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The Leaflet May 2010

Simon says...

The leaves on the trees in Canberra are rapidly changing colour and dropping to the ground – a sure sign winter is on its way. Last Tuesday was our coldest day in the past six months!

There’s no chance of getting too cold with the amount of activity in the CRC at the moment. Juggling the preparation of our bid to Government for another term as well as managing our current research activities is very challenging for all involved. It’s rewarding to see the considerable effort being shown by everyone– especially as many staff and science committee members are undertaking their existing roles at the same time.

Support for the bid is continuing to grow and many Participants having signed ‘in-principle’ forms to support the bid, including a number of organisations who are not part of the existing CRC. You cannot have a cooperative research centre without Participants and advocacy for further plant biosecurity research across industry, government, universities, and other R&D corporations is very encouraging.

The research programs are evolving each day with valued input from our Program Taskforce and Participants Taskforce, as well as key end-users of the proposed research outcomes. Similar to our existing CRC, the new CRC’s Participants will mostly consist of end-users which enables greater engagement and the opportunity to actively meet their needs.

May is going to be an extremely busy month with two key meetings for the Participants of the proposed CRC. After these meetings it will be time to knuckle down and finalise the re-bid documentation (much of which is already being written and collated in the background).

While much of our focus is on the re-bid for another term, we are very conscious of the high-level of research still being conducted in this CRC. We have had a number of projects finish over the past few months and the final reports are being reviewed at the moment. I would also like to congratulate two project teams who have published in significant high-impact journals. Dr Owain Edwards, as part of the International Aphid Genomics Consortium recently published ‘Genome Sequence of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon’ in PLOSBiology and Darren Kriticos, Sue Worner and Paul De Barro for their paper ‘Pest Risk Maps for Invasive Alien Species: A Roadmap for Improvement’ which was published in BioScience earlier this week. As I have said before, publishing of our research outcomes in peer reviewed journals is an outstanding achievement and demonstrates the CRC’s commitment to science excellence.

As some of you may be aware, our Program Coordinator/Project Manager, Ms Carla Tadich left us temporarily before Easter to take 12 months maternity leave. Carla is due to have her first baby any day now and we’re all anxiously looking forward to her exciting news. We wish her much happiness and we’re confident she’ll excel in her new role as a mum. We just hope she’s able to give birth before Mother’s Day, so she receives a present!

Wishing a happy Mother’s Day on 9 May for all the ‘Mums’ reading this column. And to all our readers, enjoy the last month of autumn, or spring if you’re in the northern hemisphere!


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 shares his thoughts on the inextricable link between biodiversity and biosecurity. READ MORE

community knowledge assists in biosecurity management

Committing to biosecurity management with Indigenous communities provides economic, cultural, social and environmental sustainability. READ MORE

fruit fly research in Vienna

CRC post-doc, Dr Mark Schutze will spend six months in Austria to conduct ‘live-fly’ experiments as part of his CRC project, and also towards a newly established international effort to better understand these important fruit pests. READ MORE

a look at rare Trogoderma references

Mr Andras Szito recently visited natural history collections in the United States and Europe to take an inventory of the curated Trogoderma specimens. This research will lay the foundation for future work in the revision of the species. READ MORE

other news...

Russian wheat aphid workshop focuses on protecting Australia's crops. READ MORE   

A publication has been released by the National Working Party on Grain Protection which aims to limit the spread and impact of phosphine resistance.

Meet John Austen the Canberra Office Project Officer.

Thank you to all those who contributed to this month's edition of The Leaflet.
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