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Professor John Irwin, Director

John Irwin is a Professor in the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Queensland. John has actively researched the areas of plant pathology/plant genetics since he started his career in 1972, and has bred or co-bred 10 cultivars of pasture and forage species.

The first 10 years of his career were in the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, three of which were spent at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the remainder in various roles at the University of Queensland.

From 1992-2006 he was CEO of two CRCs, the CRC for Tropical Plant Pathology and the CRC for Tropical Plant Protection. A major focus of both of these CRCs was the development of molecular tools for identifying plant pathogens. The work had a major international impact for several major groups of plant pathogens both endemic and exotic to Australia. These included Phytophthora, Colletotrichum, Fusarium, Ralstonia and others.

Education activities have been important to John Irwin. He has been principal supervisor to over 30 graduated Masters and PhD students at the University of Queensland, and he has taught undergraduate classes in several areas of plant science.

He has served on national committees of the Grains Research Development Corporation, and as a panel member for Import Risk Analysis conducted by Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. He has been the Editorial Board Chairman of both the Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, and the Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture.