Researcher biography

Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Dann joined QAAFI's Centre for Plant Science in October 2010. She is a plant pathologist based at the Ecosciences Precinct at Dutton Park. Her research aims to increase the productivity and quality of tropical and sub-tropical crops through improved management of diseases.

She obtained her PhD in 1995 from the University of Sydney, and undertook post doctoral research at Michigan State University, USA and at the University of Sydney, prior to joining the Plant Pathology (Horticulture) research team within the Queensland Government in 2002.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Dr Dann has broad expertise in the discipline of plant pathology. Her diverse area of research includes investigation of natural defence mechanisms in plants, plant disease epidemiology and diagnostics. Her research is very focused on delivering improved quality and productivity to horticultural industries through optimised disease management.

She is recognised internationally for her work on systemic induced resistance in plants and its practical implementation. A large component of her research is focused on assessing non-traditional products or treatments that may be valuable in disease management, such as compounds which activate disease resistance pathways. Such products are becoming more popular given concerns over pesticides in the environment and residues in fruit, and the drive towards more sustainable production of our food.

Dr Dann supervises several students on projects investigating molecular diversity and epidemiology of fungal pathogens and constitutive and inducible plant defences.

Current active areas of research include: assessment of avocado rootstocks for resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi optimising phosphonate treatments for management of Phytophthora root rot epidemiology of brown root rot disease of avocados and related molecular diversity of causal "Phellinus noxius" fungi assessment of best management practices for reducing losses in mango and avocado caused by postharvest diseases investigations of UV-C exposure of fruit for disease control systemic induced resistance in passionfruit to Passionfruit Woodiness Virus evaluation of soil amendments for improved soil and plant health and soilborne disease suppression.

Dr Dann is currently supervising or co-supervising PhD students, as listed below: Ms Merran Neilsen "Mechanisms of cultivar and race-based disease resistance to Phytophthora root rot in avocado" Mr Trung Kien Do "Investigation of disease resistance mechanisms in mango and related species" Ms Louisamarie Parkinson "Investigating avocado tree mortality during early field establishment"