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The Leaflet June 2010

Simon says...

It’s a frantic week here in our Canberra office as we make the final preparations for our re-bid submission. Although it’s a busy time making all the final edits and ensuring all our t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted, we’re on track to submit earlier than the Friday deadline (providing we’re not faced with any technological issues)!

The proposed Plant Biosecurity CRC will comprise of a mix of new and existing Participants from government departments, universities, grain companies, industry representative organisations, research organisations as well as international organisations which have a strong plant biosecurity focus.

I would like to use this column as an opportunity to announce the program leaders for the new CRC. If the bid is successful, Charles Darwin University’s Ms Ruth Wallace will lead the Driving Biosecurity Innovation program which will enable effective delivery and adoption of PBCRC activities.

Leading the second program, Strengthening Biosecurity Preparedness, will be Dr Paul De Barro from CSIRO. This program will analyse pathway vulnerability and develop strategies to manage the plant biosecurity consequences associated with global change.

Protecting Australia through smarter diagnostics, surveillance and eradication programs will be led by Victorian Department of Primary Industries’ Ms Jane Moran. The fourth program, Securing Market Access will develop and deliver robust biosecurity systems and will be led by Queensland University of Technology’s Associate Professor Tony Clarke.

Education and Training will be embedded across the four programs and will be led by Murdoch University’s Dr Kirsty Bayliss, while the Principal Scientist role will be undertaken by Dr Bill Roberts. Bill is currently the Principal Scientist with the Biosecurity Services Group, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

With a strong team leading the science activities, I am confident that (upon a successful bid) the outputs of the PBCRC’s research will build on the success of our current CRC. In announcing these positions, I would also like to thank all the people who applied and the quality of their experience and applications.

Portugal sounds a little warmer than Canberra at the moment given we are having a particularly unusual cold snap. A number of our grains researchers are in Lisbon presenting their CRC research projects at the 10th International Working Conference on Stored Product Protection. This conference provides a great opportunity to highlight, at an international level, the high calibre of research we are undertaking in stored grain.

First semester of university for 2010 is complete and it’s pleasing to hear the first cohort of students enrolled in the National Plant Biosecurity Curriculum have been very impressed with the course content. You can read more about the curriculum in this edition of The Leaflet.

Following on from our last edition when we were awaiting the arrival of Carla Tadich’s (our Project Manager/Project Coordinator) new baby, I would like to offer our congratulations to Carla and her partner Dylan who welcomed the arrival of their little boy, Remi in mid-May. Everyone is doing very well and adapting to their new family life.

Until next time…


 Simon McKirdy Signature


Dr Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer


in this issue...

Professor John Lovett
from the arm of the chair

Chairman, Professor John Lovett tackled the 'real issues' at the Cooperative Research Centre Association's annual conference. READ MORE

attracting the ladies

CRC researchers are testing new lure recipes in Western Australia. READ MORE

enrolments for second semester now open

The Plant Biosecurity Program equips graduates to begin or extend a career in biosecurity. READ MORE

flying spore traps

Spore traps are modified and tested onboard an unmanned aerial vehicle. READ MORE

better tomato sandwiches

CRC PhD candidate Sharon van Brunschot is researching new diagnostic methods into tomato yellow leaf curl. READ MORE

other news...

The CRC works closely with SPHDS helping to ensure they can continue improving Australia’s diagnostic capabilities. READ MORE

CRC researchers in Western Australia utilise collaborative networks. READ MORE

Kelly Bailey discusses the 'beetle biosensor' at the 20th World Biosensors Congress. READ MORE

Meet Dr Felipe Gonzalez primary investigator for our Flying Spore Traps project. READ MORE