Dr Kirsty Bayliss

Senior Lecturer

Teaching area

Academic Chair for Postgraduate Biosecurity and Food Security

Graduate Certificate in Plant Biosecurity

Master of Biosecurity

Master of Food Security

Unit Coordinator for

Plant Biosecurity: Detection and Diagnostics (BIO537) This unit will introduce students to the tools and technologies required for effective detection and diagnosis of emergency plant pest and diseases. It includes a comprehensive overview of surveillance and diagnostic methods, with particular emphasis in the following areas: sampling and survey methods, monitoring strategies, and traditional (taxonomy and microscopy) and advanced (molecular and biochemical) diagnostics. This unit will also cover the requirements for certification of diagnostic laboratories and diagnostic protocols, decision making tools and reporting networks/databases.

Plant Biosecurity in Practice (BIO538) This unit will introduce students to plant biosecurity within the broader context of human, veterinary and environmental regulatory issues. It includes an overview of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures with particular emphasis on the underlying theoretical principles, and an introduction to the plant biosecurity continuum including pre-border, border and post-border activities, the drivers behind these activities and the legislation and regulations that apply.

Policy Framework Obligations (BIO539) All domestic and international trade is regulated and compliance to regulations is part of the core, day-to-day activities of a plant biosecurity professional. For most countries the overarching regulatory framework is the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). This international agreement impacts international trade and relations and also domestic trade arrangements and quarantine. By working through the operational principles of the IPPC, this unit provides an in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework under which plant biosecurity professionals operate.

Plant Biosecurity Masters Research Dissertation (BIO629) Students will undertake an advanced, supervised investigation of a selected plant biosecurity research problem. The project will report on the rationale, methods and results of the research and will be assessed on the basis of the quality of a submitted dissertation. Project topics, applied in nature, will be chosen in consultation with the Academic Chair and the proposed supervisor. The dissertation will be assessed by two staff members or other appropriately qualified people as approved by the Academic Chair.

Global Biosecurity (BIO639) Biological Security (biosecurity) refers to the protection of people, plants and animals from pests and diseases. It is a broad, multidisciplinary field encompassing science, law, economics, mathematics and sociology. In this unit you will be introduced to the International frameworks that drive global biosecurity and the Australian biosecurity system. Using real-life examples and case studies you will learn about preparedness, surveillance, diagnostics, emergency response and management of pests and diseases threatening to invade Australia.

Challenges in Food Security (BIO681) The global food security challenge is to feed the world in the face of climate change, population growth, uneven food distribution, nutritional security, volatile markets and degraded ecosystems. The challenge includes a focus ‘globesity’: a public health and social issue that is directly related to food security. Using case studies, students will explore biosecurity and food policies underpinning food security and trade. Students will investigate the concept of sustainably producing, protecting and providing food, for present and future generations.

Research areas

I am a plant pathologist and have worked on plant diseases affecting many crops including pastures, legumes, and oilseeds as well as native ecosystems and plantations. I have also worked in plant tissue culture and plant breeding, specifically in the production of doubled haploids and molecular marker-assisted breeding. My current research interests are plant pathology in the context of plant biosecurity. I am also interested in plant pathogens that could pose a threat to crops grown under irrigated agriculture and horticulture. My current interests are plant pathogens on postharvest grains, fruits and vegetables, and whether they pose a threat to our food production systems.

Current projects

Refer to Grants page

Awards and grants


2010 CRC for National Plant Biosecurity independent review panel stated that they were “impressed by the management and delivery of an outstanding Program involving about 35 Ph.D students located at several universities. The Schools’ Program is excellent, and the National Curriculum for Plant Biosecurity is being rolled out this year (10 enrolments as at early 2010). Excellent international collaboration has been established with the USA, Canada and New Zealand which should ultimately improve the quality and value of the Curriculum.

2009 CRC for National Plant Biosecurity Third Year review commendation for “the quality and direction of the education program and its significant contribution to capability development, particularly to the PhD students and to biosecurity in Australia”.

2007 CRC Association Science In Action Expo 2007 – Winner of the Best Exhibitor Award for “increasing awareness and understanding of the relevance and benefits of scientific research”.

