Dr Irene Barnes

Dr Irene Barnes

Department of Genetics

[email protected]

Irene Barnes completed her B.Sc. and Honous in the department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of Pretoria in 1998 and was awarded the honours student Merck Award. In 2002 she received the SsA3 Bronze Medal Award for her M.Sc thesis. 
In 2009, she obtained her Ph.D. degree in the Department of Genetics funded by a Mellon Foundation Scholarship.  In 2011 she continued with a post-doc position through funding from the Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellowship. Irene Barnes is currently a Research Fellow in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) and her research is strongly focused with the research goals of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP). Dr Barnes has published 26 research papers and has an h-index of 12.

Dr Barnes was recently awarded a Y2 NRF rating


GRI-related research

Irene Barnes’ research is focused on developing and using a variety of molecular techniques to gain a better understanding of the complex of fungal species diversity present in native and non-native forest and their potential threat to commercial plantations. Her work centers on population genetics and development of molecular markers to study the invasiveness and movement of fungal pathogens on a global scale.

Key publications

Barnes I, Crous PW, Wingfield MJ and Wingfield BD. 2004. Multigene phylogenies reveal that red band needle blight of Pinus is caused by two distinct species of Dothistroma, D. septosporum and D. pini. Studies in Mycology 50: 551-565.

Chen SF, Barnes I, Chungu D, Roux J, Wingfield MJ, Xie YJ, Zhou XD. 2011. High population diversity and increasing importance of the Eucalyptus stem canker pathogen Teratosphaeria zuluensis in South China. Australasian Plant Pathology 40: 407-415.

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