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David John Connor DAgrSc, PhD, FAIA


David Connor is Emeritus Professor of Agronomy in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences of The University of Melbourne currently residing in Spain where he is a consultant and also a Research Associate of the AgSystems Group of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. His experience is in teaching and research in agronomy, crop physiology, and the environmental control of crop productivity. He has also served as Chairman of Department of Agronomy and Deputy Dean/Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at The University of Melbourne.


Professor Connor has spent his career working in Australian Universities but has travelled widely and has also held visiting appointments in research and teaching in the United States, Colombia, China, Argentina, and Spain. In China, he holds the post of Honorary Professor of the Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding. He was, during 1996-2001, the leader of an ACIAR-funded project "Improved Management of Water and Nutrients for Sustainable Rice-Wheat Production Systems". The fieldwork for this project was carried out jointly with the Rice and Agricultural Research Institutes of Bangladesh. In recent years he has worked on an aid project in Mauritania funded by Spanish Overseas Aid Agency (AECID) to improve irrigation management in rice and its relationship to the other cropping and grazing activities of the smallholder villagers.


At The University of Melbourne, he founded the Joint Centre for Crop Improvement and was the Chairman of its Board of Management for the first 10 years to 2002. The Centre is a major force in crop research and postgraduate education in south-east Australia. It draws together expertise from The University of Melbourne and the Department of Agriculture of the State of Victoria. The major country site is at the Institute for Dryland Agriculture located at Horsham, north west Victoria. Professor Connor's recent research programs dealt with wheat, canola, pulses, and sunflower but he has worked previously with a range of crop, tree, and pasture species in temperate and tropical environments. Currently in Spain, he is also working on aspects of olive production, developing contacts with Spanish researchers and growers, and maintaining contact with the new developments in olive production in Australia and Argentina.


Professor Connor has published 20 book chapters and two books including the major text "Crop Ecology: Production and Management in Agricultural Systems" (CUP) that is now in the second edition (2011). The first edition was translated into Japanese, Spanish and Chinese. The second edition is also available in Chinese. He is also an author of over 100 papers on crop physiology, agronomy, modeling, resource development and farming systems in refereed journals.


His experience in consultancy is substantial and varied. He has worked for lawyers, universities, NGOs but mostly for national and international agencies. The central theme has been evaluation of major projects in international agricultural development. Many consultancies have been for the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research (ACIAR) others for CGIAR, FAO etc. Countries in which he has had substantial experience include, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, China, Syria, Mauritania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Argentina and Paraguay. In 2016 he undertook two consultancies for ACIAR; "Sustainable Livestock Grazing Systems on Chinese Temperate Grassland", August 2016 and "Adapting conservation agriculture for rapid adoption by smallholder farmers in northern Africa", November 2016.


He remains active in professional societies. He has been President of the Australian Society of Agronomy and of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Agriculture. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agriculture (FAIA). He is former (1994-2001) Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Field Crops Research.



English: complete command
Spanish: proficient speaking, reading and writing



1957-60 B Agr Sc Student, The University of Melbourne

1961 Soil Conservation Authority of Victoria, Assistant Research Officer
1962-64 PhD Student, The University of Melbourne, Dept. Botany as Wheat Industry Research Committee of Victoria Research Scholar. Thesis Topic: "Ecological Studies of the Genus Amsinckia in Victoria"
1964-65 The University of Melbourne, School of Agriculture,
Assistant Lecturer in Biometry
1965-70 University of Queensland, Dept. Botany, Lecturer in Ecology
1971-76 La Trobe University, School of Agriculture, Senior Lecturer
1976-83 La Trobe University, School of Agriculture, Reader in Crop Physiology
1983-2002 The University of Melbourne, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Professor of Agronomy.
1983-94 Head, Plant and Soil Sciences (Department then reorganized)
1989-95 Deputy Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
1996-98 Member of Faculty Management Group, Associate Dean, Coursework Programs and Chair of Course Policy Committee.
1998-99 Head, Department of Crop Production
2000-01 Associate Dean, International Relationships
2002- Emeritus Professor, The University of Melbourne
2002-03 Visiting Scientist, Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (CSIC), Córdoba, Spain
2004- Self employed consultant



1960 B Agr Sc (The University of Melbourne)
1962-64 Wheat Industry Research Committee of Victoria ResearchScholarship, held at Dept. Botany, The University of Melbourne.
1965 PhD in Plant Ecology (The University of Melbourne)
1972-73 Australian-American Educational Foundation Senior Fulbright Scholar, held at Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.
1988 Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agriculture.
1991 Doctor of Agricultural Science (The University of Melbourne)
2003 C.M. Donald Medalist of the Australian Society of Agronomy


Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (1960-)
President Victorian Branch (1982)
Convenor, Victorian Branch Awards Committee (1989-92)
Australian Society of Agronomy (1980-)
Vice President (1983-1985)
President (1985-87)



Board of Editors: Field Crops Research (1988-2009)
Editor-in-Chief: Field Crops Research (1994-2001)
Editor Emeritus: Field Crops Research (2009-)
Board of Editors: Agroforestry Systems (1985-94),
Spanish Journal Agricultural Science (2002-)
Journal of Integrative Agriculture (2013-)
Reviewer of papers: Agricultural Systems, Aust. J. Agric. Res., Aust. J. Exp. Agric., Field Crops Research, Irrigation Science, NZ Journal Agric. Sci., European journal of Agronomy, Agricultural Water Management, Sciencia Horticulturae.


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