It seems the warm weather is not only causing the pests to multiply in the South Burnett—the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Kingaroy Research Station has tripled its entomologists! Hugh ‘Bugs’ Brier has now been joined by Dr Liz Williams (research entomologist) and Trevor Volp (technical officer – entomology).
Both positions were made possible by the GRDC, through the Northern Grains Integrated Pest Management project (Trevor) and the Capacity Building project (Liz), an initiative that has provided opportunity for mentoring of new staff by eminent DAF scientists.
Liz grew up on the Darling Downs on sheep, cattle and cotton properties before moving to Brisbane for university and then working with DAF and the University of Queensland. She has worked on various entomology and ecology projects, including invasive pests and the services insects and other fauna can provide in land management. She is enjoying being back amongst agriculture and living where ‘you can see the stars’.
Trevor hails from tropical North Queensland, having studied and worked in entomology (particularly pest management) and enjoys getting out and about with his butterfly net. Hardened by working in cane fields catching all sorts of critters near Cairns, he is enjoying the milder climate of the Burnett, although we will have to see how he fares in the frosty Kingaroy winters…