2002  Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (Industry) awarded by Australian Research Council


2016 School of Veterinary and Life Sciences - Novel treatments for fresh produce, to control food-destroying postharvest diseases ($12,600)

2015  ACIAR/Plant Biosecurity CRC -Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Training Fellowships ($12,000)

2015 Crawford Fund -  Workshop on Managing Grain Storage Pests in South-East Asia ($18,000)

2012  Plant Biosecurity CRC – Curtailing and managing exotic fungal spore incursions (PhD support, $130,000)

2012  Plant Biosecurity CRC – Neglected Networks: assessing the biosecurity risks posed by small-scale networks (PhD top-up, $54,000)

2012 Plant Biosecurity CRC - New non-chemical technologies to control insect pests in grain during storage and transport ($1.6 million)

2011 Crawford Fund – Grain Biosecurity Training for our near neighbours ($30,000)

2009 The potential impact of plant pathogens on plant biosecurity in the Ord River Irrigation Area (PhD support, $137,000)

2008 The introduction, transmission and spread of plant pathogens in plant nurseries (PhD support, $82,000)

2007 Enhancing surveillance with remotely controlled aircraft to demonstrate freedom from EPPs ($112,000)

2007 Investigation of potential use of hyperspectral imaging in surveillance for emergency plant pests ($32,000)

2006 DEST - A National Postgraduate Curriculum in Plant Biosecurity ($600,000)

2006 Taxonomy, biology and pathology of a phytophthora citricola-like pathogen (Honours support, $5000)

Events and speaking engagements

Feeding the Zone 2016 – Invited Speaker at annual In The Zone conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, May 2016.

Global Biosecurity 2010 Pre-conference workshop 2010 – Convenor of a half day workshop on biosecurity education, current activities and future prospects. Attended by 40 people from international and Australian universities and government organisations.

International Masterclass in Plant Biosecurity 2008 presented lectures on ‘Education Frameworks for Plant Biosecurity’ and ‘Risk Analysis Concepts and Frameworks’ to 17 participants from 10 countries. Held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 2008.

Host of School Teacher Professional Development sessions 2008 – 2012. An opportunity for teachers to learn about plant biosecurity and how they can engage students in science by investigating plant pests. Includes hands-on activities and investigations including extended experimental investigations.

Plant Pest Investigators Book Launch 2008 – a book for children developed as part of the CRCNPB’s school education strategy, to address the Australian Government reports on declining participation in science and the possible future shortages of skilled scientists. The book portrays themes of plant biosecurity and science through an engaging and exciting story that appeals to children aged 5 to 8 years.

Member of Organising Committee of the Conference of the Australian Branch of the International Tissue Culture and Plant Biotechnology, September 21-24 2005, Perth Western Australia.

Convenor of Workshop ‘Novel Methods for the Control of Fungal Pathogens of Broadacre Crops’, May 29, 1999, University of WA.

Professional and community service

Industry Advisory Group of the WA Food, Fibre and Timber Training Council 2011 – 2014. The IAG advises on content of VET qualifications in rural production, horticulture and conservation and land management.

Subcommittee for Plant Health Diagnostics 20102014. SPHDS is a subcommittee of the national Plant Health Committee. I am contributing to the development of training strategies for diagnosticians.

European Commission report on Best Practices in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Training 2010 – considered a key expert in this field

Member of QUADs Education Team 2007 – 2010. QUADs is a Quadrilateral Agreement on Plant Biosecurity between the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The Education Team meet face-to-face yearly and have regular teleconferences. The aim of the Education Team is to develop plant biosecurity curricula to an agreed international standard.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Current Student Projects

Advanced technologies for controlling postharvest diseases of avocado (PhD)

Neglected Networks: assessing the biosecurity risks posed by small-scale trade networks (PhD)

Curtailing exotic fungal spore incursions in to Australia (PhD)

Maize storage technologies: Australia versus Ghana (Masters)

Potential insect pests of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) on graminaceous plant species (Poaceae) in Far North Queensland (Masters)

The pressures on Food Security in the Southern Forests when market forces move the goal post! (Masters)

Completed Student Projects

2016 Fungi associated with Australian stored wheat  (PhD)

2012 Biological control of weed species using smoked water (Masters)

2010 Analysis of plant protection-related projects in the Seychelles from 2000-2010 and their contribution to the national biosecurity policy (Masters)

