Austropuccinia psidii, causal agent of myrtle rust, is a globally dispersed pathogen having devastating impacts in the Australasian region.

Collaborative research efforts have improved our understanding of the pathogen and are starting to deliver management tools, while communities are rapidly mobilising to protect and conserve native plants. However, there is an urgent need to do more to prevent extinctions and to strengthen ecosystems. 

Join us in Sydney for the Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference to contribute to and learn about the latest research and management approaches. Be part of the conversation as we ask, “where to from here?” 

This event will include a poster session and optional field trip to view myrtle rust where it is heavily impacting Australian native plants.  Programme outline available and abstract submission now open.

AMRC Conference Organising Committee

Peri Tobias, Research Fellow, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney

Renee Johansen, Project Manager/Communications Leader: Beyond Myrtle Rust, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research

Alyssa Martino, PhD Candidate, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney

Stuart Fraser, Ecology and Environment Research Group Leader and Forest Pathologist, Scion

Craig Stehn, Senior Threatened Species Officer and myrtle rust expert, NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Angus Carnegie, Senior Principal Research Scientist in the Forest Science Unit, NSW DPI and Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University

Geoff Pegg, Senior Principal Forest Pathologist, Forest Production & Protection Team Leader, Horticulture & Forestry Science -Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Queensland) 

Grant Smith, Principal Scientist & Program Leader - The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd

Bob Makinson, conservation botanist and plant taxonomist, Outreach Delegate and Myrtle Rust Project team member, Australian Network for Plant Conservation Inc. 

Beccy Ganley, Science Group Leader, Innovative Plant Pathology, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd

Mahajabeen Padamsee, Senior Researcher – Mycologist, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research


    Register to Attend    

Registration Open!

  Submit Your Abstract 

    Submission closing date is 31 May 2023.    

Registration Prices are outlined below.

Standard, Student & Unwaged registration includes attendance to conference sessions (3 Days - 21-23 June), catering and welcome reception.


         $200 per person        

Student & Unwaged

         $50 per person        


Conference Dinner

         $100 per person        

Thursday 22nd June at Rydges Sydney Central Hotel and will include a 3 course meal and drinks.

'Full Day' Excursion

         $50 per person        

Saturday 24th June to include the Northern Beaches and Sydney locations to see impacts to vegetation.

Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) Travel Bursary

The APPS will make available up to $5,000 to provide bursaries for students and early career researchers to attend the Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference held in Sydney from 21-23 June 2023. 

Applications have now closed and all applicants notified.



Conference program

including Poster Presentations

AMRC 2023 UPDATED Program*

(*Final program to be available week commencing Monday 19 June 2023)

Wednesday 21 June 2023 

Day 1

8:30-9:00am Arrival and registration

9.00-9.05amIntroductionPeri Tobias
Welcome to Country and First Nations address
Local MALC representative followed by Māori representative/s
Opening Address
Australian Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Dr Bertie Hennecke
Update on the status of myrtle rust and response in the Australasian region
Australian perspectives (30 minutes)
New Zealand perspectives (30 minutes)
Bob Makinson and Geoff Pegg Beccy Ganley and Roanne Sutherland
Morning tea

Morning session
Fundamental science of the pathogen and host 
Session Facilitators:
Beccy Ganley and Peri Tobias 
11:15-11:30amPerspectives on rust incursionsRobert Park
11:30-11:45amWorking towards understanding the host:pathogen interactions
Peri Tobias
Comparative genomics to decipher adaptation of the fungal pathogen Austropuccinia psidii to host species in the Myrtaceae family
Thaís Boufleur
Exploring post-transcriptional modifications during myrtle rust pathogen-plant interactions
Ashley Jones
Transcript to protein: understanding the early pathology of the Austropuccinia psidii–mānuka interaction
Rebekah Frampton

Afternoon session one
Fundamental science of the pathogen and host 
Session Facilitators:
Alyssa Martino and Stuart Fraser
Solving a perennial problem:double-stranded RNA prevents and cures infection by myrtle rust
Rebecca Degnan
1:45-2:00pmDouble-stranded RNA as a sustainable control for myrtle rustAnne Sawyer
2:15-2.30pmMetabolomics identifies species-specific biomarkers of resistance to Austropuccinia psidii
Michelle Moffit
2:30 – 3:30pm
Afternoon tea

Afternoon session two
Fundamental science of the pathogen and host 
Session Facilitators:
Grant Smith and Peri Tobias 
3:30-3:45pmMelalueca quinquenervia; towards a model for myrtle rust researchAlyssa Martino
3:45-4:00pmBuilding knowledge infrastructure for the conservation of myrtle rust impacted speciesStephanie Chen
4:00-4:15pmAssociated fungal diversity of the mid-storey tree Lophomyrtus bullataMahajabeen Padamsee
4:15-4:30pmBreeding and genomics as a possible pathway for resistance to myrtle rust in New Zealand Myrtaceae
Heidi Dungey
4:30-4:45pmWrap up and summaryAngus Carnegie
4:45 – 6:45pm
Poster session, networking, drinks and canapes

