ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation

ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation

ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation

Conducting research into the significant and growing threat from invasive pest fruit flies.

The ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation seeks to provide Australian horticulture with new, sustainable and environmentally friendly tools for controlling fruit fly pests.

Australian horticulture feeds the nation, builds wealth and sustains rural communities. This ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre helps  protect Australia’s $9 billion per annum horticultural sector both through its research and coordination activities and by training the next generation of biosecurity researchers.

Some native fruit flies have recently expanded their range to establish and flourish in regions previously free of these pests. With changing climate, further range expansion of these pests is expected.  Further, numerous exotic fruit fly invaders threaten Australia’s borders. Fruit flies pose a very significant and growing threat to Australian horticulture that is best countered by ensuring availability of effective tools for surveillance and control.

The Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation is tasked with developing new environmentally and medically benign approaches for sustainable fruit fly management.

Fruit fly research

Historically, fruit flies have been managed with insecticide sprays that coat the plant and fruit with a toxic barrier. Synthetic insecticides are environmentally damaging, and present risks for the health of rural communities and consumers.  To protect the environment and public, restrictions on the use of synthetic insecticides have increased sharply in recent years. Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation is developing sustainable alternative approaches to protect Australian horticulture.

New approaches under development include improved understanding of species distinctions and ecology to enable more biologically informed practises, more targeted and contained deployment of insecticides especially through ‘lure and kill’ devices, and development of new repellents, ‘soft’ insecticides, and alternative control measures.

This research is conducted across three universities and four partner organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

ARC researchers

Macquarie University’s Professor Phil Taylor is Director of the ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation. His interests focus on biosecurity futures, particularly the sustainable and benign management of fruit flies and other insect pests. The centre is managed by Dr Marianne Peso, with outstanding contributions from other Macquarie University academics, research fellows and postgraduate students.

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