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9 Feb 2018

Banana-geddon, plant disease disasters and the fun side of fungi

Calling all  fans of fungi - the slippery, squishy and sometimes stinky world of mycology is being explored at The Calyx on 13 February. Three leading scientists will give you a rare peak into their fascinating fungi research and discoveries.  

In additional to the talk, the scientists will conduct a DNA extraction for the audience to interact with and learn more about these scientific techniques and experiments. 


Dr Brett Summerell, Director of Science and Conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, will explore the threat of a disease known as "Panama Disease" caused by Fusarium oxysporum tropical race 4 (TR4). This impacts banana plantations, devastating livelihoods worldwide, creates shortages and spikes prices for the popular fruit. He is also an expert on other major plant diseases which destroy some of our most beloved foods including coffee and cacao. 

Soil health 

Scientific Officer Dr Zoe-Joy Newby will explore the fun side of fungi and their beneficial properties that play a major role in the creation of various food, beautiful brews, our favourite fermentations, antibiotics and soil health.

Diagnosing process 

Dr Edward C Y Liew, Plant Pathologist and Senior Research Scientist, will talk about diagnosing plant diseases and identifying fungi in the newly upgraded PlantClinic that opened to the public at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Australian Scientists
Dr Summerell and his team recently discovered new species of micro-fungi including the 5 at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and 28 found on the NSW South Coast. 

The good, the bad and the fungi

If you are interested in learning more about fungi, take the rare chance to meet with these leading scientist and enjoy a glass of wine in the beautiful surrounds of The Calyx. Book your ticket here.   

Category: Events
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