Thursday 22 June 2023 

Day 2

Keynote Invited Speaker:
USDA Forest Service, Dorena Genetic Resource Center
Dr Richard Sniezko                                                                      

Morning session one
Indigenous perspectives 
Session Facilitators:
Maj Padamsee and Bob Makinson
10:00-10:15amQueensland/New South Wales indigenous perspectivesTilly Davis and AJ Perkins
10:15-10:30amIndigenous responses to taonga impacted on by myrtle rustAlby Marsh
10:30-10:45amSignificance of aka vines (Metrosideros spp.) to maaroiHone Ropata
10:45 -11:05am
Morning tea

Morning session two
Session Facilitators:
Grant Smith and Maj Padamsee
11:05-11:20amLessons from Lord Howe Island: An opportunity for eradicationCristina Venables and Nicola Fuller
11:20-11:35amHow to prepare for novel incursions? Using sexy genes to call lineages in the myrtle rust pathogenZhenyan Luo and Austin Bird
11:35-11:50amPre-visual and early detection of myrtle rust on rose apple using hyperspectral measurements and thermal imageryMichael Bartlett
11:50-12:05pmUsing spatial models to identify refugia and guide restoration as part of New Zealand's response to myrtle rustJames McCarthy
12:05-12:20pmRemote sentinel spore sampling
Benjamin Schwessinger
12:20-12:30pmConference Group Photograph

12:30 – 1:30pm

Afternoon session one
Environment and Ecology
Session Facilitators:
Stuart Fraser and Angus Carnegie
1:30-1:45pmWA Myrtle Rust Working Group update: A collaborative response to detection in the remote east KimberleyMia Townsend
1:45-2:00pmMyrtle rust infection of an endemic rain forest tree across a forest edge gradient in New ZealandJames McCarthy
2:00-2:15pmImpacts of myrtle rust induced tree mortality on nutrient cycling in a wet sclerophyll forestKristy Stevenson
2:15-2:30pmA versatile model for assessing climatic risk of myrtle rust Robert Beresford
2:30-2:45pm Conservation and restoration of species impacted by myrtle rust: translating genetic data to actionsJason Bragg
2:45-3:00pmSeasonal progression of myrtle rust on Lophomyrtus trees in New Zealand leading to declining health and reproductive potentialMichael Bartlett
3:00 – 3:30pm
Afternoon tea

Afternoon session two
Informal DiscussionsFacilitator: Geoff Pegg
6:30pmConference Dinner at Rydges Sydney Central Hotel

Friday 23 June 2023 

Day 3

8:55 – 9:30am
Conservation Day - Welcome and Introduction
Bob Makinson                          
Morning session one
Conservation and Applied Science
Session Facilitators:
Craig Stehn and Bob Makinson.                                                 
9:00-9:15amSession Keynote: A conservation perspective of managing myrtle rust in Aotearoa New ZealandRoanne Sutherland
9:15-9:30amA pilot model for development of dispersed collections (metacollections) affected by Myrtle RustAmelia Martyn-Yenson
9:30-9:45amConservation programs for two 'emergency' species (Rhodamnia rubescens and Rhodomyrtus psidioides) and projected other activityCraig Stehn
9:45-10:00amSaving Queensland's endangered Myrtaceae from myrtle rustFiona Giblin
10:00-10:15am       Seed banking options for conservation of species susceptible to myrtle rustKaren Sommerville
10:15-10:30amBiotechnology offers an alternate conservation pathway for exceptional Myrctaceae species affected by myrtle rustLyndle Hardstaff
10:30-10:40amQ&ASession Facilitators 
Morning tea

Morning session two
Conservation and Applied Science
Session Facilitators:
Craig Stehn and Bob Makinson
11:00-11:15amAustralian Government planning approaches to abating myrtle rust and other key threats to Australia’s threatened species and ecological communities
Ben Alter
11:15-11:30amManaging living collections in response to a biosecurity incursionEmma Simpkins
11:30-11:45amNorth Queensland impacts and prospectsDarren Crayn
11:45-12:00pmDeveloping cryopreservation for endangered Gossia - a genus of plants threatened by Myrtle RustJingyin Bao
12:00-12:15pmFighting Myrtle Rust with ex situ collections dataBradley Desmond
12:15-12:30pmQ&ASession Facilitators

Afternoon session
Workshop: Conservation and Applied Science
Session Facilitator:
Bob Makinson
1:30-1:50pmStrategic goals, needs, and options for resistance breeding and related ex situ workRichard Sniezko
1:50-2:10pmThe Australian perspective: facilities, expertise, and potential speciesGeoff Pegg and Karen Sommerville
2:10-2:30pmThe New Zealand perspective: facilities, expertise, and potential species
Grant Smith and James McCarthy
Afternoon tea

3:00-4:00pmWorkshop: Conservation and Research gaps and the way forward

Workshop General Discussion:

1. Goals
2. Expertise
3. Facilities
4. Priority Species

Session Facilitator:
Bob Makinson
Conclusion and Wrap Up Summary

Saturday 24 June 2023 

Field Day (Optional - advance registration is required)

The bush walking will not be extensive, but please wear suitable attire.

