Professor in Forest Pathology, Murdoch University

Giles is an affiliate of the Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Woodland and Forest Health at Murdoch University.

I find my role as an undergraduate teacher, a postgraduate supervisor and research scientist all extremely rewarding. I am deeply concerned about the maintenance of ecosystem function and health and seek to address my concerns by directing my research efforts towards plant diseases and how they impact on managed and natural ecosystems. I enjoy applying my research expertise and knowledge to my undergraduate teaching. This is an effective way to stimulate and encourage students to engage and explore areas of science they have not necessarily been exposed to previously.

My extensive interactions with industry in a range of research activities enables me to clearly indicate in my undergraduate teaching how what I teach is valuable and has applied outcomes. Using examples of relevance to every day issues in undergraduate teaching is an effective way of engaging students and ensuring enthusiasm for scholarship.

My main research interests are associated with the impact of diseases on ecosystem function and health. This is in managed (mining rehabilitation, horticultural, plantation forestry, agricultural) and natural ecosystems. My emphasis has been in four areas:

- The biology, ecology, pathology, genetics and control of Phytophthora cinnamomi in managed and natural ecosystems. More recently I have extended this interest to examine how the pathogen impacts indirectly on other ecosystem components, particularly the fauna.

- Plantation eucalypt health and possible threats to Australia' s eucalypts from the movement of new pathogens into Australia. Plantation Paulownia health, identifying pathogens, determining factors influencing disease, and to establish appropriate methods of disease control.

- Native rural tree decline.

- Impacts of biotic & abiotic diseases on ecosystem function & health

Experience

  • –present
    Professor in Forest Pathology, Murdoch University

Education

  • 1989 
    UWA, PhD (Plant Pathology)