Vic researchers honoured

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Michael Materne says the Horsham DPI pulse team is honoured to win the Norman Borlaug Award.

The work of Victoria’s agricultural scientists has been recognised in the Bioscience Research Division Victorian Awards. The Norman Borlaug Impact Award, the Aristotle Education Award and the René Descartes Scientific Method and Process Award all head to Horsham to Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) researchers.

Dr Michael Materne, research leader at Horsham, says staff feel particularly honoured to take out the Norman Borlaug Award, named after the American agronomist and Nobel laureate called the father of the Green Revolution.

It was won by Horsham’s Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) team, which is developing the new traits and pulse varieties needed to feed a growing world population.

Pathologist Mark McLean, who is about to complete his PhD, won the individual Aristotle Education Award for research into the control of barley disease spot form of net blotch, a common foliar disease of barley.

“It is great for the industry that the DPI has trained another world-class pathologist in Mark McLean,” Dr Materne says.

Fellow Horsham DPI employee Simone Tait was part of the BRD Compliance team that took out the René Descartes Award. The team is responsible for quality systems and regulatory compliance associated with governance bodies such as Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator and National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia’s national laboratory accreditation authority.

“This is a significant achievement for Simone and the team as compliance to regulations controlling activities from quarantine to growing GM trials is critical for the success of modern research,” Dr Materne says.

– Gio Braidotti

More information: Michael Materne,;;

GRDC Project Code DAV00119, DAV00118

Region South