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Biographical entry Marks, Geoffrey Charles (1932 - 1990)

Dr (PhD)

30 August 1990
Victoria, Australia
Forest pathologist


Geoffrey Charles Marks was a forest pathologist. His interest and work covered a large range of tree diseases in nurseries, eucalypt forests and pine plantations. He published widely on the control and management of Phytophthora cinnamomi root disease in agriculture and forestry and developed principles on which rehabilitation of affected areas could be based.


Geoff Marks began his professional career with the Department of Agriculture in Ceylon, breeding for resistance to rice blast. A postgraduate year in Japan in 1959 led to the award in 1960, of a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to undertake further postgraduate qualifications at the University of Wisconsin in the U.S.A. After graduation, he migrated to Australia and in July 1963 was appointed Forest Pathologist with the Forests Commission, Victoria. This commenced a long and distinguished career in forest disease research during which he authored or co-authored more than 70 publications and five major books and reviews. Through his own research and the cooperative research he fostered with other organisations in both government and universities, he greatly boosted the study in Australia of eucalypt dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi and eucalypt leaf diseases. He also taught a course in forest pathology at the Victorian School of Forestry, Creswick, and the University of Melbourne. At the time of his premature death from a heart attack he was co-editing another major book, "Diseases and Pathogens of Eucalypts", which was published by CSIRO in 2000 and is a fitting tribute to his outstanding contribution to forest pathology.


Life event - Representing Ceylon at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki
Education - Bachelor of Science (Hons), University of Ceylon
Education - Postgraduate research on crop disease, Japan
Award - Rockefeller scholarship, University of Wisconsin
Education - Master of Science (Forest Pathology), University of Wisconsin
Career position - Forest pathologist, Forests Commission (Victoria)
Education - PhD (Forest Pathology), University of Wisconsin
1982 - 1985
Career position - Editor-in-Chief, Australasian Plant Pathology journal

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Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Marks, G.C. and Smith, I.W., The cinnamon fungus in Victorian forests : history distribution management and control., Department of Conservation and Environment, East Melbourne, 1991, 33 pp. Details
  • Marks, G.C., Fuhrer, B.A., and Walters, N.E.M.; Marion L. Huebner (Ed.), Tree Diseases in Victoria., Forests Commission, Victoria, Melbourne, Vic., 1982, 149 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Marks, G.C., Kassaby, F.Y. and Fagg, P.C., 'Dieback tolerance in Eucalyptus species in relation to fertilisation and soil populations of Phytophthora cinnamomi.', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 21, 1973, pp. 53-65. Details
  • Marks, G.C., Kassaby, F.Y. and Reynolds, S.T., 'Dieback in mixed hardwood forests of eastern Victoria - a preliminary report.', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 20, 1972, pp. 141-154. Details
  • Smith, I. W. & Marks, G. C., 'Effect of moisture stress in Eucalyptus sieberi on growth of lesions caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi.', Australian Forest Research, vol. 16, 1986, pp. 273-279. Details
  • Smith, I.W. & Marks, G.C., 'Influence of Acacia spp. on the control of Phytophthora cinnamomi root rot of Eucalyptus sieberi.', Australian Forest Research, vol. 13, 1983, pp. 231-240. Details
  • Smith, Ian and Keane, Philip, 'Obituaries: Geoffrey Charles Marks, 1932-1990', Australasian Plant Pathology, vol. 19, no. 3, 1990, p. 99. Details

Online Resources

See also

Rosanne Walker, Peter Fagg and Ian Smith