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Dr Randall Donohue

Principal Research Scientist


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My primary research areas are vegetation science and remote sensing. Using this expertise, I seek to better understand how vegetation changes in its structure and function, and what drives those changes. Current research includes monitoring of bushfire fuel loads and the detection of frost events (and their impact on crops). I have also focused on the prediction of crop yields, nation-wide and global estimation of pasture biomass, and using remote sensing for monitoring vegetation condition.

While at CSIRO, I have developed numerous remote-sensing-based models that quantify the role of vegetation in the water and carbon cycles of Australian landscapes:

  • Snap and Scorch, satellite-based models for detecting frost and heatwave events across the Australian landscape at sub-paddock scales and in near-real-time (current).
  • Compere, a relative performance benchmarking system for assessing the effects of management and disturbances on vegetation (Donohue et al., 2022. Ecosphere)
  • Gramina, a simple, national grassland and pasture productivity monitoring system (current)
  • C-Crop, a national, paddock-scale grain yield monitoring and prediction system (Donohue et al., 2018. Field Crops Research)
  • PETA, that estimates the leaf area, water use and photosynthetic responses of vegetation to elevated CO2 concentrations (Donohue et al., 2017. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences)
  • DIFFUSE, a simple, diffuse-light-based method for estimating photosynthesis (Donohue, 2014. Remote Sensing of Environment)
  • BCP, an adaptation Budyko's hydrological model that incorporates the effects of storms, soil porosity and vegetation rooting depth (Donohue et al., 2012. Journal of Hydrology)

I undertook my PhD jointly with ANU and CSIRO Land and Water and graduated in 2010. Since 2007, I have been with CSIRO Land and Water conducting research in the fields of ecohydrology and remote sensing.

Prior to my PhD, I worked as a spatial analyst for the Australian and Tasmanian Governments and as a consultant in the private sector, involved primarily in the collation and analysis of vegetation data.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2009

    The Australian National University and CSIRO

  • 1998

    Grad Dip (Hons)
    The University of Tasmania

  • 1996

    The Australian National University

Professional Experiences

  • 2000-2004

    Spatial analyst
    Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  • 1998-2000

    Spatial Analyst
    Australian Bush Heritage Fund

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2010-Current

    Scientist in Schools Program

We have publications by Dr Randall Donohue