Gregory Constable

By Colin WardSeptember 17th, 2014


Greg Constable graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and a Master of Agricultural Science, University of Sydney. He also holds a PhD from the Australian National University, Canberra.

Dr Constable is both an agronomist and plant breeder. This allowed him to make significant contributions to the development of scientifically based farming approaches to agriculture and the development of novel breeding strategies for increased yield and water use efficiency in cotton that have added value to the GM cotton varieties being developed in his program. The CSIRO cotton breeding team at Narrabri have made great strides in the development of elite cotton varieties which dominate the Australian industry and now have substantial adoption in many other countries, notably USA, Brazil and Greece. These highly successful and desirable varieties are the platform through which GM cotton could be so rapidly adopted into the industry.

Dr Constable was the first Director of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sustainable Cotton Production, through the planning phase in 1992, its successful establishment in 1993, and up to its renewal in 1999 as the Australian Cotton CRC.

Research interests

Dr Constable’s research interests include cotton breeding, physiology and crop management systems.

He has driven research in cotton breeding for:

  • disease tolerance
  • high fibre quality
  • water use efficiency
  • the rapid development of genetically modified breeding lines with multiple traits
  • the consolidation of significant sales of CSIRO cotton varieties in Australia and internationally.

He is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Crop Sciences, University of Sydney.

Honours and awards

In 2003, the influential Australian business magazine the Bulletin, judged Dr Constable ‘Australia’s smartest scientist’. Some of Dr Constable’s other awards include:

2011 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal with Danny Llewellyn, Warwick Stiller, Shiming Liu, Peter Reid and members of the cotton breeding and biotechnology teams
2008 Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology at the US Beltwide Cotton Conferences
2006 ATSE Clunies Ross Award with Danny Llewellyn and Gary Fitt
2006 Australian Cotton Growers Research Association Researcher of the Year
2005 Australian Government Prize for Rural innovation (team)
2003 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal with Danny Llewellyn
2001 Centenary Medal for services to plant production and processing with Danny Llewellyn
1984 Australian Cotton Growers Research Association Researcher of the Year

In 2001, Dr Constable was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering for his research including for his work in helping to develop:

  • higher yield management packages
  • improved sustainability from better resource management
  • reduced insecticide use due to the introduction of pest resistant, genetically modified cotton varieties.


  • Catizone I, 2009, Personal communication.
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