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The Leaflet February 2011

simon says...

Welcome to the first edition of The Leaflet for 2011, in what will be a challenging yet exciting year for the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity (CRCNPB).

In a busy start to the year we have already hosted the 2011 Science Exchange and commenced the initial stages for the rebid. After gaining strong support from the Participants at their recent meeting and the Board, the CRCNPB is hopeful this year’s rebid will be successful.

Over the coming months our focus for the rebid will be on addressing the areas for improvement identified by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR); developing the research programs - taking into consideration the research priorities of end-users; and securing letters of intent from potential participants.

Moving back to the Science Exchange, the Barossa Valley provided a wonderful back drop and gave attendees the opportunity to experience the viticulture industry, which is constantly facing biosecurity issues.

The high level of interaction between participants from various disciplines was interesting and occurred although the student workshops, Board meetings, poster and presentation sessions and the social outings. The success of the Science Exchange was demonstrated when a delegate stated “this is the best biosecurity conference I have ever attended!”

The Science Exchange Awards Dinner provided us with the opportunity to recognise our peers for the work they have undertaken over the past year. I would like to congratulate each of the individuals who were honoured for their achievements, as each of you have been rewarded for the dedication and commitment you have shown to biosecurity. More information on the Science Exchange and the awards are available in this edition of The Leaflet.

As I reflect on the Science Exchange, I would like to congratulate the staff of the CRC, and in particular Kate Scott, for running another fantastic event. The positive feedback I continue to receive about these events is a credit to Kate and the team for the time and effort put in to ensure they run smoothly.

Unfortunately this will be Kate’s last Science Exchange for the CRCNPB, as she leaves us to spend more time with her family in Brisbane. I would like to wish her well in her future endeavours and thank her for all the effort and energy she has put into the CRCNPB over the past three years.

I’d also like to congratulate Mark Castalanelli, who has submitted his thesis. Mark’s thesis focused on developing a simple and accurate diagnostics to rapidly distinguish Khapra beetle from its close relatives, which plays an important role in protecting Australia’s grains industry. More information on Mark’s project is available in this edition of The Leaflet.

Lastly, I look forward to working with you all in 2011 and appreciate your support in our attempts to ensure the CRC continues well beyond this year.


Dr Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer


in this issue...

Professor John Lovett

from the arm of the chair

Professor John Lovett is ready to take up the challenge of another rebid. READ MORE

Science Exchange 2011

CRCNPB family hits the Barossa for the Science Exchange 2011

Researchers recognised at Science Exchange Awards Dinner

DNA tool breaks this hitchhiker's disguise 

PhD student Mark Castalanelli has recently completed his thesis, which aimed to develop a simple and accurate diagnostics which would distinguish Khapra beetle from its close relatives. READ MORE about the project.

building Australia's immunity to viruses

Mark Whattam was rewarded for an excellent presentation at the Science Exchange by taking out the Board Award for Best Oral Presentation. READ MORE about the role the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) plays.

bringing biosecurity and food security to community developers in five continents

CRCNPB researchers Eka Martininglish and Gung Sri Jayantini have been working on the research project focusing on community management of biosecurity. READ MORE about their international experiences in Indonesia. 

other news...

While not undertaking his duties as Board Director, John Sandow enjoys travelling to Europe, fixing things and taking in the scenery around Canberra. READ MORE 

Mark Castalanelli has recently completed his thesis. Find out which other students are nearing completion and READ MORE about the students involvement at the Science Exchange in our Education and Training update

Sharyn Taylor - from Plant Health Australia - was recognised at the Science Exchange for her work as part of the Grains Knowledge Networks project team. READ MORE about the project here

The CRCNPB is sponsoring a conference in Darwin which brings together the Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology (AASPP) and the Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS). READ MORE about the conference