Professor Lily Pereg passed away in 2019 while overseas. Lily was a passionate soil microbiology researcher and in her 20 years in the cotton industry contributed significantly to knowledge and understanding of soil borne disease, in particularly black root rot. Much of what we know about the pathogen today we can attribute to Lily. She was committed to her work and it was her passion, which showed in how happy she was to share everything possible with all in the research and cotton communities.
Lily did a bachelor’s course at the Ben Gurion University in Israel and later obtained a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University. She moved to Australia in the 1990s to do her PhD, and obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Sydney in 1998. Following a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Cologne in Germany, Pereg joined the University of New England in 2001. She was an active researcher focusing on teaching microbiology, biochemistry and biotechnology.
She was acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leading scholar in the fields of soil microbial ecology and plant-microbial interactions. Her international standing in the field was recently recognised with her election as the President of the European Geoscience Union Soil Systems Science Division and promotion to full professor in 2018.
Lily collaborated with many other CRDC-supported researchers, in particular pathologists, and FUSCOM, which she delighted in.
Lily had a passion for microbiology that was infectious. She is remembered by colleagues for her beautiful smile and a big hug, interest in others’ research, and was a genuine and kind person who always had time for others. Lily was a person who was not afraid to share her thoughts, time and knowledge and her presence is sorely missed by many associated with the cotton industry.