Bob French
Senior Research Officer
Bob French

My role in DAFWA

My role includes contributing to formulating research objectives and planning and implementing research programs in the projects Tactical Break Crop[ Agronomy, and Tactical Wheat Agronmy for the West, with particular emphasis on low rainfall parts of the Central Wheatbelt. I also supervise the joint DAFWA/CSIRO collaboration “Improving Al tolerance in Canola: GM and non GM approaches” which aims to improve the adaptation and productivity of canola on the very significant areas of acid soils in Western Australia. All of my work involves collaboration with researchers in outside organisations, including the Universtiy fo Western Australia and CSIRO. Another important part of my role is keeping abreast of developments in rainfall limited Mediterranean cropping environments elsewhere in the world and recognising opportunities to apply them in Western Australia.

Contact information

+61 (0)8 9813 126
+61 (0)428 125 613

My background

I have over 30 years experience in field-based agricultural research in Western Australia. Initially I worked on the agronomy and adaptation of field peas and lupins which involved close collaboration with plant breeders in DAFWA and researchers from UWA and CSIRO, and since then have studied the role of “break” crops in sustainable crop sequences, low rainfall canola agronomy, and low rainfall wheat agronomy. I have made extensive use of the APSIM crop model, and contributed to the development of the lupin and field pea modules of APSIM.


  • Tactical break crop agronomy (GRDC)
  • Tactical wheat agronomy for the West (GRDC)
  • Improving Al tolerance in Canola: GM and non GM approaches (collaborative project between DAFWA and CSIRO)
  • Characterising and exploiting genetic diversity in wheat and barley for tolerance to water deficit during germination and crop establishment (GRDC finishes 2015)

Key Expertise

Field pea, lupin, pulses, canola, wheat, cropping systems, agronomy, plant physiology, soil-plant water relations, plant breeding, experimental design, statistical analysis, crop simulation modelling


  • PhD University of Adelaide
  • BAgrSc with honours University of Melbourne

My articles