Inaugural Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology

Prof Alison Stewart, who stepped down as Director of the Bio-Protection Research Centre at the end of 2011, has been named Lincoln University's inaugural Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology.

Announcing the new title Lincoln University Vice Chancellor, Prof Roger Field, thanked Prof Stewart for her excellent and focused leadership as the founding Director of the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

Prof Stewart is a plant biologist who has focused on plant disease management, biological control and microbial ecology. Originally from Scotland she has a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Stirling and arrived in New Zealand to teach at the University of Auckland in 1984. She came to Lincoln University in 1994, was made the university's first female Professor in 1998 and became the Director of the Bio-Protection Research Centre on its formation in 2003.

Prof Stewart has published more than 300 refereed journal articles, books and conference papers and contributed to many professional societies, committees and advisory panels in the areas of biosecurity, biodiversity and bioprotection.

She is a Fellow of the NZ Institute for Agricultural and Horticultural Science and of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society, she won the MAFBNZ Biosecurity Award for Excellence in 2008 and in 2009 was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in recognition of her services to biology, in particular plant pathology.

Although she is stepping down as Director, Prof Stewart is not leaving the Bio-Protection Research Centre. She will be staying on at Lincoln as a Centre researcher and project leader of the Trichoderma biological control group, focusing on product development and commercialisation.