Current Projects

Past Projects

PhD Research

Honours Research

Current Projects

1. Insect pests of grains cropping landscapes in south-east Australia

CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (Canberra)
Part of the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative

As part of this project we are using a food web approach to quantify the interactions between insect communities in canola and communities in nearby crops (mostly cereals) and non-crop vegetation.

2. Pest suppressive landscapes:  linking IPM and natural resource management

Project lead: Nancy Schellhorn CSIRO (Brisbane)
Funded by GRDC

This project is focused on creating pest suppressive landscape via an understanding of the ecological function of the habitats present in the landscape and  how pest and natural enemies move in agricultural landscapes. This is a nationally co-ordinated project that combines field sampling across a range of habitats and modeling approaches to identify the critical features of pest suppressive grain landscapes. In each region (Dalby QLD, Great Southern region WA and Cootamundra NSW), two 10 km diameter landscapes that provide a contrast in crop heterogeneity and native vegetation will be selected to condut the field work. I am involved with the Southern NSW sites.

3. Developing and promoting Integrated Pest Management in Australian Grains

Project lead: Darryl Hardie (UWA)
Funded by GRDC

Invertebrate pests represent a significant challenge to sustainable grain production in many parts of Australia and currently growers rely mainly on broad-spectrum insecticides to control pests. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) coordinates the use of pest biology, environmental information, and available technology to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage,  while minimizing the risk to people and the environment of synthetic pesticide use. This project will benchmark current pest management practices and understanding of IPM principles among Australian grain growers.  On-farm trials around Australia will be used to demonstrate the utility of alternative approaches to pest management. The  trials will be accompanied by the delivery of workshops, field-days and  extension of project findings through oral and written publications. I am involved with the Southern NSW trial site in collaboration with Jo Holloway (DI&I).

Past Projects

Aphid parasitoids in organic and conventional farming systems

J. Memmott (University of Bristol) & M. Traugott (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
Funded by the Lady Emily Smyth Agricultural Research Station (LESARS)

Journal article Macfadyenetal2009AGEEAphids

Parasitoid webs in organic and conventional farming systems: structure, sustainability and exploitation

J. Memmott (University of Bristol) and W.O.C. Symondson (Cardiff University)
Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Rachel Gibson mapping the landscape elements on the farms

Rachel Gibson mapping the landscape elements on the farms

A sunny day in the english countryside

A sunny day in the english countryside

Planting the pyracantha plants

Planting the pyracantha plants

completed plot

A completed plot

PhD research

The Use of Naturally Occurring Arthropod Predators for the Control of Helicoverpa spp. in Grain Crops in Southeast Queensland

School of Biological  Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Supervisor: Professor Myron P. Zalucki

Funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation

Thesis abstract PhD thesis Abstract

Thesis chapters:

Chapter 1. Introduction and thesis outline Ch1Intro

Chapter 2. Study area, field sites, arthropod collection and identification Ch2Studyarea

Chapter 3. Araneae ballooning for crop colonization and movement Ch3ballooning

Chapter 4. Influence of adjacent crop on arthropod abundance and movement Ch4adjacentcrop

Chapter 5. Lycosidae movement within-fields and seasonal patterns of activity Ch5lycosidae

Chapter 6. Insecticide use in soybean and predator abundance Ch6insecticide

Chapter 7. Estimating predation rate with H. armigera egg cards: Preliminary experiments Ch7eggcard

Chapter 8. Within-field spatial patterns: Predator aggregation in response to pest density Ch8spatial

Chapter 9. H. armigera egg and larval mortality in the field: How much is due to predation? Ch9larvalmort

Chapter 10. Determining the diet of predators in the field Ch10dietDNA

Chapter 11. Major findings and future research Ch11findings

Appendix 1. Growers attitudes towards the use of predators for pest control append1survey

Appendix 2. SADIE within-field spatial pattern analysis Append2spatial

Appendix 3. SADIE spatial association analysis Append3ass

Acknowledgments Acknowledgements

Early season soybean field near Gatton, QLD

Early season soybean field near Gatton, QLD

Thomisidae spider attacking a bee

Thomisidae spider attacking a bee

Honours Research

The Influence of Isolated Trees in Agro-ecosystems on Invertebrate Biodiversity

Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Supervisor: Ian Oliver, Key Centre for Biodiversity and Bioresources (now at New South Wales Department of Natural Resources, University of New England, Armidale)
Co-supervisor: Peter Smith, Department of Land and Water Conservation

Journal article AEOliveretal2006
Final Report  Isolatedreport
Appendix Append1


Aerial image of field site near Armidale



Sampling an isolated tree