The annual Stromlo Molecular Plant Pathology meeting has just wrapped up for another year following 2 days of outstanding talks. Like most other stromlo meetings, the presentations were dominated by Early Career Researchers. The talks covered a (very) wide breadth of topics from some of the hardcore fundamental studies, to understanding the unrelenting biosecurity risk posed to the east coast of Australia by anthracnose.
I very much enjoyed the meeting and am amazed to see how the how the field continues to develop. It is also a pleasure to watch the quality of presentations by the younger generations and witness their grasp and understanding of complex topics. I think it is safe to say that Australian and New Zealand plant pathology is in safe hands! I did feel a little old seeing how many ex-PhD students from the Solomon lab were participating!
For me personally, the highlights of the meeting were the plenary presentation by Daniel Croll - Daniel has a fantastic gift of being able to present evolutionary genetics to a broad audience and being able leave the audience far wiser for the experience. Jana Sperschneider also presented her new pipeline for predictor effector localisation (LOCALIZER). This is yet another important addition to the valuable suite of tools she has developed to better understand effector biology. Lastly, Lachlan Casey truely wowed the crowd with his clear and confident presentation on structural protein techniques alien to most listening. It was an outstanding talk that was topped off by how many people outside of the field told me they not only enjoyed it, but also understood the story Lachlan was presenting. These were but a few of the many fantastic talks presented at the meeting. Further reading on the talks can be found on twitter at #stromlo16 (thanks to Benjamin Schwessinger and Megan McDonald for the live feeds).
After 5 successive stromlo meetings, we are having a break next year. However an exciting plant-fungal interaction meeting is planned as a satellite meeting in Queenstown, September 2017 (http://www.queenstownresearchweek.org). I hope to see you all there!