Biosecurity Futures Research Centre has a broad research base including a wide range of topics in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
Current research projects involve invasive birds, fish and mammals, and especially insects, with research activity based largely in Macquarie’s Department of Biological Sciences. Of particular note, Biosecurity Futures is home to ARC Centre for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation, and more than $20 million of research activities supporting the SITplus partnership that is developing sustainable solutions for management of invasive fruit flies.
Biosecurity Futures Research Centre members are leading numerous research projects on invasive plants and plant diseases. These include projects on aquatic weeds, responses of invasive plants to climate change, impacts of invasive plants on vegetation communities, understanding range expansion of exotic species in novel environments, and interactions between native fauna and exotic plant species. The impact of the exotic pathogen Myrtle Rust on native plants and vegetation communities is supported by an Environmental Trust research grant.
Current research within this group involve among others, assessing the impact of pathogens on native vegetation (in collaboration with NSW DPI and the CRC for Plant Biosecurity), identifying disease resistance genes in oysters (ITTC for Molecular Technology in the Food Industry), elucidating the potential role of cyanobateria toxins in neurodegenerative diseases, studying the ecology and evolution of host parasite interactions and investigating medically important bacterial biofilms. The pathogen research initiative is based on a multidisciplinary approach to develop new methods and technologies for early and rapid pathogen detection.
Risk, Governance and Trade
Biosecurity Futures members have expertise in risk, governance and trade issues that extend across taxa. In particular, numerous projects focus on the biosecurity consequences of predicted climate change, as species shift distribution, become vulnerable, or become invasive, and our climate becomes more suitable for some exotic invaders. Other projects focus on the legal and trade implications of biosecurity, particularly through Macquarie’s Centre for Environmental Law and Department of Environmental Sciences.