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The Leaflet September 2009

Simon says...

Dr Simon McKirdy

Spring is finally in the air; the days are getting warmer and many trees around the Canberra region are starting to flower.

Our research portfolio will also continue its growth to full capacity with final project proposals being developed for Board approval by the end of the year. Most of these new projects fall under our Post-Harvest Integrity Research Program; the result of our successful supplementary bid in 2007.

Grains biosecurity research (in particular, stored grains insect resistance to phosphine) is a priority for the grains industry. Australia needs to ensure its grain is insect free to maintain its market access.

In this area of our research portfolio, I would like to congratulate our researchers who recently had manuscripts approved for publication in Pest Management Science. Dr Manoj Nayak’s manuscript is titled ‘Potential of piperonyl butoxide-synergised pyrethrins against psocids (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae) for stored grain protection’. Greg Daglish and Hervoika Pavic co-authored a paper titled ‘Changes in phosphine sorption in wheat after storage at two temperatures’. As we reach maturity as a research centre we expect to see more publications arising from our research activities, highlighting the high-level calibre of researchers within the CRC.

I would also like to congratulate Kym Lilford, a CRC honours student, who received a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) medal for her honours and undergraduate work at her recent graduation. Kym’s honours project, CRC60123: Genetic resistance in stored-grain beetles, researched a mathematical framework to enable future management strategies on phosphine fumigation of Lesser grain borer, taking into consideration its increasing genetic resistance to phosphine. Kym’s thesis has been accepted by QUT and we are looking forward to receiving the hard copy for our library.

The program for Global Biosecurity 2010: safeguarding agriculture and the environment is currently being developed by the Program Committee. There were a high number of abstracts submitted, and the committee is evaluating and allocating them to the appropriate stream. All plenary speakers have accepted our invitation to provide keynote presentations throughout the program. More information is available on the conference website. Remember that a very good registration rate is still available prior to full release of the program.

It’s not long now until our Science Exchange which is being held on the Sunshine Coast from 22 September. We’re all looking forward to the opportunity to network and discuss our research activities. At the Science Exchange, awards will be presented to various project teams who have excelled in areas such as collaboration and innovation. It’s shaping up to be a great event and I will share the outcomes in the next edition of The Leaflet.

I look forward to catching up with many of you at the Science Exchange.…

Simon McKirdy Signature 

Dr Simon McKirdy
Chief Executive Officer
CRC for National Plant Biosecurity

in this issue...

Professor John Lovett

from the arm of the chair

CRCNPB Chair, Professor John Lovett recently attended the 2009 Grains West Expo. READ MORE

fruit fly experts in Vienna

Three of our researchers were invited to participate in an international consultants meeting held at the United Nations' IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria. READ MORE 

a love affair with numbers

Dr Sama Low Choy recently joined the CRC team to provide strategic statistical support across our portfolio and to build capacity in this unique field. READ MORE

pre-border biosecurity

Remote microscopes have landed in south east Asia. READ MORE

science teachers learn about plant pests

In early July, we showcased outputs from our School Education Strategy at the annual conference for science teachers (CONASTA). READ MORE

go west

Our science committee recently held its face-to-face meeting in Perth. READ MORE

other news...

Meet our statistician  Dr Sama Low Choy


Plant Health Australia has recently launched a new website. The domain name for the site is Be sure to bookmark it!


The Pest and Disease Image Library (PaDIL) is excited to announce the release of an online newsletter. Ensure you are kept up-to-date with the latest news and PaDIL updates by subscribing, via email  The first edition of the PaDIL newsletter will be issued later this month.