Kithsiri Jayasena
Research Officer, Plant Pathology
Kith Jayasena

My role in the department

I joined the Albany district office in 1999 as a cereal pathologist. My research is focused on understanding the causes of major foliar diseases common to wheat and barley in the region and my work is supported by the Grain Research and Development Cooperation (GRDC). Understanding the aetiology of the pathogen/s in a long season environment like the south coast is crucial for developing sustainable disease management strategies. Furthermore, monitoring of airborne fungal spores as part of a surveillance programme has been initiated in lower Great Southern in developing an early warning system for the early detection of diseases on wheat and barley. I also investigate the efficacy of new and existing fungicides against foliar diseases and I am involved in developing new treatment schedules.  

Contact information

+61 (08) 98928477
+61 (0)407081388

My background

I have 45 years of experience with cereals and pulse crops nationally (DPIRD and University of Adelaide), and internationally (Department of Agriculture Sri Lanka, and International Rice Research Institute in Philippines). While at the University of Adelaide, I was involved in improving the pasture legume species, Medicago spp against alfalfa mosaic virus. 


  • Improving grower surveillance, disease management, understanding the epidemiology of diseases and developing tools to manage crop disease – WA (DAW00229)
  • Options for improved insecticide and fungicide and canopy penetration in cereals and canola (UWA00165)

Key Expertise

Project management, pulse and cereal pathology research, industry development and biotechnology, human resource, communication.


  • PhD in Virus Epidemiology, University of Adelaide, 1985
  • BSc in Agriculture with Honours, University of Ceylon, 1975