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Dr Richard James

Principal Research Scientist


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GPO BOX 1700


Dr Richard James is a Principal Research Scientist within the 'Crops' research program in CSIRO Agriculture & Food and also a Technology Champion in the area of Phenomics.

Dr James joined CSIRO in 1989 and commenced working on root signaling in response to water and salt stresses in cereals. Later he joined the salinity research team developing screening protocols and characterizing salt tolerance traits in cereals and discoverng new important salt tolerance genes in wheat. Dr James completed a PhD in a CSIRO-sponsored project on the characterisation of new sources of salt tolerance in durum wheat. More recently, he led a team working on the genetics of water use efficiency (WUE) traits in wheat and developing cutting edge high resolution and high-throughput field phenotyping technologies. Currently, Dr James leads the wheat improvement component of an ACIAR project in Bangladesh and multi-faceted project with Ferrero at the Agri Australis hazelnut farm near Narrandera in NSW.

Dr James’ current research activities are in three main areas; salinity tolerance in cereals, water use efficiency in wheat and field phenotyping technologies. He is committed to fundamental research which is focused on solving key abiotic limitations to yield stability in the field, and research and development outputs which have a clear path to adoption by breeders and industry.

Current Roles

  • Water Use Efficiency in wheat

  • Salt tolerance in wheat and barley

  • Field phenotyping technologies and platforms

Academic Qualifications

  • 1988

    BSc (Hons)
    Australian National University (ANU)

  • 1997

    Grad. Dip. Ed. (Sec. Science)
    University of Canberra

  • 2006

    Australian National University (ANU)

Achievements and Awards

  • 2013

    Chief’s Award for Science Integrity

  • 2010

    Chief’s Award for Team (Salinity Team) Research Excellence

  • 2006

    Travel Award

  • 2004

    Chief Executive Study Award (University of Cambridge)

We have publications by Dr Richard James