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Queenstown Research Week brings together around 1000 researchers each year for the Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting and associated satellite meeting. For the 2017 meeting Professor Barry Scott and Associate Professor Peter Solomon organised a satellite meeting on Plant-Microbe Interactions. About 120 researchers, principally from New Zealand and Australia, attended this two-day meeting. Because of the sponsorship from the British Society of Plant Pathology and other organisations, we were able to invite some top overseas researchers to give invited talks and to build an outstanding program around them. A total of 8 sessions were held over the two days comprising a good mix of student, postdoc and principal investigator talks. The sessions covered: plant-fungal interactions; plant bacterial interactions; host-pathogen interactions; genomes and genomics; plant immunity; plant-microbe interactions; population genetics; and host-pathogen interactions. A poster session was held at the end of the first day and a selection of the student and post-doc posters were selected for 8 x 5 min oral presentations (with maximum of 5 slides) the following day. Poster prizes were awarded to: Silke Jacques (post doc) from CSIRO Australia, Shaun Ferguson (PhD student) from University of Otago, and Yonathan Lukito (PhD student) from Massey University. The meeting was a great opportunity for students to showcase their research to an international audience and was an invaluable opportunity for networking between research groups and the establishment of new collaborations. For the international visitors it was a great opportunity for them to see the mix of research in this field being carried out in New Zealand and Australia. It was also an opportunity for them to identify candidates for postdoc positions. Given the very strong support we received for this meeting we plan to organise another in 2019.
We are very grateful for the support received from the British Society of Plant Pathology, which was used to assist with the travel and accommodation costs for Diane Saunders from the John Innes Centre, Uta Paszkowski from the University of Cambridge and Paul Birch from the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen.
Barry Scott and Peter Solomon Co-convenors of meeting