Plant pathologists honoured at international conference

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney scientists took centre stage at an international plant disease conference Science Protecting Plant Health 2017, in Brisbane 26-28 September. 

Dr Brett Summerell, Director of Science and Conservation was awarded an Australasian Plant Pathology Society fellowship, recognising his exceptional contribution to the field of plant pathology (and mycology) as a researcher, teacher and mentor to many students.

Dr Matt Laurence was awarded The Allen Kerr Postgraduate Prize for his internationally significant contributions to our understanding of one of the world’s most problematic plant pathogens, Fusarium oxysporum.

In addition to this research work Dr Laurence has contributed to enhancing the disease diagnostic protocols that are offered by the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, enhancing Australia’s biosecurity responses in urban gardens, natural environments and commercial horticulture.

As world experts in their field, Dr Brett Summerell, Dr Edward Liew and Dr Matt Laurence ran a sold out two-day workshop at the Moreton Bay Research Station as part of the conference. The workshop focused on identification of Fusarium species, some of the most important agricultural plant pathogens globally.

The conference was hosted by the Australasian Plant Pathology Society and the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre and brought together the latest science, research and practice from leaders in their fields encompassing all the disciplines of plant biosecurity, plant pathology and entomology.

These exciting accolades come just a few months ahead of the unveiling of the new look Plant Pathology lab at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. For the first time, Garden visitors will be able to see the lab up close and get a better appreciation of the important work being done by our award-winning science team.