Poggendorff Lecture - The Royal Society of NSW

The Poggendorff Lectureship

The Poggendorf Lectureship is awarded periodically for research in plant biology and more broadly agriculture.

Nominations for the 2019 award will close on 30 September 2019. A letter of nomination and the nominee's full curriculum vitae should be sent to the Awards Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The medal will be presented at the Society's Annual Dinner.

Walter Poggendorff was a biologist and plant breeder with a particular interest in the breeding of rice.  In 1928, the Yanco Rice Research Station was established by the NSW Department of Agriculture with approximately 670 acres just south of Leeton on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.  A brilliant young biologist, Walter Poggendorff was transferred there as an assistant plant breeder.

Poggendorff’s early accomplishments included recognizing the need to quarantine imported rice and producing strains of rice that were able to offer growers late, mid-season, early and very early short-grain varieties.  He also developed similar long-grain strains but these were not required by the market until much later.  Poggendorff is recognised as one of the major figures in establishing the Australian rice industry, developing high-yield crops for Australian conditions and maintaining controls on imports to limit the introduction of serious diseases.  Poggendorff’s work was not confined to rice – in the 1930s and 1940s, he worked with peaches, apricots, pears, almonds, grapes and rock melons.  Later, he became Chief of the Division of Plant Industry in the NSW Department of Agriculture.

When he died in 1981, he made a bequest to the Royal Society of NSW to fund a lecture.

The Poggendorff Lectureship 2018

Professor Robert F. Park will be awarded the Poggendorff Lectureship for 2018.  He is Professor at the Plant Breeding Institute, University of Sydney.

Professor Park is a world leader in the pathology and genetics of cereal rust pathogens. This research not only transforms our fundamental understanding of genetic variability in all cereal rust pathogens, including genetics of resistance to these diseases, but has also made significant contributions to (inter)national efforts to control these diseases - and has thus benefitted the agriculture sector enormously.

Year & Lecturer

1987     D.G. McDonald
1992     E.J. Corbin
1993     S. Barker
2013     G.M. Gurr
2016     A. Robson
2017     B. Kaiser
2018     R. Park




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Nominations for the Society’s awards close on 30 September each year.

For instructions for an award nomination, click on its name in the drop-down menu under "Awards" above.

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