Plant Health and Biosecurity

Plant Health and Biosecurity focuses on utilizing the latest molecular biology tools combined with basic disciplinary approach to drive cutting-edge research in the nature of the plant’s response to biotic and abiotic stresses; and to validate taxonomy and genetic diversity of diseases in Australia and SE Asia.

The outputs are better genotypes of crops and vegetables with improved resistance to pathogens, and environmental stresses; integrated control measures with less reliance on fungicides; and in country preparedness for protection from incursion of exotic pests and diseases. The research is underpinned by teaching in Plant Pathology, Plant Breeding, Disease Management and Food Security. 


  • Investigating the interaction of waterlogging and ray blight disease as a cause of poor persistence in pyrethrum

    Funded by: Botanical Resources Australia

  • Protecting the Australian chickpea industry through knowledge of the current Ascochyta rabiei fungal population and risk to resistance breeding strategies

    Funded by: ARC Linkages

  • Enhancing the understanding of Verticillium spp. in Australian potato production

    Funded by:

  • Effect of surface application bio-char and lignite growth and yield of wheat - field study in collaboration with La Trobe University and DPI (VIC)

    Funded by: Horticulture Australia Pty Ltd

  • Understanding pathogenicity risk within the current Asochyta rabiei fungal population and development of a revised disease management plan

    Funded by: Grains Research & Development Corp.

  • Developing novel pre-breeding tools for selecting for disease resistance in temperate legumes

    Funded by:

Research Group Contact Information

Name and Honorifics: Dr Paul Taylor
Title: A/Prof & Reader (Plant Pathology)
Dept: Department of Agriculture and Food Systems
Ph: +61 3 8344 5021
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences The University of Melbourne

Research Team

Research Students

  • Niloofar Vaghefi (PhD): Biology and population dynamics of the pyrethrum ray blight pathogen
  • Prakash VR (PhD): The role of Verticillium spp. in potato early dying syndrome in Australia
  • Eden Tongson (PhD): Development of cold tolerance in Brassica napus using Arabidopsis Acyl-CoA-binding proteins
  • Audrey Leo (PhD): Population structure of A. rabiei in Australia
  • Sara Ohadi (PhD): Invasiveness of weedy Cakile species
  • Kurt Lindbeck (PhD): Epidemiology of Botrytis of lentil
  • Mai Laing Loh (PhD): Taxonomy and diagnostics of luteoviruses of temperate legumes
  • Jiang Chang (PhD): Characterisation of Colletotrichum coccodes, the cause black dot disease of potatoes in Australia
  • Veradina Dharjono (MPhil): Evaluating resistance to Verticillium wilt in commercial Australian potato genotypes        

Next : Publications