17 October, 2019
The Australian sugarcane industry has enhanced capability to provide research and development into soldier fly and cane grubs, with the appointment of a new entomologist.
Dr Pauline Lenancker has joined the SRA team, based at the Mackay research station at Te Kowai, and she will be working on research activities relating to these two significant insect pests of the industry, as well as yellow canopy syndrome (YCS).
SRA Executive Manager for Biosecurity and Production, Dr Barry Salter, said Dr Lenancker joins SRA with entomological research and field experience at James Cook University and CSIRO, working most recently on invasive tropical fire ants and yellow crazy ants in northern Australia.
“Dr Lenancker will be working with SRA’s lead entomologist, Dr Kevin Powell, in applied pest management, around these two key insect pests,” Dr Salter said.
“For impacted growers, soldier fly can have very severe impacts on cane production, and SRA is currently investing in research to better understand the biology of this pest and deliver management solutions for growers.
“SRA has increased our research investment in this area in recent years through activity such as variety trials, chemical trials and using DNA analysis to look at the genetic diversity of soldier fly populations.
“Dr Lenancker will continue with this research, while also collaborating with SRA researchers working on cane grubs and yellow canopy syndrome.”
Dr Lenancker said she looked forward to working with growers, millers and industry service providers on delivering practical research outcomes for the industry.
“This research provides an opportunity to work closely with industry in applied research that ultimately leads to improved productivity, profitability and sustainability for sugarcane growers and millers,” she said.