top of page
APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2022
Dr. Gwendolyn Ban

Economy: Papua New Guinea


Host Institution: University of Southern Queensland


Project Title: Detecting plant pathogens of sweet potato using molecular diagnostics and the use of beneficial fungi to manage sweet potato diseases


Project Outline:

The proposed research aims to utilise an existing collection of stored sweet potato pathogens to develop a series of rapid molecular diagnostic tests to identify diseases of interest. Having rapid diagnostics for plant diseases is important so that effective management of diseases takes place, to avoid plant loss and issues of food security associated with yield loss.

Reasons for applying for fellowship:

I applied for this fellowship so that I can help further my academic and professional career through:

  1. establishing relationships with external collaborators in terms of research and other activities.

  2. being able to teach with gained experience and not just theory, I can be able to confidently conduct class laboratory activities and field activities for both undergraduate and postgraduate in certain areas that I feel that I lack

  3. being able to carry out high-impact research and publish in reputable journals


Past Achievements:

I was a participant in the Institutional John Dillon Fellowship (iJDF) in 2019 for 8 weeks. iJDF provided leadership training support to Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) partnered organisations throughout the Pacific. iJDF aimed to assist in developing innovative solutions to contemporary challenges in the agricultural research sector. The program combined in-country mentoring, context-based projects and professional development workshops with industry visits and networking opportunities.


At the end of 2020, I was awarded a grant of $7,000 by The ACIAR Alumni Research Support Facility (ARSF) facilitated by University of New England (UNE). The purpose of the ARSF is to:

  1. Provide input into post-COVID-19 research needs, both for their own research institute and for the broader agricultural sector in the researcher’s home country;

  2. Build the scientific capacity of individual researchers, enhance their career progression, and strengthen links with both organisations and experienced researchers through academic mentoring;

  3. Build the capacity of partner organisations to undertake high-quality research that addresses contemporary challenges in agriculture for development;

  4. Support strengthened international agricultural research collaboration where interdisciplinary research is highly encouraged.


Email address:


LinkedIn URL:

Gwendolyn Ban.JPG
bottom of page