Irene Kernot is ACIAR's Research Program Manager for Horticulture. The program focuses on improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of fruit, vegetable and ornamental crop production in developing countries and Australia.
Irene started her professional career in the late 1970s as a field agronomist with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries, conducting varietal herbicide testing and nutrition trials on maize, sorghum, peanuts and soybean. In the late 80s and early 90s, Irene worked as a Horticultural Instructor with TAFE in north Queensland and managed the Open Learning Centre in Mareeba, providing information and assistance to students undertaking tertiary study.
In 1992, as an extension horticulturist for the Department of Primary Industries in Queensland Irene worked on various development projects including mango, avocado, lychee, papaya and tobacco. During this time she was a board member of the Australian College of Tropical Agriculture, which delivers vocational training in agriculture and environmental management. Irene supported the strategic development of more productive industry partnerships with a focus on quality training and land stewardship, and the development of opportunities for online education and exporting of education services.
In 2003 as the Director of Tropical Fruit and Value Chain Research Development and Extension with Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Irene managed a multi-disciplinary team focused on delivering high impact, high-quality scientific research projects across market access and disinfestation, postharvest and supply chain management. This included some ACIAR projects, which contributed significantly towards a comprehensive, scientifically-based biosecurity response to the Panama Tropical Race 4.
Read more about the Horticulture program.
irene.kernot [at] aciar.gov.au (Contact Irene Kernot)