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CRC60034: Bayesian Surveillance Systems - PhD

This project assessed the statistical and modelling tools available to evaluate surveillance systems and developed a surveillance system evaluation methodology to measure the effectiveness of early warning, area freedom and response surveillance. The project determined the sensitivity of surveillance systems to detection sensitivity, risk area analysis and uncertain epidemiological characteristics of spread and reproduction and optimise surveillance systems by using epidemiological knowledge.

What is the biosecurity problem?

Despite the biosecurity resources invested in surveillance programs, there are no accepted tools for evaluating the quality of surveillance with respect to the spatial epidemiology of invading pests. Surveillance implicitly underpins claims of plant health status for geographic areas. Our ability to manage eradication and containment programs, plant movement risks and early detection has been hampered by difficulties in interpreting what our surveillance is telling us. Quantitative surveillance analysis techniques based on epidemiological risk can provide a framework for measuring the value of data produced by surveillance systems and provide a methodology for assessing surveillance options.

The main outputs of this project were to:

  • develop a methodology for negotiating area freedom related trade based on surveillance and risk assessment
  • develop surveillance optimisation strategies for EPP early warning surveillance, and
  • develop a spatially integrated analytical approach to surveillance evaluation to optimise EPP control options

Who are the end-users of this research?

This project resulted in a new PhD graduate trained in statistical techniques to guide and interpret surveillance emergency pest surveillance programs. The graduate was immediately employable within the plant biosecurity industry, increasing Australia's capability to undertake EPP surveillance.


Mr Mark Stanaway
Student CRC60034: Bayesian Surveillance Systems - PhD
Phone: 07 4044 1605
Fax: 07 4035 5474

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Dr Kerrie Mengersen
Supervising Institution
Queensland University of Technology
December 2006 - November 2009