WI: Experimental Design for Agricultural Trials - SOLD OUT


Date: 25th September 2017

Location: Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park

Cost: $400 per attendee or $600 per attendee for both workshops I and II

Max. no of participants: 16

Summary: This 1-day workshop will introduce participants to the principles of experimental design and reinforce the importance of these principles when it comes to the conduct of agricultural trials, with a focus on plant pathology experiments. The course will begin with simple block designs and move to more advanced blocking and treatment structures. Different design solutions will be explored for a range of case studies including field, laboratory and controlled environment experiments. Hands-on practical sessions will also provide participants with the opportunity to develop skills to design their own experiments using two statistical software packages.

Presenter Description:

Dr Alison Kelly is a Principal Biometrician with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who leads the Northern Node of the Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry project funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. In this role, Dr Kelly both provides and coordinates statistical support and training for all grains industry research projects across the northern region, including those with a focus on plant pathology. Dr Kelly’s current applied research interests lie in developing novel statistical analysis techniques aimed at the selection of crop varieties with improved traits of resistance and tolerance to the pathogens Fusarium pseudograminearum and Prathylenchus thornei; two pathogens of major concern in the northern growing region of Australia.

Clayton Forknall is a Biometrician with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who provides statistical support to a range of plant pathology projects both across the northern grains region and nationally. Clayton is currently working on the development of an improved technique for quantifying the economic impact of root, crown and foliar diseases on the Australian grains industry through the development of yield loss response curves.

WII: Introduction to Linear Mixed Models with applications to Plant Pathology Research

Date: 29th September 2017

Location: Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park

Cost: $400 per attendee or $600 per attendee for both workshops I and II

Max. no of participants: 16

Summary: The linear mixed model is a powerful tool for the analysis of agricultural research experiments. In this 1-day workshop, participants will be introduced to the linear mixed model framework, with a focus on applications that commonly arise in plant pathology research. This framework is progressively developed from a simple linear model, through the addition of more complex treatment and blocking terms. The workshop also introduces the fitting of complex variance structures in a linear mixed model framework using Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML) estimation. Hands-on practical sessions will provide participants with the opportunity to develop skills to analyse their own research experiments using the ASReml-R statistical software package.


Dr Alison Kelly

Clayton Forknall


Identification, biology, phylogeny and host range of powdery mildews

Date: Friday, 29th Sept. 2017

Location: USQ, Toowoomba

Cost: $300 (for registration only) or $400 (for registration and return transport to USQ from Brisbane on Friday 29th Sept.)

Max. no. of participants: 20

Summary: The Erysiphales (powdery mildew fungi) is a group of ubiquitous obligate biotrophic plant pathogens infecting more than 10,000 dicot and monocot species worldwide. Important crops, including cereals, grapevine, and a number of vegetables and ornamentals, are among the major targets of powdery mildew fungi. Despite extensive research on their pathogenesis, epidemiology and control, powdery mildew infections remain among the most important crop health problems worldwide. This workshop will consist of lectures on the biology, phylogeny, and host range expansions of powdery mildews, as well as hands-on laboratory exercises to identify several important species using microscopy, and to learn quick and efficient DNA extraction methods from powdery mildew samples for genetic analyses.

Presenters: Prof. Levente Kiss (University of Southern Queensland), Dr. Kalman Zoltan Vaczy (Eszterhazy Karoly University, Hungary) and Prof. Susumu Takamatsu (Mie University, Japan). The presenters have run the International Powdery Mildew Summer Schools annually since 2014. This workshop is a condensed version of the 1-week long summer schools.

Microscopes sponsored by:


Identifying plant pathogenic Fusarium species - SOLD OUT

Date: 23rd and 24th September 2017

Location: Moreton Bay Research Station, North Stradbroke Island

Cost: $600 per attendee (does not include accommodation)

Max. no of participants: 20

Summary: Fusarium species include some of the most important agricultural plant pathogens globally. However identification of many of the species is difficult and complex. In this two day workshop you will have the opportunity to microscopically examine the most important species of Fusarium that cause plant diseases in Australia and New Zealand; learn the key approaches to identification using morphological and phylogenetic tools; and understand aspects of the plant diseases caused by these fungi. Accommodation options are either dorm style accommodation at the MBRS or hotel accommodation on the island.

Presenters: Dr Brett Summerell, Dr Edward Liew and Dr Matt Laurence (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust) and Professor John Leslie (Kansas State University) (to be confirmed). The instructors are mycologists with decades of experience in Fusarium research, and all have described numerous new species of Fusarium and recovered and diagnosed Fusarium species from countless different species of plants. This is a shortened version of the week long workshop Dr Summerell and Professor Leslie have ran annually since 2000.

