Brenton Leske
Research Officer
Brenton Leske

My role in the department

Brenton is a Research Scientist in DPIRD's Genetic Improvement team, with expertise in developing solutions for growers to manage frost risk in their grain growing businesses. He leads two DPIRD and GRDC co-funded projects and co-leads a third project. The outcomes from these projects include: 1) improved chickpea germplasm with vegetative cold and chilling tolerance; 2) to determine the opportunity and value of adopting in-season agronomic practices for the avoidance of frost damage; and 3) grain growers have access to decision support tools driven by agronomic phenology models to improve tactical decision making and optimisation of input costs.

Contact information

+61 (0)8 9368 3161
+61 (0)473 384 567

My background

Brenton has more than 10 years' experience undertaking research in agricultural plant physiology at the University of Western Australia (PhD and Hons.) and DPIRD, based at South Perth. At DPIRD, he led a national project to understand the impact of frost on yield in wheat. He's also contributed to a national project that benchmarked the performance of 72 wheat and 36 barley varieties under frosts at the reproductive stage over 6 years. The research group lead a national project developing agronomic solutions for growers to manage frost risk. More recently he completed his PhD examining traits that might explain the susceptibility of wheat to frost damage. He has developed strong relationships with breeders, through past and current pre-breeding research, aimed to reduce the susceptibility of wheat to frost damage, and worked closely with grower groups with a particular interest in frost research to ensure research outputs are relevant to WA growers.


  • Improved field phenotyping, validation and development of chilling tolerance in chickpea (DAW2205-005 RTX)
  • Enhancing frost tolerance and/or avoidance in wheat, barley and canola crops through in-season agronomic manipulation (FAR2203-001 RTX)
  • CropPhen: Remote mapping of grain crop type and phenology (UOQ2002-010 RTX)

Key Expertise

Abiotic stress tolerance, cereal physiology, crop phenology, field phenotyping, industry development, grains research


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Australia, Cereal Physiology 2021
  • Bachelor Science in Agriculture with Honours, University of Western Australia
  • Australian Society of Agronomy (current committee of management member)