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Ruth Huwer

Research interests

  • Integrated pest management
  • Chemical ecology
  • Biological control


Ruth Huwer is a research entomologist at the Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute, located on the far north coast of NSW, where she is leading the Entomology team. She joined NSW Agriculture* in 2002 and has undertaken research in pest management in subtropical and tropical horticultural crops, developing more sustainable pest management strategies with the aim of reducing the use of broad-spectrum insecticides. Her research includes advancing IPM in macadamias. Particular aspects of this research include biological control, pest–host plant interaction (specifically host preferences), semiochemicals and chemical ecology, alternative hosts, trap crops and evaluating new insecticides. Management of fruitspotting bug (Amblypelta spp.) a key pest, is driving the IPM strategy. Ruth has 20 years scientific research experience in Australia, and has published a number of scientific papers, including peer-reviewed publications.


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

Current projects

Ruth is currently leading the research on the development of an IPM program for the Australian Macadamia Industry. This includes monitoring strategies, cultural control, enhancing biological control and targeted IPM that is compatible with chemical control for pests in macadamias.

Recent research includes multi-disciplinary and multi-industry projects on fruitspotting bug management, including chemical control, trap crops, pheromone traps and biological control.

Ruth and her team have also been involved in investigating management options for a girdling moth in blueberries and for green stink bugs in raspberries, including the use of egg parasitoids.

In a previous study the team investigated the management of scarab beetles in blueberries. This study included pesticide trials and using different cover crops in the inter-rows.

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

Recent publications

Huwer RK, Briese DT, Dowling PM, Kemp DR, Lonsdale WM, Michalk DL, Neave MJ Sheppard AW and 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

Email: ruth.huwer@dpi.nsw.gov.au