2007 Inheritance and molecular markers for high oleic and low linolenic acids in canola (Brassica napus) and impact of genotype and environment on these traits (PhD)

2007  The Commercial Forestry of Paulownia: An Economically Feasible Investment (Honours)

2004 Factors influencing the disease development of three pathotypes of Alternaria alternata on Paulownia fortunei (Honours)



  • Siddique, S., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2019), Cold plasma as a novel treatment to reduce the in vitrogrowth and germination of Colletotrichum species, Plant Pathology, 68, 7, pages -.
  • Barua, P., You, M., Bayliss, K., Lanoiselet, V., Barbetti, M., (2019), Disinfestation of diverse fungal pathogen spores on inertcontaminated materials, European Journal of Plant Pathology, 155, 1, pages 135 - 150.
  • Barua, P., You, M., Bayliss, K., Lanoiselet, V., Barbetti, M., (2018), Extended survival of Puccinia graminis f. sp. triticiurediniospores: implications for biosecurity and on-farm management, Plant Pathology, 67, 4, pages 799 - 809.
  • Barua, P., You, M., Bayliss, K., Lanoiselet, V., Barbetti, M., (2018), Inert Materials as Long-Term Carriers and Disseminators of Viable Leptosphaeria maculans Ascospores and Wider Implications for Ascomycete Pathogens, Plant Disease: an international journal of applied plant pathology, 102, , pages 720 - 726.
  • Siddique, S., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2018), Cold plasma: a potential new method to manage postharvest diseases caused by fungal plant pathogens, Plant Pathology, 67, 5, pages 1011 - 1021.
  • Banks, N., Tangchitsomkid, N., Chanmalee, T., Sangsawang, T., Songvilay, P., Thamakhot, S., Paini, D., Bayliss, K., Hodda, M., (2018), Nematodes network too: diversity, abundance and dispersal via plant produce trade networks, Plant Pathology, , , pages -.
  • Siddique, S., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2018), Advanced technologies for controlling postharvestdiseases of fruit, Acta Horticulturae, 1194, , pages -.
  • Barkat, E., Du, B., Ren, Y., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2017), Volatile organic compounds associated with postharvest fungi detected in stored wheat grain, Australasian Plant Pathology, online, , pages -.
  • Evers, A., Bayliss, K., (2017), Genetically Modified Food and Public Perceptions: Conceptualizing Community Understanding Outside Expert Scientific Sources, Food Studies, 7, 1, pages 39 - 54.
  • Barua, P., You, M., Bayliss, K., Lanoiselet, V., Barbetti, M., (2017), Long term viability of the northern anthracnose pathogen, Kabatiella caulivora, facilitates its transportation and spread, Plant Pathology, 66, 9, pages 1463 - 1471.
  • Barua, P., You, M., Bayliss, K., Lanoiselet, V., Barbetti, M., (2016), A rapid and miniaturized system using Alamar blue to assess fungal spore viability: implications for biosecurity, European Journal of Plant Pathology, , , pages -.
  • Barkat, E., Hardy, G., Ren, Y., Calver, M., Bayliss, K., (2016), Fungal contaminants of stored wheat vary between Australian states, Australasian Plant Pathology, , , pages -.
  • Bayliss, K., (2015), Building capacity in plant biosecurity through formal postgraduate degree qualifications, Acta Horticulturae, 1105, , pages 291 - 294.
  • Banks, N., Paini, D., Bayliss, K., Hodda, M., (2015), The role of global trade and transport network topology in the human-mediated dispersal of alien species, Ecology Letters, 18, 2, pages 188 - 199.
  • Zappia, R., Huberli, D., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2014), Fungi and oomycetes in open irrigation systems: knowledge gaps and biosecurity implications, Plant Pathology (Online), 63, 5, pages 961 - 972.
  • Jackson, S., Bayliss, K., (2011), Spore traps need improvement to fulfil plant biosecurity requirements, Plant Pathology, 60, 5, pages 801 - 810.
  • Aslam, M., Nelson, M., Kailis, S., Bayliss, K., Speijers, J., Cowling, W., (2009), Canola oil increases in polyunsaturated fatty acids and decreases in oleic acid in drought-stressed Mediterranean-type environments, Plant Breeding (Print), 128, , pages 348 - 355.
  • Aslam, M., Kailis, S., Nelson, M., Bayliss, K., Cowling, W., (2008), Variation in fatty acid composition among genetically homogeneous seeds of canola (Brassica napus), and implications for genotypic selection based on single seeds, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 59, , pages 926 - 932.
  • Bayliss, K., Foster, C., Dell, B., Hardy, G., (2007), Pycnoporus cinnabarinus is pathogenic on living Paulownia trees, Australasian Plant Pathology, 36, 1, pages 53 - 55.
  • Croser, J., Lulsdorf, M., Davies, P., Clarke, H., Bayliss, K., Mallikarjuna, N., Siddique, K., (2006), Toward doubled haploid production in the Fabaceae: Progress and constraints, Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 25, , pages 139 - 157.
  • Saqib, M., Bayliss, K., Jones, M., (2006), Identification of Sweet Potato Little Leaf Phytoplasma infecting Vigna unguiculata var sesquipedalis and Lycopersicon esculentum, Australasian Plant Pathology, 35, , pages 293 - 296.
  • Saqib, M., Bayliss, K., Jones, M., (2006), Identification of sweet potato little leaf phytoplasma associated with Vigna unguiculata var. sesquipedalis and Lycopersicon esculentum., Australasian Plant Pathology, 35, 3, pages 293 - 296.
  • Pleysier, C., Bayliss, K., Dell, B., Hardy, G., (2006), Temperature, humidity, wounding and leaf age influence the development of Alternaria alternata lesions on leaves of Pawlownia fortunei, Australasian Plant Pathology, 35, 3, pages 329 - 333.
  • Bayliss, K., Saqib, M., Dell, B., Jones, M., Hardy, G., (2005), First record of Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense in Paulownia trees, Australasian Plant Pathology, 34, , pages 123 - 124.
  • Saqib, M., Bayliss, K., Dell, B., Hardy, G., Jones, M., (2005), First record of a phytoplasma-associated disease of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) in Australia, Australasian Plant Pathology, 34, , pages 425 - 426.
  • Perera, M., Bayliss, K., Jones, M., (2005), New Australian record for infection of trees in Paulownia plantations by root-knot nematodes, Australasian Plant Pathology, 34, , pages 419 - 420.
  • Bayliss, K., Wroth, J., Cowling, W., (2004), Pro-embryos of Lupinus spp. produced from isolated microspore culture, Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 55, , pages 589 - 593.


