My role in the department
I am based in Albany and have statewide responsibility for leading and delivering broadacre pest management R&D. I am also actively involved in a number of collaborative national projects, including coordinating surveillance for the Austalian plague locust so we can predict areas which may be at risk from spring hatchings.
Other activities include study of the spread of pyrethroid resistance in red-legged earth mites between grower properties, which poses a significant issue at germination. At the other end of the growing season, high rainfall areas have problems with conical snails which may cause grain to be downgraded due to contamination. By understanding how snails survive and multiply across seasons I help develop practical management options for growers to implement.
The overall aim of my work is to influence growers to include pest management as an integrated part of their farming system, rather than as a stand-alone or additional activity.
I started work at DPIRD in 2003 looking at ways to decrease the number of insects harvested in grain from swathed crops. I also collaborated on models with the Australian Plague Locust Commission to predict hatching times. I am passionate about making the outcomes of our research practical for growers. Regional Updates, AgMemo and field days are important for me to contribute to and I also enjoy the opportunity to discuss bugs on regional radio. As part of a very experienced entomology team at DPIRD, we have worked with other DPIRD teams to develop new tools to monitor pests and provide management options. Apps such as MyPestGuide and MyCrop are some working examples of these.
My interest in agriculture comes from my rural upbringing in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. This was supported by my parents who came from subsistence farming backgrounds in Europe. After finishing school in the Northern Territory, I moved to Queensland for my university education.
- Management of redlegged earth mites resistant to synthetic pyrethroids
- Thresholds and control options for aphids of canola
- Better management of mollusc pests in broadacre cropping
- Extentsion of integrated control options for pests
- BS in Science with Honours, University of Queensland