Barbara Howlett

The University of Melbourne

Parkville, VIC

Contact me for

  • Mentoring
  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Outreach activities


I am a biologist who studies plant disease. I have a B.Sc (Hons) in Biochemistry (University of Melbourne), M.Sc in Botany (ANU), and a Ph.D in Botany (University of Melbourne). I have worked in diverse research areas including influenza, bacterial memory, pollen allergens, nitrogen fixation and plant diseases. For the last twenty eight years I have studied blackleg of the oilseed crop, canola. This fungal disease causes significant yield losses worldwide. My research team has taken a ╦ťgenome to paddock' approach whereby we have discovered key fungal disease genes and exploited their properties to develop disease management strategies for canola farmers. This approach has provided significant yield increases for Australian grain growers.I also serve on commmitties involved in developing policy for agricultural and science research in Australia.