veraDr Vera Sergeeva is an international consultant in plant pathology and operates her own consultancy company, OliVera in Australia. She is well known in the Australian olive industry as an authority on pests and diseases of olive and their control. She has a specialist interest in mycology and has been involved in a number of research projects investigating grapevine and olive diseases at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). She joined the UWS in 1996. Her previous experience involved teaching of general and agricultural plant pathology at State Agricultural Academy in Russia.

Dr Sergeeva conducts research on plant pathology, mycology, diagnosis of plant diseases, bioassays of plant extracts against pests and diseases, and disease management in olives against fungi in Integrated pest management (IPM).

From 1996 to 2003 specialised in diagnostic service to the Australian grape industry, and worked on fungal identification and diagnostic work fruit rot and trunk diseases of grapevines, research projects Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation (GWRDC) and National Service Botrytis monitoring and fungicide resistance testing. She was the first to report anilinopyrimidine-resistant phenotypes in Botrytis cinerea on grapevines in Australia.

Dr Sergeeva is an expert in identifying plant pathogens by using mycological and plant pathology techniques. Apart from the common pathogens, she has also isolated, cultured and identified fungi that are new records on grapevines and olives. She has visited olive groves in Australia on a regular basis for identifying disease problems, participated in the National Olive Industry Conferences and workshops. She visited vineyards in NSW and participated in workshops and seminars on grapevine diseases organised by various grape industry associations in different viticultural regions of Australia.

She presented papers of grapevine and olive diseases at national and international conferences. She has published articles in refereed scientific and industry journals. Dr Sergeeva is currently engaged in a contract research project with olive diseases and disorders in Australia on the ‘Safe use of fungicides to manage berry rot diseases for sustainable oleaculture’. She has developed a network with Australian and overseas mycologists and plant pathologists, and has communicated with mycologists in Australia and has an international collaboration with researches on olive diseases with scientists from Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Greece and Tunisia.

Dr Sergeeva is a member of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHC), the Australian Olive Association (AOA), the Australian Society of Horticultural Science (AuSHS) and International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC/WPRC).