Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 321–325 | Cite as

Research supervision: what can the Australasian Plant Pathology Society contribute?

Original Paper


The presidential address to the 20th Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) conference focussed on aspects of the supervision of research students and early career researchers (ECR) and the benefits the Society offers to support career development in plant pathology. The importance of effective communication and the role of the supervisor in mentoring were discussed. A review of the benefits offered to students and ECRs established that, while support for student members was generally well-regarded, there was scope to increase awareness of the opportunities on offer amongst the target audience. Responses to a questionnaire sent to selected experienced supervisors in Australia and New Zealand revealed that the majority of higher degree by research and honours graduates pursued a career that involved plant pathology at some time. Few supervisors provided information about coursework master students. Domestic Australian or New Zealand higher degree by research graduates were more likely to be members of APPS than other cohorts. The need for career paths and succession planning was discussed in the context of a survey of capability in plant pathology and entomology conducted in 2012.


Research students Early career researchers Postgraduate students 



I am grateful to the supervisors who provided information about graduates and their careers in plant pathology and to the students and graduates who provided comments about the Society’s offerings for students and ECRs. I thank Peter Williamson for providing information from the APPS database, Amanda Able for helpful suggestions and comments on drafts, my lab group for constructive criticism of the presentation, and my husband Kong and children Daniel and Suzanne for their support and encouragement.


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Copyright information

© Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research InstituteThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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