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Personal profile

Personal profile

Regina "Reggie" Billones-Baaijens is currently employed as a Research Fellow at the NWGIC. She completed her PhD in Plant Pathology at Lincoln University, New Zealand in 2011, a Masters degree in Applied Science at Massey University in 1999 and a Masters degree in Plant Pathology, minor in Molecular Biology at the University of the Philippines – Los Baños in 2005. Her PhD research focused on the role of nurseries in the spread of Botryosphaeria dieback in New Zealand vineyards. This disease is considered a serious problem of grapevines worldwide causing cankers, dieback and eventually death of vines.

Prior to her employment as Post Doctoral Research fellow at the NWGIC, she worked as a Tutor in the Ecology Department at Lincoln University, New Zealand. This involved the delivery of lectures for undergraduate diploma courses and managing laboratory classes for Fungal Biology, Plant Protection and Molecular Biology undergraduate subjects. She also provided technical assistance to postgraduate students and contributed to the research programmes in the Plant Microbiology Group at Lincoln University.

Research Interests

Specialisation: Plant Pathology, molecular diagnostics, disease management, plant-disease interactions

Focus Area: Grapevine trunk disease – epidemiology, molecular diagnostics and disease management

Reggie is currently working with Asso. Prof Sandra Savocchia on grapevine trunk disease management for vineyard longevity in diverse climates of Australia. This is a collaborative project with researchers at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and is funded by Wine Australia. Eutypa and botryosphaeria dieback are fungal diseases that cause yield reduction, vine decline and eventual death of grapevines and are considered serious threats to the sustainability of the Australian wine industry.

The aim of the research project is to investigate the epidemiology along with development of efficient methods for pathogen detection, pruning wound management and control of these trunk disease pathogens in Australian vineyards.


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