Gold Coast, Queensland – Northern Territory researcher Dr Lucy Tran-Nguyen has received the Researcher of the Year joint industry award at the 2016 National Awards for Excellence on the Gold Coast, following her efforts in managing the 2014/15 Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) outbreak.

Sponsored by Bayer, an international life science company offering solutions for farmers in crop protection, pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology, the award recognises a researcher who has developed research or extension work that has advanced the industry and offered long-term benefits.

Dr Tran-Nguyen is the Senior Molecular Scientist at the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and worked tirelessly to ensure fast and accurate diagnostics during the incident definition phase of the CGMMV outbreak in 2014/15. 

Dr Tran-Nguyen is also part of a $1.2 million project, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, which will examine in-field diagnostics for CGMMV, virus transmission and seed testing to find out more about how the disease works and help affected growers in Australia.

AUSVEG National Marketing Manager Nathan McIntyre congratulated Dr Tran-Nguyen on receiving the prestigious award during a Gala Dinner event at RACV Royal Pines on Saturday 25 June.

“The CGMMV outbreak in 2014 severely impacted cucurbit growers in the Northern Territory and Queensland, with many forced to destroy their crops while others were affected by restrictions on domestic trade,” Mr McIntyre said.

“As little is known about CGMMV internationally, Dr Tran-Nguyen and her team have invested a significant amount of time in studying this virus to find out how long it will survive in NT soil and in what conditions.”

“Dr Tran-Nguyen’s efforts have meant that growers and industry now know much more about the destructive virus and how to manage it. Her work in helping to delimit the virus has proven to be imperative in ensuring the Australian vegetable industry can develop specific measures for the effective control of CGMMV moving forward.” 

A criteria of this award is that researchers must also have actively communicated research outcomes, encouraged uptake on-farm, and have contributed research or extension work that advances the reputation of Australian science internationally.

“Dr Tran-Nguyen has worked closely with industry to communicate the outcomes of her work into CGMMV. This includes presentations at industry conferences and field days, which will ultimately lead to increased knowledge among growers and the uptake of any important findings,” Mr McIntyre said.

The 2016 National Awards for Excellence was the capstone event for the National Horticulture Convention, which incorporated seven industry co-hosts and attracted around 1,500 delegates to RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

For photographs, or to request an interview, please contact the AUSVEG media representative below.

Shaun Lindhe, National Manager – Communications, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: