Honorary Professor Len Wade

Honorary Professor

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science


  1. Professor Wade graduated with BAgrSc (Hons) in Crop Agronomy from the University of Queensland, a PhD in Crop Science from the University of Western Australia, and Research Fellowships to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India, and Texas A&M University in the USA. Len was based at Emerald with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries from 1974 to 1993, as Agronomist, then Senior and Principal Agronomist. From 1993 to 2002, Len moved to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, as Agronomist/Physiologist, Rainfed Consortium Coordinator, and Program Leader for Rainfed-Lowland and Flood-Prone Ecosystem Programs across South and South-East Asia. For five years, Professor Wade was GRDC Chair in Crop Agronomy at the University of Western Australia, before joining Charles Sturt University as Strategic Research Professor in Farming Systems Agronomy, Crop Physiology and Crop Improvement, from 2007 to 2016. Since July 2016, Len has been Honorary Professor at The University of Queensland in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, to facilitate his continuing professional engagement via mentoring of younger colleagues, assistance to international projects, publication in international journals, editorial advisory boards of Field Crops Research and Crop and Environment, and consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, Len was included in research.com's list of best scientists in Plant Science and Agronomy, with D = 30, national ranking 179, and world ranking 1971. His recent paper on perennial rice, which was published in Nature Sustainability in November 2022, was identified as Runner-Up for Science Breakthrough of the Year by the journal, Science. Len has now been invited to present a lecture on this work at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science at the Breakthrough of the Year Celebrations in Washington DC in March 2023.

Research Interests

  • Farming Systems
    Resource balance and sustainability, systems integration and delivery, farmer perception and adoption, and farmer livelihood and food security.
  • Crop Physiology
    Avoidance and tolerance strategies for drought (and heat), roots and water extraction, osmotic adjustment and water-soluble carbohydrates, genotype-by-environment interactions, associated genetics QTL and genomic hotspots.
  • Crop Improvement
    Development of dual-purpose perennial grain crops for grain and grazing, including systems flexibility, sustainability and integration with livestock.
  • Across Ecosystems
    Comparable interests across rice-based systems in sub-humid environments, wheat-based systems in mediterranean environments, and maize- and sorghum-based systems in sub-humid and semi-arid environments, for synergistic benefits.


  • PhD, The University of Western Australia
  • BAgrSc (Hons), The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Fukai, Shu and Wade, Len J. (2021). Rice. Crop Physiology Case Histories for Major Crops. (pp. 44-97) edited by Victor O. Sadras and Daniel F. Calderini. London, United Kingdom: Elsevier . doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-819194-1.00002-5

  • Fukai, Shu, Cooper, M., Fischer, K. S. and Wade, L. J. (1997). Breeding strategies for rainfed lowland rice: suggestions for future research. Breeding strategies for rainfed lowland rice in drought-prone environments. (pp. 245-248) edited by S. Fukai, M. Cooper and J. Salisbury. Canberra, ACT Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Larkin, Philip J., Newell, Matthew T., Hayes, Richard C., Aktar, Jesmin, Norton, Mark R., Moroni, Sergio J. and Wade, Len J. (2014). Progress in developing perennial wheats for grain and grazing. Clayton, VIC, Australia: CSIRO. doi: 10.1071/CP13330

  • Mazid, M, Jabber, MA, Mortimer, M, Wade, L, Riches, CR and Orr, AW (2003). Improving rice-based cropping systems in north-west Bangladesh: diversification and weed management. International Congress on Crop Science and Technology, Glasgow Scotland, Nov 10-12, 2003. FARNHAM: BRITISH CROP PROTECTION COUNCIL.

  • Salekdeh, G.H., Siopongco, J., Wade, L.J., Ghareyazie, B. and Bennett, J. (2002). Proteomic analysis of rice leaves during drought stress and recovery. 2nd Asia-Oceania Proteomics Conference, Canberra, Australia, 1-4 October 2001. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley - V C H Verlag. doi: 10.1002/1615-9861(200209)2:9<1131::AID-PROT1131>3.0.CO;2-1

  • Mazid, MA, Jabbar, MA, Riches, CR, Robinson, EJZ, Mortimer, M and Wade, LJ (2001). Weed management implications of introducing dry-seeding of rice in the Barind Tract of Bangladesh. BCPC International Conference on Weeds, Brighton England, Nov 12-15, 2001. FARNHAM: BRITISH CROP PROTECTION COUNCIL.

  • Cohen, MB, Jackson, MT, Lu, BR, Morin, , Mortimer, AM, Pham, JL and Wade, LJ (1999). Predicting the environmental impact of transgene outcrossing to wild and weedy rices in Asia. Symposium on Gene Flow and Agriculture - Relevance for Transgenic Crops, Keele England, Apr 12-14, 1999. FARNHAM: BRITISH CROP PROTECTION COUNCIL.

  • Fukai, S., Cooper, M., Fischer, K.S. and Wade, L.J. (1997). Breeding strategies for rainfed lowland rice: suggestions for future research. International Workshop on Breeding Strategies for Rainfed Lowland Rice in Drought-Prone Environments, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, 5-8 November 1996. Canberra, ACT, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

  • Wade, LJ, McLaren, CG, Criseno, L, Amarante, ST, Sarawgi, AK, Kumar, R, Bhamri, MC, Singh, ON, Ahmed, HU, Rajatasereekul, S, Porn-uraisanit, P, Boonwite, C, Harnpichitvitaya, D and Sarkarung, S (1997). Genotype-by-environment interactions: RLRRC experience. International Workshop on Breeding Strategies for Rainfed Lowland Rice in Drought-Prone Environments, Ubon Ratchathani Thailand, Nov 05-08, 1996. CANBERRA: AUSTRALIAN CENTRE INT AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH.


  • Wade, LJ (1995). Soil compaction - Make it or break it for rainfed lowland ecosystems. ACIAR International Workshop on Management of Clay Soils for Rainfed Lowland Rice-Based Cropping Systems, Quezon Philippines, Nov 20-24, 1995. CANBERRA: AUSTRALIAN CENTRE INT AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH.

  • WADE, LJ, MYERS, RJK and FOALE, MA (1991). OPTIMIZING PLANT STAND IN RESPONSE TO CLIMATIC RISK. International Symp On Climatic Risk in Crop Production : Models and Management for the Semiarid Tropics and Subtropics, Brisbane Australia, Jul 02-06, 1990. WALLINGFORD: C A B INTERNATIONAL.