Helen Spafford
Manager Crop Protection
Helen Spafford

My role in the department

Helen has previously been the lead for the Insect and Disease Management team in the Horticulture and Irrigated Agriculture Directorate at DPIRD and led the management response to fall armyworm. After working in Plant Biosecurity Helen joined the DPIRD Grains Directorate in September 2023 as Portfolio Manager for Crop Protection.  

Contact information

My background

Helen has a PhD in Biology (from Utah State University) and over 20 years of experience as an applied entomologist, working in grains and horticulture crops in temperate and sub-tropical environments. Prior to joining DPIRD in December 2019, Helen was an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa and before that, at The University of Western Australia. Helen has experience in pest management in a variety of crops and has conducted research on insect biology and behaviour, biological control using parasitoids and predators, chemical and cultural control. Helen has also worked on various aspects of weed management with a focus on biological control.


  • DAW2305-003RTX - Effective virus management in grain crops (Managed by Ben Congdon)
  • DAW2206-006RTX - Epidemiology and management of Rhizoctonia in low and medium rainfall zones (Managed by Daniel Huberli)
  • What is the best fit for Electric Weed Control in Australia? (Managed by Catherine Borger, Miranda Slaven)

My articles

Thursday, 28 March 2024 - 3:07pm
Monday, 11 March 2024 - 10:12am
Thursday, 1 February 2024 - 9:46am
Monday, 4 December 2023 - 5:28pm
Thursday, 2 November 2023 - 4:26pm