Dr Mary Cole


  • PhD in plant pathology from Monash University carried out at Monash University, South Australian Dept of Primary Industries & UCLA, Davis, California.
  • Lectures in plant pathology, in particular, grape vine diseases, but agricultural and environmental pathology in general; microbiology of soil and biological/organic and biodynamic principles including the soil food web.
  • 1994 to present: Academic at Charles Sturt University, Monash University and University of Melbourne.
  • 1999 appointed foundation director for Centre of Wine, Food & Agribusiness in Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University.
  • 2006 appointed to Faculty of Land & Food Resources at University of Melbourne – involved in postgraduate distance mode to national and international students.
  • 2009 continuing part time lecturing in Diplomas of Viticulture and Oenology for Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE.
  • 2009 continuing part time lecturing in Faculty of Medicine, Monash University.
  • 2010 continuing coordinating and lecturing in a professional development subject with Dr Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb Institute USA.


  • Recognised as national and international leader in research into the plant pathogen, Botrytis cinerea, the fungus that causes rot of grapes, flowers and many vegetables.
  • Contributes papers to national and international journals.
  • Has chaired and participated in national and international conferences and symposia in plant pathology.


  • Has a research-consulting laboratory with 2 staff.
  • Can carry out water testing, any plant disease identification and identification of fungi; quality assurance, label rate validation; research projects in agriculture, horticulture and biological post-harvest crop protection.
  • Expert witness statements for courts and VCAT.
  • Integrated Pest and Disease Management workshops for wine industry.
  • Soil Foodweb Institute testing laboratory for soils, compost, compost teas.

Public interest:

  • 20 years an Honourary Consultant to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre on mushroom poisoning and identification.
  • Involvement in Landcare and alternative farming practices.

Member of the Australian Institute of Agriculture Science & Technology