The High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre

People and Projects

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The High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (HRPPC) provides world-class facilities and new phenomics technology for Australian and international plant scientists.

The centre exploits advances in robotics, imaging and computing to enable sensitive, non-destructive, high-throughput analysis of plant growth, function and performance.



Dr Robert Furbank

The HRPPC is led by Scientific Director Dr Robert Furbank, who specialises in carbon partitioning and photosynthesis. His current projects is the International C4 Rice Consortium.


Dr Xavier Sirault

As the Engineering Scientist for the HRPPC, Dr Xavier Sirault is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the new phenomics technology the centre is developing. The PlantScan is his current project.


Dr David Deery

Dr David Deery is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist specialising in soil physics and plant water uptake.

His current projects are the Phenonet and the Phenomobile.


Dr Richard Poiré

Dr Richard Poiré is Postdoctoral Fellow at the HRPPC, focusing on using Brachypodium distachyon to identify genomic regions associated with yield, growth and architecture traits in wheat. Current project is the brachypodium.


*Please click on the above images to view the scientists' profiles.


Dr Xueqin Wang

Dr Xueqin Wang is a postdoctoral research scientist with the HRPPC, currently working on:

  • Fourier-Transformed IR Spectroscopy: sample processing and data analysis for chemical composition of plant cells
  • Fluoro-gro-scan system: analysis of the partitioning of light energy used in photosynthesis of Arabidopsis and Brachpodium etc.
  • PODD (Phenomics Ontology Driven Database): system testing and documentation.
Dr Xueqin Wang, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the HRPPC.

Dr Xueqin Wang, Postdoctoral Research Scientist.




Mr Scott Kwasny

As one of the technical officers of the lab, Mr Scott Kwasny processes plant phenotyping project associated with the C4 rice project. 

He is also responsible for phenotype experiments such as chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange along with molecular work to a genetic level at labs situated in both the HRPPC and collaborators at the Australian National University.

Mr Scott Kwasny is the Technical Officer at the HRPPC

Mr Scott Kwasny, Technical Officer.


Mr Scott Berry

While studying software engineering, Mr Scott Berry is Research Projects Officer at the HRPPC.

He is currently involved in testing systems in development for high throughput image analysis, infrared screening methods and other technical work. Other duties include:

  • training visitors in the use of specialised scientific equipment
  • providing support across various projects in the centre
  • coordinating the use and programming of plant growth facilities
  • technology development and troubleshooting.
Mr Scott Berry with the Phenomobile.

Mr Scott Berry with the Phenomobile.


Ms Alyssa Weirman

As Business Manager for the HRPPC, Ms Alyssa Weirman is responsible for the operational administration of the centre. She is also currently involved in marketing and events management.

Ms Alyssa Weirman, Business Manager for the HRPPC.

Ms Alyssa Weirman, Business Manager.


Current Projects

Brachypodium project Funded by the Grains Research Development Corporation and the United States Department of Agriculture Dr Bob Furbank and Michelle Watt (CSIRO PI) are jointly leading a growing research team using Brachypodium to increase the understanding of genes responsible for growth and yield in biofuel crops and to speed up wheat improvement.
IRRI C4 Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with an aim to potentially double rice yields, the International C4 Rice Consortium is made up of scientist working together to understand the genes responsible for different photosynthesis mechanisms in plants. In close collaboration with researchers from the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, scientists at the HRPPC will grow sorghum (C4) and rice (C3) under a variety of controlled conditions
Drought tolerance traits Funded by the Grains Research Development Corporation and earmarked to start in the 2011–12 financial year
C4 photosynthesis The metabolic and enzymatic regulation of C4 photosynthesis and its impact on photosynthetic productivity, research by Prof Susanne von Caemmerer, ANU
Salt tolerance traits Infrared thermography is being used to screen a diverse range of wheat and barley cultivars for salt tolerance in controlled environments. Selected cultivars will be grown in an artificial saline site and the Phenomobile used to evaluate performance. The project is funded by the Grains Research and development Corporation. Research by Dr Rana Munns and Dr Richard James CSIRO
Water use in wheat More-effective water-use by rainfed wheat in China and Australia, research by Dr Tony Condon, CSIRO
Flowering behaviour in cereals Molecular basis of changes in flowering behaviour in cereals under increasing ambient growth temperatures using barley as a model, research by Dr Megan Hemming, CSIRO
Phosphorus uptake efficiency Research by Dr Manny Delhaize, Dr Peter Ryan and Dr Alan Richardson, CSIRO


Past Projects

Flax rust Genetic vs. environmental basis of life-history in flax-rust, research by Dr Adnane Nemri, CSIRO
Water stress Gene expression analysis of water stress related genes using RNA-sequencing, research by Dr Bala Thumma, CSIRO
Wheat grain composition Limited and controlled release of wheat genetically modified for altered grain composition, research by Dr Crispin Howitt and Dr JP Ral, CSIRO
Aradidopsis Aerial Phenotype differences in the transparent testa mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana, research by Dr Djordjevic, ANU
Arabidopsis The role of cellulases in Arabidopsis, research by Dr Caitlyn Byrt, Ricky Cahyanegara and Chris Grof, University of Newcastle