Project Leader

Hazell Parry, CSIRO




Parallel research has been undertaken in both the UK[1] and Australia[2] that considers the risks posed by the long-distance atmospheric movement of insect pests and pathogens. This currently takes a range of independent methodological approaches:

  • Atmospheric dispersal modelling
  • Radar technology
  • Near-ground monitoring 
  • Genetics

A Rothamsted Research-CSIRO Linkage grant brought several Rothamsted scientists (both global experts in the field and emerging early career researchers) to Australia. 

Objectives and Impact

A two-day workshop “Tracking and forecasting of pest and pathogen movements” was held at the Ecosciences Precinct in Dutton Park, Brisbane from 26-27 February 2020, supported by the Foundation. The workshop engaged thirty-two scientists from the UK, USA, Australia and NZ, from both government and non-government organizations as well as universities. The workshop had two main objectives:
1) Defining the key biosecurity challenges (agricultural pests and pathogens) we face in Australia (and globally) that could benefit from understanding patterns of long-distance atmospheric movement, to improve our ability to forecast these movements; and
(2) Developing specific, integrated, methodologies with which to research the movement patterns of the identified key pests and address the key biosecurity challenges.

During the workshop, participants learned about novel research and networked with other researchers, gained insights on the integration of technologies and identified current applications for this research and possible collaborations. Workshop participants have since developed collaborative proposals to GRDC (Grains Research and Development Corporation) and for joint CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences) -Qld or -CSIRO funding, along with the development of a draft ‘review’ or ‘opinion’ article to be pitched as a pre-submission inquiry to Trends in Ecology and Evolution next financial year: “Drought and the management of migratory insect pests”. The results of the workshop will also be synthesised as planned into a methods publication during the next financial year: “A methodological framework for rapid assessment of the threat posed by longdistance atmospheric movements of insect pests and pathogens”.

Final Report

The Final Report can be found here.

[1] Reynolds and Reynolds, 2008, Proceedings of the Royal Society B; Bell et al., 2015, Journal of Animal Ecology

[2] Parry 2013 Movement Ecology; Parry et al 2015 IN Venette (ed) Pest Risk Modelling and mapping for Invasive Alien Species, CABI; TAPPAS: