Ruth Huwer

Research interests

  • Integrated pest management
  • Chemical ecology
  • Biological control


Ruth Huwer is a research entomologist at the Centre for Tropical Horticulture in Alstonville, Far North Coast NSW, where she is leading the Entomology team.

She joined NSW Agriculture* in 2002 as Entomologist and has undertaken research in pest management in subtropical/tropical horticultural crops, developing more sustainable pest management strategies with the aim to reduce the use of broad-spectrum insecticides. Her research includes advancing IPM in macadamias. Particular aspects of this research are biological control, pest – host plant interaction specifically host preferences, semiochemicals and chemical ecology, alternative host and trap crops, evaluation of new insecticides. Management of fruitspotting bug (Amblypelta spp.) a key pest, is driving the IPM strategy.

As part of a management strategy of longicorn beetles in lychees, the optimum timing of chemical application and efficacy of different chemicals are being evaluated.

Ruth Is also involved in PestWeb, an insect pest monitoring program developed by farmers from a local Landcare group. PestWeb allows tracking of the movement and the distribution of pests, facilitates communication between farmers, sharing of monitoring data and helps farmers make pest management decisions.

A previous study investigated the management of scarabid beetles in blueberries. This study included pesticide trials and utilization of different cover crops in the inter-rows.
Ruth has over 10 years scientific research experience in Australia, and has published a number of scientific papers, including peer-reviewed publications.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • B.Sc. (Agric) – Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen (Germany) 1990
  • PhD (Agric) - Pest management in tropical horticulture – Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen (Germany) 1996

Current projects

  • Integrated pest management in macadamias
  • Management of longicorn beetles in lychees
  • Management of scarab beetles in blueberries

Recent publications

Referred publications

Huwer RK, Briese DT, Dowling PM, Kemp DR, Lonsdale WM, Michalk DL, Neave MJ Sheppard AW, Woodburn TL (2005) Can an integrated management approach provide a basis for long-term prevention of weed dominance in Australian pasture systems? Weed Research 45, 1-18.

Neave MJ and Huwer RK (2003) Post-dispersal seed predation of three major pasture weeds in southern Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 18, 102-106.

Huwer RK and McFadyen RE (1999) Biology and host range of the hawk moth Nephele densoi Keferstein (Lep.: Sphingidae), a potential agent for the biological control of rubbervine Cryptostegia grandiflora R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae). Biocontrol Science and Technology 9, 79-88.

Waite GK and Huwer RK (1998) Host plants and their role in the ecology of the fruitspotting bugs of Amblypelta nitida Stål and Amblypelta lutescens lutescens (Distant) (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 37, 340-349.

Huwer RK (1996) Developmental biology of Amblypelta lutescens lutescens (Distant) (Heteroptera: Coreidae) on a choice of tropical crops in Australia with regard to environmentally sound control methodology [German] Entwicklungsbiologie von Amblypelta lutescens lutescens Distant (Heteroptera: Coreidae) an ausgewählten tropischen Kulturen in Australien unter Berücksichtigung umweltverträglicher Bekämpfungsmethoden. 184 pp., Ph.D. thesis at the Institut für Phytopathologie und Angewandte Zoology; Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Offset Köhler KG; 35396 Giessen, Germany.

Fay HAC and Huwer RK (1993) An egg parasitoid complex active against Amblypelta lutescens lutescens (Distant) (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in north Queensland. Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 32 (4), 365-367.

Professional associations and activities

  • Ecological Society of America (ESA)
  • Australian Entomological Society (AES)
  • International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC)

Fields of research

  • 070603 Horticultural Crop Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Biological control
  • Semiochemicals
  • Area wide monitoring

Contact details