Research Thesis Topic
Impact of Orchard Environment on Pest Insects and Beneficial Insects of Macadamia
A suite of pests significantly impact on the productivity of the Australian Macadamia Industry and sustainable management of these pests is crucial for continuing market access, productivity, profitability and maintenance of industry viability. Pest management strategies in the past have been developed for single pest species; no truly integrated strategy has been developed to date that has taken more than 1 or 2 of the key-pests into account.
Hort Innovation is funding the 5-year Macadamia IPM Program. The overall aim of the program is to develop pest-resilient orchard production systems for growing macadamias. The program, comprised of eight partner organisations, commenced in October 2016, with NSW DPI leading the largest component. BioResources, another of the partners, is a private company specialising in the production of commercial biological controls.
As part of this IPM program we offer a student project that will investigate macadamia orchard and margin landscape arthropod ecology to understand the interactions of key insect and mite pests and beneficials with their biotic and abiotic environment. The applied objective of the project is to use this understanding to further sustainable arthropod pest management for the macadamia industry.
- In collaboration with NSW DPI entomology and BioResources, the student and university supervisor will develop a project to investigate the interactions of selected pests and beneficials with each other and their environment. This is to include:
o Seasonal surveys on abundance, distribution and select behaviours of key arthropods on macadamia orchards under defined conditions (e.g. organic and conventional farms)
o Experiments on interactions of interest between arthropods and their environment under field conditions
o Experiments on specific pest and beneficial interactions under laboratory conditions
- Centre for Crop Health
- Horticultural Production
Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic
While based at USQ, Toowoomba, the successful applicant will be expected to also conduct significant field and laboratory work at the NSW DPI Wollongbar Primary Industry Institute (WPII).