Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

As a bioorganic chemist, I have a range of interdisciplinary research interests. This involves a number of collaborative research projects with biologists and includes an emphasis on evolutionary issues:
- prebiotic chemistry associated with the origin of metabolism - the role of iron in the catalysis of primary metabolic reactions, especially phosphoryl transfer
- studies on semi-synthetic biologically active compounds of interest as potential therapeutics, e.g. phenazines
- evolutionary perspectives on the metabolism of parasitic plants
- chemical ecology of animal behaviour; chemical education
- history and philosophy of science

Recent Publications

  • Nelson XJ., Pratt AJ., Cheseto X., Torto B. and Jackson RR. (2012) Mediation of a plant-spider association by specific volatile compounds. Journal of Chemical Ecology 38(9): 1081-1092. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10886-012-0175-x.
  • Pratt AJ. (2011) Prebiological Evolution and the Metabolic Origins of Life. Artificial Life 17(3): 203-217. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/artl_a_00032.
  • Pratt AJ., Rendle PM. and Steel PJ. (2011) Anticancer Prodrug Studies: Diels-Alder Chemistry of 1-Methylthio-1-(p-tolylsulfonyl)ethene. Australian Journal of Chemistry 64(7): 945-950. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CH10450.
  • Pratt AJ. (2010) Evolutionary Steps to the Origin of Life on Earth. Journal of Cosmology 10(August): 3258-3274.
  • Pratt AJ. (2010) Why Nature Chose Phosphates Over Arsenates. Journal of Cosmology 13: 3601-3608.