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The Leaflet April 2009

Simon says....


Dr Simon McKirdy CEO

April has been a busy month in the Canberra office with the recruitment of two new full-time staff members.


I would like to welcome to the team, Alana van Meurs and John Austen. Alana started with the CRC as our Communications Officer and will help Kate deliver the communication activities. Alana is a graduate from the University of Canberra and is looking forward to a fulfilling career in communication. John Austen started as the CRC's Project Officer and will provide additional support for the administration of the CRC's research program. John recently moved to Canberra from Tasmania and is worried about the cold winter ahead! With an increase in research projects across the portfolio, both Alana and John will provide invaluable assistance to the team. You can find their contact details on our ‘Contact us' page.


After months of planning, it's rewarding to be able to inform readers that the Call for Abstracts for Global Biosecurity 2010: safeguarding agriculture and the environment has been released. This conference is a partnership with Australian Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Disease and Invasive Animals CRC and will focus on agricultural and environmental biosecurity issues. The conference has four streams that cross the biosecurity continuum as well as policy and regulation; Drivers, Threats and Impacts, Knowledge and Systems. I encourage all our readers go to the conference website for more information on the conference and the Call for Abstracts.


Recognising that biosecurity is a global issue, the CRC recently led the development of a consortium of Australian organisations to take-up a single membership in the CABI Invasive Species Compendium. A workshop hosted by the Crawford Fund was held in Canberra to help raise awareness of the project's importance to Australia's research community.


The CRC has recently reached its target number of 32 PhD students. Our 32nd student, Ms Hoda Abou Gamos will be researching the optimal design of surveillance and quality assurance schemes for stored wheat in Western Australia. Her research is being conducted at the University of Western Australia under the supervision of Ben White. Ern Kostas from Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd is Hoda's industry supervisor, which will ensure her research outcomes meet the needs of the grains industry.


As I mentioned in the last edition of The Leaflet, the CRC is planning a Science Exchange in late 2009 as an opportunity to bring most of our researchers, students, Participants Committee, Board and staff together. The dates and venue have now been confirmed for 23 and 24 September on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Our researchers will be provided with more information about this event soon.


Until next time...

CEO Simon McKirdy Signature 

Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer
CRC for National Plant Biosecurity

Are you interested in receiving a PhD scholarship? 

The CRC is currently seeking expressions of interest from people who would like to apply for the last two full PhD scholarships to be offered. Both students will be enrolled at Murdoch University and spend some time in the Kimberly region of WA (Kununurra) conducting their research. One of the PhDs will also spend some time in Indonesia. Both projects have a plant pathology focus. Students must be available for immediate commencement. For further information, please contact Dr Kirsty Bayliss.

in this issue...


Professor John Lovett

from the arm of the chair

Professor John Lovett recently attended the 2009 Grains Industry Forum. READ MORE

meeting Parliament  

Dr Jo Luck represented the CRC at the annual Federation of Scientific Technological Societies (FASTS) ‘Science meets Parliament 2009' (SmP) event at Parliament House in Canberra.

increasing diagnostic capacity in Thailand

The CRC's project team for ‘Increasing diagnostic capacity in Thailand' spent a week in Bangkok to train Thai scientists in molecular and traditional diagnostics. 

Farm Biosecurity Award 

A Farm Biosecurity Award co-sponsored by Plant Health Australia will feature as one of the Australian Rural & Outback Awards, to recognise exemplary biosecurity practices in outback and rural Australia. READ MORE


PHA logo

other news...


Congratulations to Elspeth West from DAFF. Elspeth wins an iPod shuffle for wearing the CRC brand in an exotic location. See Elspeth's picture here.


GRDC are sponsoring a DAFF award for young and innovative scientists. Applications open now. READ MORE


Agriculture Outlook Asia is an inaugural conference on agribusiness being held in Singapore in September.