Plant Biosecurity experts

Murdoch University works on the frontline of safeguarding Australia's crops against disease. Our researchers are protecting Australia's food security and providing better export opportunities for farmers.

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Michael Jones

Professor Michael Jones

Plant biotechnology and genetic manipulation

Michael Jones is Professor of Agricultural Biotechnology and Foundation Director of the WA State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (SABC).

He specialises in plant biotechnology, biosecurity, genetically modified plants and the molecular basis of interactions between plants and plant pathogens. He heads the Plant Biotechnology Research Group with about 15 researchers.

His expertise includes molecular diagnostics and marker-assisted breeding, with current major contributions in plant virology and host-pathogen interactions of plant parasitic nematodes. In recent work his group has used new ‘short read’ nucleic acid sequencing technologies coupled with sequence assembly and analysis to identify 50 plant viruses either new to Australia or to science. In the plant nematology, his group has sequenced the transcriptomes of three plant parasitic nematodes, and used this information to develop GM plants with novel resistance to economically important nematodes.

He has published over 230 research articles, including co-authoring two books. As a member of the Commonwealth Government ‘Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council’ (ABAC, 2003-2008)), he contributed to advising government ministers on national biotechnology policy. He has also participated in many debates on GM crops.
Kirsty Bayliss

Dr Kirsty Bayliss

Plant biosecurity and crop disease, development of new plant varieties

Dr Kirsty Bayliss is a plant scientist with over 20 years’ experience in the plant pathology field. Since 2012, she has focussed on the management of postharvest pathogens that cause moulds on fresh fruit, vegetables and grains.

In 2015, Dr Bayliss was the recipient of an Australia-Thailand Young Researcher Exchange Award, where she investigated the use of plasma technology for plant disease control at Chiang Mai University. Dr Bayliss also presented her research in this field at the Feed the Zone forum in Jakarta in 2016.

During 2017, Dr Bayliss was named a LAUNCHFood Innovator for her work on chemical —free control of postharvest diseases. Her aim is to make more food available for more people by reducing food waste.

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