DAVIS, Calif., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading global provider of bio-based pest management products for agriculture and water applications, announced today that Dr. Alison Stewart has joined the company as its first Chief Science Officer. Dr. Stewart joins MBI from Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand where she was a Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology in the Bio-Protection Research Centre. Her work concentrated on the beneficial strains of Trichoderma that resulted in four commercial products for the control of onion white rot, Sclerotinia lettuce drop and Botrytis diseases of grapes and tomatoes. In addition, for eight years Dr. Stewart served as the Director of the Centre, assisting scientists in moving technology discovered in New Zealand out into commercial enterprises to enhance New Zealand agriculture and farmers' livelihoods. She retains the title of Professor Emeritus with Lincoln University. Dr. Stewart is author of approximately 200 refereed journal publications and more than 300 other significant research outputs (client reports, conference presentations and industry workshops). She has been a keynote speaker for 23 international conferences and successfully supervised 55 Ph.D. and 20 Masters students. She generated more than $42 million of external grants from New Zealand and international sources to fund her research. She has served as Deputy Chair of the Board of Plant & Food Research in New Zealand, Board member of the Waite Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia, Vice President of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society and the New Zealand Plant Protection Society, senior editor of Australasian Plant Pathology and editor of Phytopathologia Mediterranea. "The Chief Science Officer is a new position within MBI," says Dr. Pam Marrone, Founder and CEO of MBI. "It adds to our capability to attract and build a global network of scientists involved in the discovery and development of bio-based pest management products, and as such, to contribute to our ongoing efforts to make MBI a center of innovation for the best thinking and research from around the world." Dr. Marrone explains why Dr. Stewart is the choice for this important role, "Dr. Stewart is an acclaimed, world-wide authority on beneficial microorganisms that interact with plants and has been recognized by numerous professional organizations for her research excellence. In addition, she has successfully led the commercialization and market introduction of several microbial-based products, so she is experienced in the business and regulatory aspects of biopesticides. Dr. Stewart is the ideal fit to lead our internal scientific efforts and to represent Marrone Bio Innovations in the global science community."