Microscopes sponsored by:


Using small unmanned aircrafts (UAS) in surveillance programs - Cancelled


Date:  Friday 29th September 2017 7.00am - 5.00pm

Location:  QUT and Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF)

Cost: $400 (registration only)

Min Numbers: 

Summary: This 1-day workshop will provide participants with a practical demonstration of small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and sensor technologies. The workshop will give participants an opportunity to explore current capabilities and limitations to integrating UAS technologies in surveillance programs. During the morning session, participants will be transported to the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) to participate in a UAS mission. The afternoon session will be held on the Queensland University of Technology campus and will focus on software and best practices for post-processing flight imagery. The workshop will conclude with round-table discussions between participants on the use of these technologies for detecting invasive species across different scales (region, paddock, plant) and host species

Keynote Presenters:

Dr Brian McCornack is an Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University with research, extension and teaching responsibilities. Dr. McCornack has an integrated research program that facilitates the discovery and application of tangible solutions to emerging pest issues, including endemic and invasive species. Primary interests include the development of ecological, as well as economical, management strategies for arthropods at a landscape scale. Dr. McCornack has developed a wide range sampling plans and methodologies for use on large commercial farms. Dr. McCornack’s extension responsibilities include building web-based platforms to delivery management information based on event recognition and intelligent alarm technologies. He is the project leader PBCRC135: Optimizing surveillance protocols using unmanned aerial systems.

Dr Felipe Gonzalez is the founder and director of the Integrated Intelligent Airborne Sensing lab at QUT specializing on the use of UAVs and highly automated aircraft for remote sensing task. In agriculture and the environment A/Prof Gonzalez co-lead the CRC30032: Flying Spore Traps   to determine the potential of using an unmanned aerial vehicle, fitted with a spore trap, to detect and monitor spores of plant pathogens. He also led the Evaluating PBCRC 5055 Evaluating Unmanned Aerial Systems for Deployment in Plant Biosecurity focusing on qualitative evaluation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and on-board sensor technology for use in plant bio-security in the Australian context. He leads the QUT component of PBCRC135: Optimizing surveillance protocols using unmanned aerial systems focusing on the use of new technologies for surveillance and monitoring organisms that threaten plant biosecurity, specifically Yellow stripe rust in wheat, Myrtle rust and Phylloxera in vineyards. Gonzalez also leads the PBCRC2164: Developing pest risk models of Buffel Grass using Unmanned Aerial Systems and statistical methods


Botryosphaeriaceae Menace: Taxonomy, Disease Impact, Ecology & Management


Date: 25th September 2017

Location: Ecosciences Precinct, 41 Boggo Road, Dutton Park

Cost: $100 per attendee

Max. no of participants: 45

Summary: This symposium will bring together academia, applied scientists, students, crop consultants and leaders in the various horticulture industries to share knowledge and discuss the latest developments on diseases caused by Botryosphaeriaceae fungi across the industries. The symposium will cover the biology and management of diseases caused by Botryosphaeriaceae and the Amphisphaeriaceae. Species belonging to the two families are often associated as endophytes of woody plants. The endophytic lifestyle of these fungi presents significant challenges for the management of diseases (such as dieback, cankers, leaf spots and fruit rots) they cause on a wide range of horticultural crops worldwide. The mechanisms of infection and disease development have not been well established, but are often associated with plant stress. In addition to the keynote addresses, presentations will provide an overview on the economic significance, pathogen biology and management of diseases caused Botryosphaeriaceae and Amphisphaeriaceae in temperate, subtropical and tropical fruits and tree nut crops, forestry and viticulture horticulture. Opportunities are available for participants to present their current research on specific areas of the taxonomy, biology, epidemiology or management of Botryosphaeriaceae and Amphisphaeriaceae diseases in horticultural crops. (For oral presentations, please contact the symposium organisers).

Keynote Presenters:

Dr Akif Eskalen is an extension specialist at the University of California, Riverside, USA. His research focuses on the identification and epidemiology of branch, trunk, and root pathogens of subtropical plants including avocado, citrus and landscape trees. His research on biotic and abiotic factors driving host-pathogen interactions underpins development of effective control strategies.  His current research interests include the biology, epidemiology and control of fungal pathogens of invasive beetle-diseases complex such as Fusarium Dieback and Shot hole borers (Euwallacea sp.) in California.