  • Banks, N., Hodda, M., Paini, D., Bayliss, K., (2014),The tangled web we weave: human mediated spread of nematodes via trade networks,In: 6th International Congress of Nematology.
  • Zappia, R., Huberli, D., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2013),Biosecurity implications of plant pathogens in irrigation water,In: 10th International Congress of Plant Pathology.
  • Zappia, R., Huberli, D., Hardy, G., Bayliss, K., (2012),Root Pathogens Detected In Irrigation Water Of The Ord River Irrigation Area,In: SEVENTH AUSTRALASIAN SOILBORNE DISEASES SYMPOSIUM.
  • Bayliss, K., Jensen, T., Kong, G., Macleod, B., Vawdrey, L., Walker, C., Zeller, L., (2007),Enhancing surveillance with remotely controlled aircraft to demonstrate freedom from emergency plant pathogens,In: 16th Diennial Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference.
  • Bayliss, K., Clarke, A., Gibb, K., Keller, M., Plummer, K., (2007),A national postgraduate curriculum in plant biosecurity,In: 16th Biennial Australasian Plant Pathology Conference.
  • Perera, M., Bayliss, K., Jones, M., (2005),New Australian record for infection of trees in Paulownia plantations by root-knot nematodes,In: 15th Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) Biennial Conference (2005).
  • Pleysier, C., Bayliss, K., Dell, B., Hardy, G., (2005),Epidemiology of Alternaria Blight of Paulownia,In: Epidemiology of Alternaria Blight of Paulownia.
  • Bayliss, K., Dell, B., Hardy, G., (2005),First record of Pycnoporus on Paulownia trees,In: 15th Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) Biennial Conference (2005).