49) Weste herself noted in 1971, `Once the fungus is established on the road verges, extension of disease occurs downhill, especially down gullies'.
In the same year, working `with cooperation from the Forests Commission and water supply and shire engineers',(54) Weste isolated the fungus P.
The debate continued for several years,(62) Weste being one of the protagonists of the view that it was an invading organism.
Weste was one of those who maintained that the organism was in fact the primary cause of dieback disease in the forest and that therefore the dieback was not due just to man's interference and lack of proper management.
Weste studied the pathogen, its reproduction, infection processes and survival ability, and the changes it caused in native vegetation.
Weste was one of the first to recognise the gravity of the threat to Victoria's ecology and its economy.
Gretna Weste and her group have made considerable progress in studies of the destruction of native forests by the "dieback" disease, Phytophthora cinnamomi'.
Weste was attracted to the problem by the practical issues at stake.
Even in her retirement Weste continues to be consulted by government bodies such as the Land Conservation Council of Victoria.
Weste found that the pathogen has declined in population and distribution, and that species previously found susceptible are now reappearing.
But when opportunity came twenty years later, Weste seized it and proved that her early promise could still be fulfilled.
Once established, Weste found she was included in the informal networks of communication which operate among scientists, the importance of which is now well recognised.