Prof. Roger Shivas is a mycologist at the University of Southern Queensland as well as curator of the Queensland Plant Pathology Herbarium, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. He has worked in the biosecurity realm for more than 30 years and published over 200 papers that describe more than 400 new taxa of plant-associated fungi. The importance of correct identification of fungi in the Botryosphaeriaceae is the theme of Roger’s talk.

Symposium Organisers: This symposium is organised by Dr Femi Akinsanmi (The University of Queensland, Brisbane) and Dr Rosalie Daniel (NSW Department of Primary Industries, Ourimbah).

Dr Femi Akinsanmi (Email: interest in organising the symposium is due to menace of the increasing rate of detection and severity of diseases caused by novel Botryosphaeriaceae and Amphisphaeriaceae taxa in tree nut crop. Femi believes a proactive and cross-industry approach is required to develop an effective disease management strategy including the prediction, prevention and reduction of impact of the diseases caused by these fungi in several horticultural crops.

Dr Rosalie Daniel (Email: research interests are in understanding the biology and epidemiology of plant pathogens to develop integrated disease management options for horticultural crops, and effectively communicating these outcomes to industry. Her interest in Botryosphaeriaceae arose from its ever-increasing significance in a range of horticultural crops, and the limited availability of management options.

Workshop sponsored by:


Management of plant-parasitic nematodes through crop rotation, plant breeding and other means


Date: 29th September 2017

Location: Toowoomba

Cost: $300 per attendee (does not include accommodation in Toowoomba on Thursday night)

Max. no of participants: 20

Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are important constraints to crop production worldwide. This workshop will feature the research of the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ), Centre for Crop Health, Crop Nematology team on rootlesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) in cereal and legume crops. Participants will be transferred by bus from Brisbane to Toowoomba after the closing session of SCIPLANT2017 on 28th September 2017 and returned to Brisbane in the afternoon of 29th September 2017 following the workshop.

The workshop will begin at the Crop Nematology team’s field research site at Formartin (70 km west of Toowoomba) and participants will inspect experiments on pre-breeding, field resistance and yield loss in wheat, chickpea, faba bean and field pea and National Variety Trials for wheat and barley. After lunch, workshop participants will return to Toowoomba for a series of seminars. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to present new developments in the field of nematology and exchange ideas. Nematology students are encouraged to present outlines and results of their projects. The workshop will conclude with afternoon tea and a tour of the USQ Crop Nematology glasshouse experiments.

Presenters: The workshop is organised by Dr Rebecca Zwart and Dr Kirsty Owen from the USQ Centre for Crop Health, Crop Nematology team. The Crop Nematology team, led by Professor John Thompson, is experienced in researching integrated nematode management options that sustainably reduce root-lesion nematode populations and improve crop yields.


Brown Marmorated Stink bug: An Imminent Threat to Australia and Zealandia

Date: 25th September 2017

Time: 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Cost: Free to registered delegates

Max. no of participants: 50

Summary: Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an insect pest that originates from Asia that is currently spreading rapidly throughout the world.  It is now widespread in North America and Europe but no established populations have been recorded in the southern hemisphere. BMSB has an extensive host range and is a major nuisance and plant pest of significant economic importance.   Since 2014, raised awareness of BMSB's potential destructive impact to Australia and New Zealand’s valued plant systems and increasing border interceptions have led to a greater focus on border operations and research required to prevent its establishment and to reduce its potential negative impact.

This workshop will review the potential impact of BMSB in Australia and New Zealand and examine current and planned activities across the biosecurity spectrum to answer key questions about risk assessment, pathway risk management, diagnostics, surveillance and eradication including pro-active consideration of BMSB biological control agents


Dr Tim Haye, Head Arthropod Biological Control, CABI, Switzerland.  Tim has been a central figure in recognising, documenting and seeking solutions for the BMSB outbreaks in Europe since its initial introduction there in 2004.  His research on BMSB includes biological control, climate matching, and invasion dynamics.   He has extensive connections with BMSB researchers in Europe, Asia and North America. 

Please contact Dr David Teulon, Better Border Biosecurity (NZ) ( or Dr Rod Turner, Plant Health Australia ( if you would like to present at this workshop.

Workshop Sponsored by:


Whitefly: outbreak causes and sustainable solutions


Date: 25th September 2017

Time: 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Location: The Library, Ecosciences Precinct, Boggo Road, Dutton Park, Brisbane

Cost: Free to registered delegates

Max. no of participants: 30

Summary: Complex problems in pest management require multidisciplinary solutions, and this workshop aims to bring together leading international and Australia experts representing multidisciplinary capabilities including ecologists, entomologists, economists, simulation modellers, bioinformaticians and geneticists, in understanding whitefly and the diseases they vector. Our aim is to provide a perspective and engaging discussion on how the latest research into whitefly is improving food security in less developed countries, as well as preparing Australia for threats posed by exotic whitefly and begomoviruses, particularly in the cotton and horticultural industries. 

