John Passioura has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science (1958) and a Ph.D. in soil chemistry (1963) from Melbourne University, Australia. He currently holds an emeritus appointment at CSIRO Agriculture in Canberra, and was formerly Chief Research Scientist and Leader of the Crop Adaptation Program there. His research has ranged over: soil chemistry and physics (transport of water and nutrients in soil); plant physiology (water relations, drivers of growth rate and adaptation to abiotic stresses); and wheat pre-breeding and agronomy directed at improving water-limited productivity of dryland crops. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1994.
He spent 6 years on partial secondment to the Australian Grains Research and Development Organization (GRDC) where he oversaw a portfolio of projects on soil and water management that aimed at improving both the productivity and environmental performance of Australian grain farms. More recently he has written several reviews relating to crop productivity and the pursuit of effective agricultural research. He has also been a consultant to the CGIAR, having undertaking high-level reviews of several of their programs, existing or prospective.
Fellow fo the Australian Academy of Science