Dr Daniel Rodriguez
Dr Daniel Rodriguez

Associate Professor

A/Prof. Daniel Rodriguez is internationally recognised for his work on the design of more productive and resilient farming systems (i.e. in large-scale commercial farms) in Australia, and small-holder farms in the developing world.

He has a background in crop eco-physiology and systems modelling with an extensive record of publications in high-impact scientific journals.

Dr Rodriguez presently leads large projects on the sustainable intensification of agriculture in Australia and Africa and is Chief-Editor of Agricultural Systems.





Dr Rodriguez obtained his Bachelor degree in Agriculture (Univ of Buenos Aires) and completed a research masters on Crop Sciences (Wageningen University), and a Doctorate in crop physiology and crop modelling (Wageningen University). He completed post-doctoral positions with AB-DLO Research between 1998 and 1999, and with Wageningen University between 1999 and 2001. 

Daniel worked as Principal Scientist in systems modelling with Primary Industries Research Victoria in Horsham between 2001 and 2005, and as Principal Scientists and Focus Team Leader with the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in Toowoomba, Queensland before joining UQ in 2010.

Daniel has a background in crop eco-physiology and systems modelling. His research underpins the development and application of more integrative and trans-disciplinary systems-analysis approaches to help understand and solve complex challenges in high- and low-income countries. In Australia he uses participatory whole-farm modelling approaches to quantify opportunities to design more profitable and resilient farming systems.

The focus of his work is on:

  • pathways to achieve food security and reduced poverty in Africa

  • identifying pathways to intensify the production of summer rainfall dominated – rainfed and irrigated, cropping and mixed grain-cropping systems

  • quantifying impacts and adaptation to climate variability, and change

  • In Australia he collaborates with CSIRO and state/territory departments, and internationally with CIMMMT, ILRI, ICRISAT, ICRAF and the National Agricultural Research Systems of eastern and southern African countries. His present international work focuses on reducing the poverty and food insecurity of maize-legume based farming systems across eastern and southern Africa.

Dr Rodriguez's work adds value by:

  • increasing our understanding of existing farming systems, key drivers of change, and opportunities for improvement

  • quantitatively assessing adaptation options and trade-offs using field and whole-farm simulation modelling tools

  • providing support to farmers in the design of more profitable and resilient farming systems.


Presently Dr Rodriguez's research capabilities are focused on identifying pathways to sustainably intensify the production of summer rainfall dominated farming systems in both high- and low-income countries. His expertise in crop ecophysiology and modelling enable him to investigate farming systems at a range of scales, i.e. plant, crop, and farm. He strives to understand how farmers make decisions and manage limited resources to maximise profits and livelihoods. His trans disciplinary approaches give him the opportunity to positively contribute to solve some of the most challenging global problems (i.e. Africa’s food security and climate change). He delivers on his projects by developing productive collaborations with socio-economists, crop physiologists, extension officers, breeders, animal scientists, programmers, and agronomists.


Dr Rodriguez has published more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and presently (2012) has an h index =13. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national/international congresses and farmer-update meetings relevant to his research field. He has participated in the organisation of several international conferences (International Farming Systems Design 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013) and the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (2011).



  • Pathways to sustainable intensification of maize-legume based farming systems for food security in eastern and southern Africa (SIMLESA) (funded by ACIAR in collaboration with CIMMYT) Budget $20,000,000. Websites: www.aciar.gov.au/simlesa; http://simlesa.cimmyt.org/
  • Developing climate-change resilient cropping and mixed cropping / grazing businesses in Australia. (Funded by DAFF’s Future Farming Program, in collaboration with CSIRO, SARDI, NSW DPI, BCG). Budget $750,000. Final report here. (700 Kb PDF)
  • Integrating crops and livestock for improved food security and livelihoods in rural Zimbabwe (Funded by ACIAR and in collaboration with ILRI and CSIRO). Budget $5,000,000
  • Dr Rodriguez is also Chief-Editor of Elsevier's Agricultural Systems

Links to articles by Dr Rodriguez

3 March 2015:  SBS
Climate change could cause 500,000 extra deaths in 2050

 3 December 2015: "The Medical Republic"
The Hunger Games

28 April 2015: "The Conversation"
The future of food: growing more with the same land

6 Aug 2014: ECOS Magazine
Food security and the role of ‘sustainable intensification’

4 June 2013: "The Conversation"
Australia's farming future: Queensland

28 October 2011: "The Conversation"
How can CHOGM start a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa?


A/Prof. Daniel Rodriguez
Principal Scientist
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
The University of Queensland

PO Box 102 Toowoomba
Queensland 4350 Australia
Tel: +61 7 4688 1437
Fax: +61 7 4688 1193
Email: d.rodriguez@uq.edu.au
Website www.qaafi.uq.edu.au



Presentations available for download



25 September 2015



Daniel Rodriguez - High yielding wheat in the northern region from QAAFI



20 May 2014

"Pathways out of poverty in eastern and southern Africa: A farming systems design approach" (31 Mb, ppsx file)

This presentation showcases the rationale for projects in Eastern Africa, which are aiming to lift the productivity of farmers through participatory research. Mobile phones have enabled a text messaging service to deliver regular season-appropriate advice to farmers. Efforts are under way to develop a virtual market for African farmers, using mobile phones.

How can we have a green revolution in sub-saharan Africa?
23 Nov 2011 Topics in Plant Science
How can we have a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa? 
(2.3 Mb PDF)

  FSD COURSE  2016

Analysis and Design of Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Concepts, Methods and Applications to Mediterranean and Tropical systems.

Read about the course objectives and structure.


RODRIGUEZ, Daniel section

Summer Grains Field Walk 2016

Summer Grains Field Walk Summer
Friday 12 February 2016 – Gatton Research Station

Colour-code to translate benefits of crop science

14 Jan 2015 There are more similarities than differences between these two different production systems
QAAFI PhD candidate Caspar Roxburgh is working to develop low-cost ways to improve the productivity of summer crops both in Australia and in Africa as part of an Australian Government funded international aid project. The joint initiative between UQ’s Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and the SIMLESA project is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Grain Cereals Workshop & Field Day

4 Aug 2014Dr Daniel Rodriguez
More than 80 people, including growers, research scientists and representatives from key support industries attended a grain cereals workshop and field day at Gatton UQ on Monday, 21 July. Dr John Dixon, Research Program Manager for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), began the workshop by announcing a $19 million ACIAR-funded project to support sustainable intensification of summer cropping in Africa.

Is the commercial relay cropping systems from the Argentinean Pampas the new frontier for the northern grains region?

A report by ... Daniel Rodriguez Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland ...

Master thesis on multiple cropping systems in tropical agriculture

CSIRO Agriculture is seeking a highly motivated master student to work on a master thesis in research program RP8 “Agriculture and Global Change”. The research program brings together work on climate adaptation, agricultural research for development in developing countries and the role of agriculture in mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Tactical Agronomy for Sorghum and Maize

Summary of research in tactical agronomy for sorghum and maize in the Northern Region by A/Prof Daniel Rodriguez

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