The workshop will be led by scientists from the PBCRC’s partner CSIRO, who are conducting a major international multidisciplinary project for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Cassava Whitefly in Africa, in collaboration with global research teams including the University of Western Australia, and partners in Africa, UK, France, Israel, China and the USA We will begin the workshop by presenting progress in this project, with the African Cassava Whitefly case study as an example of how a multidisciplinary approach can provide novel insights and understanding to prepare agricultural, plant biosecurity industry and research sectors for major global plant pests such as the whitefly, and help solve the food security challenges they pose.

Presenters/workshop leads: Dr Hazel Parry, Dr Paul Mwebaze, Dr Wee Tek Tay, Dr Cate Paull (CSIRO), Mr Tonny Kinnene (UWA), Dr Andrew Kalyebi (National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Uganda (TBC), Dr Peter Gillespie (DPI NSW).


Student Professional Development Workshop


Date: 25th September 2017

Time: 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm

Location: Rydges South Bank

Cost: Free to registered students. This workshop is sponsored by the Plant Biosecurity CRC.

Max. no of participants: 40

Summary: This interactive half day workshop is specifically designed to assist the next generation of scientists protecting plant health in securing employment. It will focus on careers planning and identifying potential career pathways in biosecurity policy, academia and industry. The workshop will be facilitated by a senior consultant from The Agribusiness, specialists in recruitment in agribusiness and agriculture. If you’re a student thinking about your next steps don’t miss out on this great opportunity to hear from the experts.




Date: 25th September 2017

Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm 

Location: Rydges South Bank

Cost: Free to registered delegates

Max. no of participants: 40

Summary: This half day workshop will update participants on current application of digital tools for diagnostics and surveillance. This will include practical demonstration of remote microscopy hardware and software, including the new and improved Pestpoint. The workshop will include role play and demonstration of diagnostic and surveillance events, and discussion on how these tools are best managed and applied. The workshop will include updates on application in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Pacific Islands and Australia and New Zealand.

Participants should bring their smartphone or tablet (any OS) for practical demonstration and role play of Pestpoint and remote microscopy hardware.

Presenters/workshop leads: Dr Gary Kong and Michael Thompson have been developing and implementing digital tools for diagnostics and surveillance in the Asia Pacific region for over 10 years. Please contact Mike and Gary at and for further information.


Symposium on seed risks, management and assurance systems 
The regulation of vegetable seed imports by governments - testing and alternatives


Date: 29th September 2017

Location: Rydges, Brisbane Australia

Cost: Free to invited delegates 

Max. no of participants: Limited spaces

Summary: The one day symposium will provide an overview of the management of risks posed by pathogens carried by vegetable seed focussing on international regulation, current requirements for seed testing, the effectiveness of diagnostics and alternative systems for assuring clean seed supply. The aims are to consider the pros and cons of the arrangements for safe seed trade and to facilitate discussion among a small group of regulators, scientists, and seed company and grower representatives.

Currently Australia has a testing regime in place to detect viroids in tomato and capsicum seed and to detect Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) in cucurbit seeds. National seed associations are promoting alternatives to testing. The regulation and detection of viroids and CGMMV will be presented at the symposium, as examples of the risks and the processes that are in place to deal with the risks presented by seed-borne pathogens.

This symposium is sponsored by the Plant Biosecurity Co-operative Research Centre and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. A small group of experts in the area will be invited including representatives of NPPOs of key countries, diagnostic scientists and virologists, representatives of the major seed companies and representatives of the Australian vegetable industry.

Program summary:

  • The economic, environmental and social impacts of seed borne pathogens 
  • Australian regulation of seed imports 
  • Seed testing and recent Australian research on diagnostics 
  • International laboratory proficiency ring test for PSTVd 
  • International laboratory proficiency ring test for CGMMV 
  • Recent research on seed diagnostics 
  • International standards of seed health or testing diagnostics 
  • Discussion of seed testing challenges and harmonisation 
  • European seed import regulation 
  • Regulation on seed imports into the United States   
  • Regulation of seed imports into New Zealand 
  • Proposed seed production crop health assurance system 
  • Discussion of the regulatory approaches to seed pathway assurance.


