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Dr Edward Liew

Manager, Plant Pathology, Senior Research Scientist


Dr Ed Liew is one of our senior research scientists, whose knowledge and passion for plant pathology has brought the ‘fun’ back into fungal research. For over twenty-five years, Ed has worked among the world’s leaders in his field to produce some of the most fundamental and applied research on Fusarium and Phytophthora, two of the most prominent pathogens that cause plant diseases. Through his research, he has helped identify and understand the evolution of fungi and their diseases to better inform disease management, both in the cultivated and natural environments, and enhance our conservation efforts across Australia’s fragile ecosystem. 

Ed has extensive experience in collaborating with researchers around the world, in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and French Polynesia. His research has led to greater understanding of diseases in several plants including vanilla, black pepper, pineapple and cloves, to name a few. Ed is always ready to share his knowledge and passion and participate in community engagement activities to promote the awareness of science in the Botanic Gardens and regale some of the fascinating lesser-known facts about fungi and plant diseases.  

Ed is one of Australia’s top authorities in his field and continues to foster young scientific minds as an adjunct senior lecturer and post-graduate supervisor at the University of Sydney. Ed Liew works at PlantClinic in the Royal Botanic Gardens, looking after the Plant Pathology and Mycology research program and the Plant Disease Diagnostic Unit

Research Interests

  • Fungal population and evolutionary genetics
  • Fungal phylogenetics and taxonomy
  • Soilborne fungal diseases
  • Fusarium and Phytophthora diseases

Current Projects

  • Review of Fusarium species associated with mango malformation disease
  • Control of Phytophthora root rot of Wollemi Pine
  • Susceptibility of Australian Alpine species to Phytophthora
  • Fusarium wilt of watermelon
  • Evolution of pathogenicity genes in Fusarium
  • Describing novel Fusarium and Phytophthora species