Digital Agriculture PhD Supplementary Scholarship projects

Novel phenomics tools to screen for drought tolerance in wheat

Supervisors: Bob Furbank (ANU), Fernanda Dreccer (CSIRO)

Drought is a major environmental factor reducing wheat yields across Australia.  Drought tolerance is a complex multigenic trait and difficult to assess rapidly in the glasshouse or the field. This project seeks to develop new methods based on the hyperspectral reflectance, the spectrum light reflected from the wheat leaves and canopy, by using machine learning to build predictive algorithms for selection of drought tolerant wheat in the field. These tools can be used both to find superior germplasm and to understand the physiological basis of drought tolerance mechanisms at key stages of crop development.