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DPI plant pathologist recognised with Lester Burgess Award

Kevin Moore receiving the Lester Burgess Award at the Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference. Image supplied by NSW DPI

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Plant Pathologist Dr Kevin Moore has been awarded the Lester Burgess Award for Diagnostics and Extension by the Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) Management Committee.

Dr Moore was presented with the award at the Science Protecting Plant Health conference in Brisbane on 27 September 2017.

DPI Group Director Plant Systems Dr Alison Bowman said Dr Kevin Moore, based at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute, is a worthy recipient of the Lester Burgess Award in recognition of exceptional contributions to the field of crop disease diagnostics and extension in vegetable crop health in Australasia.

“Dr Moore’s research knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication to plant pathology have been instrumental in establishing and growing the highly valuable NSW pulse industry,” Dr Bowman said.

“The outbreak of Ascochyta blight in chickpea crops nationally in 1998 had a devastating impact on production.

“Through Dr Moore’s tremendous efforts in rapidly developing integrated disease management strategies to assist growers in limiting losses to this disease the chickpea industry in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland expanded in the following seasons, whilst it declined in other states.

“Dr Moore has assisted with the disease management aspects for other pathogens such as Phytophthora, Botrytis and Sclerotinia in chickpeas and Leaf Rust in faba beans.”

Dr Bowman said Dr Moore’s strong focus on the extension of his research findings to growers and advisers means he is highly sought-after to present at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) updates and industry field days.

“Dr Moore was awarded with the GRDC ‘Seed of Light’ in 2002 for excellence in communication of research findings and general support for the grains industry,” Dr Bowman said.

“His dedication is demonstrated by his extensive travel to inspect crops to gain a sound understanding of pathology issues and to consult widely with growers, agronomists and industry groups.

“Much of Dr Moore’s disease management recommendations for faba beans and chickpeas have been adopted by industry. Confidence in his research findings and advice to industry and his collaboration with the PBA Chickpea breeding program resulted in chickpea production in northern NSW exceeding that of winter cereals for the first time in 2016.

“His endeavours have increased disease awareness among growers and he provides a comprehensive plant disease diagnostic service and conducts disease diagnostic workshops.

“Dr Moore is regarded as a state, national and international authority on diseases of winter pulses, particularly chickpeas and faba beans and he has refereed numerous scientific papers for Australian and international journals.”

Source: NSW DPI

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