ASDS Postponed

The ASDS organising committee has made the difficult decision to postpone the 11th Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium until mid to late 2022.  We have a duty of care to our speakers, sponsors, and delegates and the wider community, to minimise the risk of further spread of the COVID-19. Collectively the committee felt it was also in the best interests of our delegates to arrive at this decision now to prevent the potential loss of investment people may make in order to attend the meeting.

The new date will be announced in the coming months.  All enquiries regarding the postponement should be directed to Kate and Jenny, our conference managers via email at

Kind regards,

Tony Pattison and Rob Magary

We invite you to attend

11th Australasian Soilborne Disease Symposium (ASDS), Hilton Cairns, Queensland, Australia,

24-27th November 2020

As Chair of the organising committee, I invite you to attend the 11th Australasian Soilborne Disease Symposium to be held at Hilton Hotel, Cairns 24 -27th November 2020.

The previous symposia have been outstanding successes promoting soilborne disease and soil health to the world. In the International Year of Plant Health, ASDS 2020 will be under the banner of “Protecting the roots of plant health”. This conference will feature renowned scientists, leading industry identities from overseas and within Australia.

Pre-symposium workshops and field trips will feature current topics of interest including:

- Pathogen-Plant-Microbe Interactions
- Overcoming Fusarium wilts
- On-farm biosecurity practices

I encourage you to be part of this exciting event, and look forward to welcoming you to Cairns.


Tony Pattison                                                                                                  Rob Magarey
Co-Chair. ASDS 2020                                                                                      Co-Chair. ASDS 2020

Organising Committee

Tony Pattison, DAF
Co-Convenor, Co-Chair

Rob Magarey, SRA
Co-Convenor, Co-Chair

Sue Pattison, Hypatia

Hazel Gaza, DAF
Committee Member

David East, DAF
Committee Member

Paul Dennis, UQ
Committee Member - Microbial Ecology

Linda Smith, DAF
Committee Member – Cotton/broadacre

Richard Davis, AQIS
Committee Member – Biosecurity

Key Dates

Call for abstracts TBC
Close abstracts TBC
Advised of outcome TBC
Registration Opens for Early Bird TBC
Early Bird Registration Closes TBC
Conference starts TBC

Keynote Presenters

Professor Linda Kinkel, USA

Linda Kinkel is a Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota.  She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and M.S. in Biometry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed Post-doctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley.

Dr. Kinkel’s research focuses on the ecology and evolutionary biology of plant microbiomes in native and agricultural habitats.  She is especially interested in developing practical approaches for managing the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of antagonistic soil bacteria to enhance disease suppression.  Her current work integrates genomic and transcriptomic analyses of soil and endophytic populations and microbiomes in relation to pathogen suppression, plant host and plant community diversity, and soil carbon dynamics in agricultural and native prairie soils.  She is actively involved in the American Phytopathological Society’s Phytobiomes Initiative, and is an Associate Editor-in-Chief for the Phytobiomes Journal. 

Assoc. Professor Lee Hickey, Australia

Associate Professor Lee Hickey is a plant breeder and crop geneticist within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland, Australia. To accelerate development of more productive and robust crop varieties, his research program collaborates closely with industry to develop new tools and innovative breeding strategies that combine leading-edge technologies such as speed breeding, genome editing and genomic selection. His research outcomes have featured in 60 refereed publications, including articles in high profile journals Nature Plants, Nature Protocols and Nature Biotechnology. He is a prolific science communicator and his research outcomes have appeared in mainstream media such as BBC World News, National Geographic, and the New York Times. He is passionate about training the next generation of plant breeders and currently mentors 11 PhD students, while 9 of his previous graduates now work for leading plant breeding companies and high profile research institutes around the globe.

Program Themes

The ASDS 2020 Conference will revolve around the below themes. The 

1. Diagnostics and detection
2. Quarantine and biosecurity
3. Emerging threats and new pathogens
4. Modeling and epidemiology
5. Disease management:
     a. Chemical control,
     b. Biological control,
     c. Cultural control,
     d. Integrated practices
6. Breeding, genetics, and resistance
7. Soil and pathogen ecology
8. Plant, pathogen and microbe interactions
9. Communications and engagement


Hilton Cairns

Located in the heart of Cairns, the Hilton Cairns will host 11th Australasian Soilborne Disease Symposium 2020.

Walking distance from 5-star restaurants and many of Cairns's main attractions we trust that your experience at the Hilton Cairns will be great.

Accommodation is available onsite at the Hilton Cairns and can be booked as part of your registration. 


Hilton Cairns


Private balcony with panoramic view, WiFi, 37-inch TV.

Relax in this comfortable guest room with views overlooking the city of Cairns and the rainforest-covered mountains beyond.

Catch up on some work with our WiFi service, or make yourself comfortable on the bed as you watch the 37-inch TV.  Also available with two double beds.

Room incl 1 breakfast daily - $149 / day

Additional breakfasts are $20pp