Knowledge for a sustainable world

BAgric Hons, PhD

Dr Onoriode Coast joined the University of Greenwich in 2020 as a Senior Fellow of Crop Physiology. He has extensive research experience in Australia, Nigeria, the Philippines, UK and USA.

Prior to joining NRI, Coast was a Research Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, working within the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. At ANU Coast worked on a number of crop physiology and plant ecology projects, including developing a high-throughput system for remotely estimating leaf dark respiration, photosynthetic thermal tolerance in crops, acclimation of photosynthetic and respiratory processes in wheat, and a global review of plant thermal tolerance research.

Coast was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) from 2013 to 2016. Based at the Australian Cotton Research Institute, Narrabri, Coast developed a novel canopy temperature-based irrigation scheduling system for furrow-grown cotton crops. This irrigation system has been commercialised by CSIRO and the Australian Cotton Research and Development Corporation, and its use extended to other cropping systems in Australia. Coast previously held academic positions at the University of Benin, Nigeria.

Coast was awarded a prestigious Felix Scholarship, the only sub-Saharan African recipient of the award in 2009, after graduating with First Class Honours in Crop Science from the University of Benin, Nigeria. This enabled him to investigate the physiological basis of high night temperature tolerance in rice for a PhD at the University of Reading. Coast is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has mentored and supervised graduate and undergraduate students.

Dr Coast’s research interest spans the fundamental and applied aspects of crop science. From understanding crop responses to environmental changes to improvement of cropping systems for better crop yield. Other areas of interest include identifying natural variation in plant stress resilience, field experimentation, data analysis, and the development of phenotyping techniques for plant eco-physiology research.

Member of NRI’s Ecosystem Services Group

Australian Grains and Research Development Corporation (GRDC) Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2019 – 2021.

‘Photosynthetic acclimation to high temperature in wheat.’

The economic losses from heat damage on Australian wheat is estimated at over $1 billion per annum. This project aimed to broaden the focus and potential impact of a national heat stress project (A national approach to improving heat tolerance in wheat through more efficient carbon allocation) by (i) investigating photosynthetic acclimation to high temperature and its associated energy cost, an important physiological process whose limitation by heat stress severely affects yield, and (ii) fine-tune the development of a high-throughput screening technique for photosynthetic heat tolerance that pre-breeders and commercial breeders could incorporate in their toolbox for selecting better lines for eventual delivery to growers.

Australian Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2013 – 2016

‘Applying plant based measurements for irrigation in water limited environments.’

There is significant gap between the average industry yield and the top achievers in irrigated cotton industry of Australia. This gap can be reduced significantly by improving irrigation efficiency. This project extended the canopy temperature-based approach of irrigation scheduling to furrow systems by developing a tailored stress time threshold for Australian cotton production system. Adoption of this irrigation approach could help boost confidence of irrigators and improve irrigation scheduling of the average cotton grower as it is based on continuous monitoring of plant stress in real time.


Brad C. Posch, PhD student, Australian National University, Canberra, 2018 – present

  • Coast O, Harden S, Conaty WC, Brodrick R, Edwards EJ (2020). Canopy temperature of high-nitrogen water-stressed cotton. Crop Science 60: 1513-1529
  • Coast O, Šebela D, Quiñones C, Jagadish SK (2020). Systematic determination of the reproductive growth stage most sensitive to high night temperature stress in rice (Oryza sativa). Crop Science 60: 391-403
  • Coast O, Shah S, Ivakov A, Gaju O, Wilson PB, Posch BC, Bryant CJ, Negrini ACA, Evans JR, Condon AG, Silva‐Pérez V, Reynolds MP, Pogson BJ, Millar AH, Furbank RT, Atkin OK (2019). Predicting dark respiration rates of wheat leaves from hyperspectral reflectance. Plant Cell & Environment 42: 2133-2150
  • Posch BC, Kariyawasam BC, Bramley H, Coast O, Richards RA, Reynolds MP, Trethowan R, Atkin OK (2019). Exploring high temperature responses of photosynthesis and respiration to improve heat tolerance in wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany 70: 5051-5069
  • Sudheesh Manalil S, Coast O, Werth J and Chauhan BS (2017). Weed management in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) using crop competition: A review. Crop Protection 95: 53-59
  • Coast O, Murdoch AJ, Ellis RH, Hay FR and Jagadish SVK (2016). Resilience of rice (Oryza spp.) pollen germination and tube growth to temperature stress. Plant, Cell & Environment 39: 26-37
  • Coast O, Ellis RH, Murdoch AJ, Quiñones C and Jagadish SVK (2015). High night temperature induces contrasting responses for spikelet fertility, spikelet tissue temperature, flowering characteristics and grain quality in rice. Functional Plant Biology 42: 149-161
  • Bahuguna RN, Jagadish SVK, Coast O and Wassmann R (2014). Plant Abiotic Stress: Temperature Extremes In: Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems Editor-in-Chief, Neal K. Van Alfen; San Diego: Elsevier; 4: 330-334. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52512-3.00172-8
  • Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canberra, 2019 – 2021
  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Narrabri, Scientific Exchange Grant, 2014
  • Arthur Hosier/Meyer Sassoon and JW Bee Fund, travel grants, 2012
  • Felix Trust, University of Reading, UK, travel grants, 2012
  • European Union, International Network of Plant Abiotic Stress, travel grant, 2011
  • PhD Scholar, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, 2011 – 2012
  • Felix Scholar, University of Reading, UK, 2009 – 2012,
  • Best Graduating Student, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Benin, Nigeria, 2007
  • Best Graduating Student, Department of Crop Science, University of Benin, Nigeria, 2007
  • University of Benin Scholar’s Prize, University of Benin, Nigeria, 2003 – 2004, and 2006
  • Delta State Scholar, University of Benin, Delta State, Nigeria, 2005
  • Undergraduate Scholarship Award, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria    2003 – 2007


Professional Membership

  1. Agronomy Society of America (2010 – present).
  2. Crop Science Society of America (2010 – present).
  3. Member, Australian Society of Plant Scientists (2015 – present)
  4. Associate Fellow, The Higher Education Academy, UK (2017 – present)

Reviewer for scientific journals: Agronomy Journal, Field Crops Research, Frontiers in Plant Science, Functional Plant Biology, New Phytologist, Physiologia Plantarum, Plant Cell & Environment, Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, and Plant Physiology

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