12: Isolation, propagation and storage of orchid mycorrhiza and legume rhizobia - Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia: strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising collections. Third Edition Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.

Commander, L., Auld, T., Rossetto, M., Ooi, M., Reiter, N., Swarts, N., Monks, L., Byrne, M. (2018). Chapter 3 – Pre-translocation assessment of biology and ecology. Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia. Third Edition. Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.

Nally, S., Greeshaw, F., Bickerton, D., Reiter, N., Van Leeuwen, S. (2018). Chapter 5 – Policy, approvals and translocation proposals. Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia. Third Edition. Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.

Zimmer, H., Auld, T., Coates, D., Moore, J., Silcock, J., Reiter, N., Mattes, M. (2018). Chapter 8 – Translocation monitoring and evaluation.  Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia. Third Edition. Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.

Emery, N., Taylor, D., Makinson, B., Reiter, N., North, T., Commander, L., Van Leeuwen, S. (2018). Chapter 9 – Community participation and support. Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia. Third Edition. Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra.

Waudby, H.P., Cameron, M., Robertson, G., Caynes, R., Reiter, N. (2018). Wild orchids: saving three Endangered orchid species in southern New South Wales. Recovering Australian Threatened Species: A Book of Hope, p.159.


Reiter, N. (2009). Borya mirabilis: steps in the recovery of a critically endangered Australian native plant. PhD thesis, RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Reiter, N. (2003). The risk of extinction resulting from disease caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi to endangered, vulnerable or rare plant species endemic to the Grampians, western Victoria. Honours thesis, The University of Melbourne.