Dr Randall Donohue

Senior Research Scientist

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My primary research areas are vegetation science and remote sensing. Using these expertise, I seek to better understand how vegetation changes in its structure and function, and what drives those changes. Current research includes 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:

  • Compere, a relative performance benchmarking system for assessing the effects of management and disturbances on vegetation (current)
  • CSP, 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 et.al., 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