The Poggendorff Lectureship

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

Nominations for the Poggendorff Lectureship close on 30 September of each year. The application procedure for this lectureship is described on the nomination form. Each application must comply with the conditions of the award and consist of a completed nomination form together with supporting documentation as specified on the form. Completed nominations should be sent to the email address listed on the nomination form.

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.

Poggendorff Lectureship 2020

Professor Angela MolesProfessor Angela Moles FRSN, of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences of UNSW (Sydney), has been awarded the Poggendorff Lectureship for 2020. Professor Moles is an international leader in the field of large-scale evolutionary ecology. In particular she studies the processes that shape global patterns and the way plants grow reproduce and interact with animals. She has a highly cited publication record and the innovation and quality of her work has been recognised by numerous awards.

Poggendorff Lectureship 2018

Professor Robert F. Park FRSN, of the Plant Breeding Institute, University of Sydney, was awarded the Poggendorff Lectureship for 2018. 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 the genetics of resistance to these diseases, but has also made significant contributions to (inter)national efforts to control these diseases, thus benefitting the agriculture sector enormously.

List of Past Recipients of the Poggendorff Lectureship

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.F. Park
2020     A. Moles



These prestigious awards for excellence in science, engineering, philosophy and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievements.  

In 2021, nominations will be sought for the:
James Cook MedalClarke Medal and Memorial Lecture, Edgeworth David Medal, History and Philosophy of Science Medal, Poggendorff LectureshipPollock Memorial LectureWarren Prize, and the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships

Also, nominations will be sought for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions by a Member or Fellow to the work of the Society.

Nominations for the 2021 Awards open on 1 July 2021 and close on 30 September 2021. 

For 2021, each application must be accompanied by a completed nomination form (available from 1 July 2021) and supply the specified information.    Nominations should be sent to this email address.

Information about the Awards, instructions for making nominations, and links to the nomination forms can be obtained by clicking on the Award name in the drop-down list under the “Awards” menu.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.