Bioplatforms Australia is proud to announce an investment of $1 million in the Integrated Pest Management ‘Omics Initiative (IPM OMICS). Through the creation of genomics data, this national program is set to transform our understanding of Australia’s diverse pest and beneficial insect populations and will play a pivotal role in supporting data informed integrated pest management (IPM) strategies in Australia.
Australia’s agricultural, forestry, and horticulture sectors, as well as its native ecosystems, are significantly impacted by insects, as beneficial contributors to ecosystem health and productivity, and as devastating pests and vectors of disease. Yet, despite their importance, the vast majority of insect species in Australia remain unidentified.
This initiative represents a significant step towards sustainable management of insect pests in Australia. Fostering research and creating data to increase Australia’s understanding of insects is a critical step in safeguarding agriculture and supporting healthy ecosystems. This initiative underlines the importance of omics data-informed, holistic approach to pest management.
The data created in this initiative will aim to support applications across:
Accelerate Discovery and Identification: By expediting the identification of pest and beneficial insects, this initiative will provide vital data for insect monitoring, enabling the establishment of baseline assessments, and the identification of unique native insect groups.
Increase Knowledge of Insect Roles: The foundational data created in this initiative aims to deepen our understanding of the roles that insects play in our ecosystems including how insects adapt to changing environments and respond to human pressures, explore cryptic species, assess extinction risks, and investigate predator-prey relationships.
Supporting Data-Informed Pest Management Strategies: IPM OMICS will provide crucial insights into pest management, including mechanisms of insecticide resistance, and the direct and indirect impacts of pest control strategies on pollination goals and ecosystems.
To ensure the success of this initiative, a dedicated Advisory Committee has been established who will be supported by a Project Manager (from Bioplatforms Australia). The Advisory Committee is committed to impartial leadership and transparency, ensuring that the project’s interests are placed above all else. Specialist working groups and external advisors will be consulted when required or necessary.
|Prof. Ary Hoffmann (Chair)||University of Melbourne|
|Prof. David Yates||CSIRO|
|Prof. James Cook||Western Sydney University|
|Dr Rachel Dudaniec||Macquarie University|
|Dr Andrew Weeks||Cesar Australia|
|Prof. Owain Edwards||CSIRO|
|Dr Sonu Yadav||Northern Territory Department of Industry|
|Prof. Dianne Gleeson||University of Canberra|
|Dr Jeff Christiansen||Australian BioCommons|
|Dr Kelly Scarlett||Bioplatforms Australia|