Dr Andrew Borrell
Dr Andrew Borrell

Dr Andrew K. Borrell

Associate Professor
Centre Leader, Hermitage Research Facility, Warwick

Dr Andrew Borrell is a crop physiologist and Centre Leader of the Queensland Government’s Hermitage Research Facility, a centre of excellence for crop improvement in water-limited environments.

SHORT BIO

Dr Borrell obtained bachelor and masters degrees in Agricultural Science at The University of Melbourne, focusing on the Green Revolution genes (Rht1 and Rht2) in wheat for his thesis. He then completed a PhD at The University of Queensland on improving the efficiencies of nitrogen and water use for rice in the semi-arid tropics. Dr Borrell was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the impact of rice research in Asia and the US on rice production in the Australian tropics. Much of his post-doctoral research has focused on improving drought adaptation in sorghum.

Dr Borrell is a crop physiologist and Centre Leader of the Queensland Government’s Hermitage Research Facility, a centre of excellence for crop improvement in water-limited environments. For the past decade, Andrew has led an international project (Australia/US) aimed at discovering key drought adaptation genes in cereals, using sorghum as a model crop. Prior to this, he conducted research to better understand the physiological basis of the stay-green drought adaptation trait in sorghum. Dr Borrell began his career as a rice agronomist with the Queensland Government.

Dr Borrell co-leads projects in sub-Saharan Africa and India to develop drought-adapted sorghum germplasm. In addition to drought physiology in sorghum and wheat, Andrew supervises a research program aimed at discovering frost adaptation in winter cereals at heading stage. He has also worked extensively in South-East Asia for the past 20 years developing sustainable cropping systems. Dr Borrell has served as Secretary-General of the Asian Crop Science Association.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr Borrell’s primary research interest is in the physiological/molecular basis of drought and frost adaptation in cereals. Andrew’s other research interests include  the efficiency with which resources (radiation, water and nitrogen) are utilized by crop plants, and developing sustainable cropping systems.

His current ‘drought’ research is aimed at discovering the gene networks underlying the stay-green drought adaptation trait in sorghum, including the interaction of genes with management practices for particular target environments. The ultimate aim is to apply this knowledge on gene networks in sorghum to drought adaptation in other major cereals (wheat, rice and maize). The ‘frost’ research he currently supervises is aimed at developing phenotyping methodologies for assessing frost adaptation, with the objective of identifying post head-emergence frost resistance in wheat and barley.

Dr Borrell has strong international collaborations with partners to advance these areas of research. 

For the past decade, Dr Borrell has led an international project (Australia/USA) aimed at discovering key drought adaptation genes in cereals, using sorghum as a model crop.

Andrew co-leads projects in sub-Saharan Africa and India to develop drought-adapted sorghum germplasm. Partner countries in Africa include Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Collaborating states in India include Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

In addition to drought physiology, Andrew supervises a research program aimed at discovering frost adaptation in winter cereals at heading stage.

Dr Borrell is also interested in the development of sustainable cropping systems in SE Asia, particularly in Indonesia, East Timor and Vietnam, and has collaborated on a number of ACIAR projects and other consultancies in this region over the past 20 years. 

Andrew is a Churchill Fellow and has served as Secretary-General of the Asian Crop Science Association.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Identifying candidate genes for stay-green in sorghum: Phase II. Grains Research and Development Corporation. 2012-14. (Project Leader).

Development and evaluation of drought-adapted sorghum germplasm for Africa and Australia (Phase II). Generation Challenge Program, CGIAR. 2012-15. (Co-PI).

Improving post-rainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain & fodder demand in India (Phase II). Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. 2013-16. (Co-Leader of Australian end).

A targeted approach to sorghum improvement in moisture stress areas of Ethiopia. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 2013-17. (Team member).

Delivery of a wheat root trait that contributes to water limited yield stability. Grains Research and Development Corporation. 2013-17. (Team member).

Frost Situation Analysis. Grains Research and Development Corporation. 2013-14. (Team member).

RESEARCH TEAMS AND COLLABORATORS 

Stay-green gene discovery in sorghum (GRDC/DAFF/TAMU/UQ)

  • Dr Barbara George-Jaeggli - Research Scientist (DAFF)
  • A/Prof David Jordan – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Prof Graeme Hammer – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Dr Erik van Oosterom – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Dr Emma Mace – Principal Research Scientist (DAFF)
  • Simon Hamlet – Technical Officer (DAFF)
  • Greg Mclean - Senior Crop Modeller (DAFF)
  • Colleen Hunt - Senior Biometrician (DAFF)
  • Prof John Mullet – Texas A&M University, USA
  • A/Prof Trish Klein – Texas A&M University, USA
  • Dr Brock Weers – Texas A&M University, USA

Drought-adapted sorghum for Australia and Africa (GCP/ UQ/ DAFF)

  • Dr Sidi Coulibaly – IER, Mali
  • Dr Niaba Teme – IER, Mali
  • Dr Clarisse Pulcherie Barro-Kondombo – INERA, Burkina Faso
  • Dr Soumana Souley – INRAN, Niger
  • Dr Clement Karari Kamau – KARI, Kenya
  • Dr Alemu Tirfessa – EIAR, Ethiopi
  • Dr Abdalla Mohamed – ARC, Sudan

Improving post-rainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India (Phase II) (ACIAR/ ICRISAT/ DSR/ ILRI/ UQ/ DAFF)

  • Dr Vincent Vadez – ICRISAT, India
  • Dr Santosh Deshpande – ICRISAT, India
  • Dr Tom Hash – ICRISAT, Niger
  • Dr Jana Kholova – ICRISAT, India
  • Dr HS Talwar – DSR, India
  • Dr Michael Blummel – ILRI, India

Frost adaptation in winter cereals (GRDC/ UQ/ DAF/ CSIRO)

  • Dr Troy Frederiks - Senior Research Scientist (DAF)
  • Dr Ben Travaskis – CSIRO, Canberra
  • Prof Mark Sutherland – USQ, Toowoomba
  • Greg Harvey – Technical Officer (DAF)
  • Dr Scott Chapman – CSIRO, Brisbane

Drought adaptation in wheat

  • Dr Jack (John) Christopher – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Dr Lee Hickey – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Dr Mandy Christopher - Principal Research Scientist (DAF)
  • Dr Karine Chenu – QAAFI – Centre for Plant Science
  • Susan Fletcher - Senior Biometrician (DAF)
PUBLICATIONS 

Dr Borrell has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. He has been invited to speak and chair sessions at many international conferences relevant to his research field. Andrew has appeared on ABC-TV National News, ABC-TV Lateline, and ABC-TV Asia-Pacific Nexus Program in relation to his drought-adaptation research in cereals.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS 

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CONTACT
Dr Andrew Borrell
Tel: (07) 4660 3640
Email: a.borrell@uq.edu.au

BORRELL, Andrew K. section

Walking the plank on climate change

QAAFI scientist Dr Andy Borrell had to ‘walk the plank’ a few times while travelling through Vietnam on a consultancy to evaluate the effects of climate change on rice-based cropping systems.

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