The following items are recommended:

-       Comfortable walking shorts/trousers and closed-in walking shoes

-       Suitable hat

-       Be prepared for possible cold & wet weather (warm/rain jacket or poncho)

-       A personal day (back) pack: bottle of water, sunscreen, insect repellent etc


Field Trip on-day contact: Peri Tobias: 0438 428 997. Peri will be meeting attendees in Manly.  





9:15am (prompt).       

Meeting point.              

Wharf 3, Circular Quay

Purchase return ferry ticket at own expense:



Manly Ferry

To Manly Wharf


Meeting point

In front of Manly Wharf at the ‘shell sculpture’ landmark


Bus departure

From Manly


Stop 1

South Steyne, Melaleuca quinquenervia with severe infection of myrtle rust


Stop 2

Other M. quinquenervia location in Manly Vale



Travel to Newport area


Stop 3

View dying examples of once abundant Rhodamnia rubescens



Venue in Bayview (lunch provided)


Stop 4

Avalon – view healthy 4.2m individual tree


Stop 5

Avalon – grey-headed flying fox colony & powerful owl habitat, once home to mature Rhodamnia rubescens


Return to Manly

Via Ocean Road with stop at Freshwater lookout


Ferry Transfer

To Circular Quay



Arrive Circular Quay

Confirmed Poster Presentations 

Posters can be viewed during the Welcome Reception on Wednesday 21 June, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Session ThemePoster TitlePresenter
Gauging knowledge and information needs for diverse participation in long term responses to myrtle rust
Andrea Grant.        
BiosecurityHigh - Throughput identification and Quantification of teh Air-Borne Fungal pathogen, Austropuccinia psidiiLuc Shepherd
Gum Tree Guardians; A citizen science approach to monitoring the spread of myrtle rust in AustraliaAlyssa Martino
Conservation and Applied ScienceGetting rust funghi Lab-on-a-chip ready - growth in artificial environments on flat and heterogenous surfacesSarah Sale
Conservation and Applied Science
Developing culturally sensitive practices to investigate a taonga plant's physiological responses to drought and heatwavesGenavee Rhodes.                
Environment and EcologyNatural enemies of myrtle rust in Aotearoa New ZealandAndrew Pugh
Fundamental Science of the pathogen and hostDefining the role of novel fungal effector protein AP5292 during myrtle rust infections to inform management of Austropuccinia psidiiNicky Hambrook
Fundamental Science of the pathogen and host
The first investigation into the seed-borne microbial communities of Metrosideros excelsaVladislav Kholostiakov
Fundamental Science of the pathogen and host
Austropuccinia psidii in Western Australia: understanding its potential impact through epidemiology and host responses
Eric Asare
Fundamental Science of the pathogen and host
Characterisation of a Novel Effector Protein from Myrtle Rust causing Austropuccinia psidiiJovarn Sullivan

Venue details

The Conference will be held at the Holme Building within The University of Sydney, Camperdown. The Holme Building was opened as the Union Building in April 1913 as a common meeting ground for the intellectual and social pursuits of students, as well as the provision of services to members.  It is conveniently located only minutes from the city centre, close to public transport stops and just 20 minutes’ drive from Sydney Airport. 


Accommodation is the responsibility of the attendee to make their own arrangements.  There are several hotels located near Sydney University that offer accommodation for visitors. Some of the options include:

Parkroyal Darling Harbour

Parkroyal Darling Harbour is offering attendees 20% discount off the best available rate (room only) at the time of booking. Please contact the hotel directly by phoning +61 2 9261 1188 to make a reservation and secure the discount by providing the following reference number 1162267.

The hotel is a 4.5-star hotel located in the heart of Sydney's vibrant Darling Harbour precinct. The hotel is just a short walk from many of Sydney's top attractions. It is a 9 minute drive to Sydney University.

Select Here

Veriu Camperdown

This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Camperdown, just a short walk from Sydney University. It offers a range of room types, from standard rooms to loft apartments, and has on-site parking.

Select Here

Rydges Sydney Central

This hotel is located in Surry Hills, just a 15-minute walk from Sydney University. The hotel features a rooftop swimming pool and bar.

Select Here

Adina Apartment Hotel Chippendale

This hotel is located in the suburb of Chippendale, just a 10-minute walk from Sydney University. The hotel features spacious apartments with fully-equipped kitchens.

Select Here

Quality Apartments Camperdown

This hotel offers self-contained apartments that are perfect for longer stays. It is located just a few minutes' walk from Sydney University and features on-site parking and a fitness center.

Select Here

Rydges Camperdown

This hotel is located on Missenden Road, just a short distance from Sydney University. It features a restaurant, bar, and outdoor pool, as well as a range of room types.

Select Here

sponsors & supporters

Thank you to our Sponsors and Supporters.  

For information relating to sponsorship opportunities, please email AMRC2023@essentialexperiences.com.au and we will be in contact with further details.


Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS)





Department of Environment and Science



Meeting Organisers

Essential Experiences Event Management

P: +61 7 3217 5353 / 0422 671 601

Contact Email