Robert Coe

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Robert Coe, plant physiologist

Rob is a scientist working jointly between the C4 Rice Center at IRRI and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis in Australia. At IRRI, he is leader of the C4 Rice Center Phenomics Group, part of a multinational research team working towards improving the efficiency of photosynthesis in order to increase the yield of rice. The group was established as part of The C4 Rice Project in response to the need for the development of high-throughput phenomics tools to assist with gene discovery. It now undertakes independent research, developing and utilizing a range of traditional and next-generation tools to probe plant function and performance under controlled and natural conditions. The group’s research interests include:

  • Exploiting photosynthetic variation to increase yield.
  • Development of next-generation phenomics tools to study plant growth, performance, and composition.
  • Phenotyping genetic diversity panels in order to assist breeding of higher-performing rice varieties.

Rob first joined IRRI in 2010, working as part of the C4 Rice Project. His research focused on gene discovery and creation of a C4 biochemical prototype in rice. During this time, he developed an interest in phenomics as a tool to increase the efficiency of phenotyping for gene discovery, which led to his joining the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre in Canberra, Australia as a visiting scientist from 2013-2014.


  • Plant physiology and biochemistry
  • Plant phenomics and high-throughput phenotyping
  • Photosynthesis
  • Gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, image analysis


  • PhD in Plant Physiology, University of Sheffield and University of Manchester
  • First Class BSc (Hons) in Plant Science, University of Sheffield


  • Scientist – Plant Phenomics and Photosynthesis, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines and ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, Australian National University, Australia (2015-present)
  • Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellow, High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre, CSIRO, Australia and International Rice Research Institute, Philippines (2013-present)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines (2010-2013)
  • Institute of Systems Biology (INBIOSIS) at the University of Kebangsaan, Malaysia (2010)

Robert Coe, plant physiologist

Robert Coe
Scientist – Plant Phenomics and Photosynthesis

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600
ext 2643