Indigenous Engagement workshop


Date: 29th September 2017. 9.00am - 12.30pm

Location: Mantra, South Bank Brisbane

Cost: No Cost

Max. no of participants: 30

Summary: A team of Australian and New Zealand indigenous researchers have developed an Indigenous Engagement model, using the analogy of removing the toxins from the Cycad nut (Australia) and the Karaka berry (New Zealand). Targeting agencies and government organisations tasked with responding to new biosecurity incursions, this model provides guidance for a process that can bring about improved outcomes when engaging indigenous and rural communities.

This half day workshop will be a deeper dive into the Aboriginal and Māori engagement models to gain an in-depth understanding of the process and why it is important not to cut the engagement process short.

Attendees will workshop each step in the model to develop an appreciation of its place and purpose and how it relates to the guiding principles and values of indigenous people in both Australia and New Zealand. Key to the workshop will be the opportunities to discuss and understand all aspects of the framework, from the analogy of detoxifying the Cycad nut so it is safe to consume, to the guiding principles and values.

Presenters: Alby Marsh, Plant & Food Research New Zealand, Ruth Wallace and Linda Ford, Charles Darwin University Australia.



Identifying future TPP research and development needs


Date:  Tuesday 26th September 2017. 5.00pm - 7.00pm

Location: Rydges, South Bank Brisbane

Cost: No Cost

To Register: Please contact Alan Nankivell e:

Summary: This is an opportunity to participate in an interactive workshop of future research and development needs and priorities for management of Bactericera cockerelli, tomato potato psyllid (TPP), and the bacterium that it vectors, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso).

This workshop will be the first major output of the levy funded project ‘MT16018 - Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) National Program Coordinator’.  This three year project will support the fresh potato, processed potato, vegetable and nursery industries to manage the risk of tomato potato psyllid, through stakeholder coordination. The project will resource a TPP Program Coordinator, working with a Steering Committee, to ensure a strategic TPP response is developed and adopted in a coordinated fashion by all stakeholder groups in order to minimise the effects of this pest in Australia

 As such, we are seeking to establish a national action plan to address the incursion of TPP into Australia in 2017. Part of the plan is to identify future research, development and extension needs. This session will provide scientists with the opportunity to have input into the preparation of the research and development aspects of the plan.

 The strategic levy investment project MT16018 - Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) National Program Coordinator is funded by potato processer, fresh potato and vegetable research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.



Please note that you must register to attend the full conference to be able to attend a workshop.

Field Trips

Northern Grain and Gardens Pre-conference Tour


Date: 25th September 2017

Cost: $85.00 AUD

Overview: Travel into the countryside along the scenic rim of Queensland’s Main Range National Park to visit the historical Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) 100 year old Research Station situated at Hermitage. Hermitage is the pivotal centre in breeding technologies for crops such as sorghum, barley and mung bean. Enjoy a home baked morning tea provided by the Country Women’s Association and inspect trials involving foliar and soil borne diseases of cereals and chickpea. Departing Hermitage you will head for Australia’s renowned garden city of Toowoomba to visit the University of Southern Queensland Centre for Crop Health to inspect facilities and enjoy a packed lunch whilst taking in the tranquility of the nearby Japanese gardens. The final stop of the day will be at the spectacular Queens Park Botanical Gardens in Toowoomba for a relaxing afternoon.  We will then head down the Great Dividing Range and drive through the “salad bowl” of the south east Lockyer Valley in time for the welcome reception in Brisbane.

Key Destinations/Stops:

  • Hermitage Research Station, Warwick, Queensland, Department of Agriculture
  • Centre for Crop Health, University of Southern Queensland
  • Japanese Gardens "Ju Raku En Japanese Gardens", Regent Street, Toowoomba
  • Queens Park Botanical gardens, Margaret Street, Toowoomba


Tweed Horticultural Region SPPH Post-conference Tour


Date: 29th September 2017

Cost: $85.00 AUD

Overview: Enjoy the best that the Tweed Valley has to offer! Located in NSW about 100km south of Brisbane, the Tweed shire encompasses agriculture (sugarcane, horticulture, beef and dairy), national parks, coastline, wetland and forest, and is a significant tourist destination. Stretch your legs and look for whales at the magnificent Point Danger lookout at Coolangatta. We will visit one of the largest avocado nurseries in Australia, and inspect the banana Foc Race 1 screening and selection blocks. At Tropical Fruit World we will tour the vast collection of hundreds of species of tropical fruit from all over the world and enjoy a fruit tasting session and lunch.  We will return to Brisbane at approximately 15:30.

Key Destinations/Stops:

  • Cooloongatta, Point Danger Lookout
  • Anderson Horticulture, Duranbah
  • Tropical Fruit World