Welcome to the NSW DPI Weeds Research Unit web pages. We are one of Australia’s largest providers of innovative and world class research on invasive weeds. Our work provides effective solutions that reduce the economic, environmental and social impacts of weeds. We use and develop cutting edge tools such as robotics, drones and detector dogs, as well as refining the more traditional approaches such as cultural, chemical and biological weed control. For more information on what we do see our Weeds Research Development and Engagement Portfolio.
We work in cropping, grazing and environmental systems, tackling the weeds that affect these systems the most. Current work includes projects on alligator weed, annual ryegrass, barnyard grass, barley grass, cat’s claw creeper, Chilean Needle grass, cylindropuntias, feather-top Rhodes grass, fireweed, fleabane, giants rats tail grass, Madeira vine, mother-of-millions, ox-eye daisy, prickly pear, salvinia, serrated tussock, sowthistle, silverleaf nightshade, tropical soda apple, water lettuce, wild radish and windmill grass.
Our new Weeds Research, Development and Extension Strategy (2016 – 2021) details current work under three major weeds research themes:
We assess and respond to new and potential weed incursions and help prevent these from becoming widely established. This is achieved through improving our understanding of the ecology and genetics of new weeds, and by using new and existing techniques for surveillance and early detection such as robotics, drones, high quality aerial photography, spatial modelling, and DNA and weed detection dogs. It is supported by deploying rapid response teams who work to optimise chemical options for control.
Mitigating the current impacts of weeds is complex and costly. Here we aim to enhance management approaches through gaining a greater understanding of the biology and ecology of weeds and developing cost effective integrated management strategies to support public and private land managers. These include biocontrol; understanding herbicide resistance; alternative chemicals; and novel grazing and cropping approaches.
Effective weed management is a responsibility shared between landholders, community, industry and government. To support effective weed management, research findings have been developed by NSW DPI as best practice information and advice presented in weed profiles (NSW WeedWise), information brochures, booklets and manuals.
However, there is no guarantee that best practice information is absorbed or changes people’s attitudes and behaviour towards weed management. To enhance adoption of research-supported best practice advice, we’ve been developing better communication strategies and extension material for stakeholders. We use tools such as community-based social marketing- a behaviour change framework that reveals the barriers to people managing weeds. Customised strategies and decision support tools for different land managers are then developed and promoted.
In order for us to be effective in weed management research, development and extension we’ve established partnerships and collaborations with regional, national and international providers.
Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, CSIRO Australia, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Environmental Trust, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Local Land Services, McGarvie Smith Foundation, Meat and Livestock Australia, National Heritage Fund, Rural Industries Australian Greenhouse Office, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Rural Research and Development for Profit, Sydney Water Corporation.
Charles Sturt University, CSIRO (several divisions); other state and territory departments of primary industry or agriculture; University of New England, The University of Adelaide, The University of Queensland, University of Canberra, Universities of Sydney, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University.
Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Gansu Agricultural University (China), Government of Bhutan, scientific institutes in Italy and France, Rhodes University and University of KwaZulu-Natal – South Africa, CABI – Switzerland and MICET, United Nations – Food and Agriculture Organisation, University of Antananarivo – Madagascar, World Bank projects in China.
If you’d like to become actively involved in our research programs, either as a student or as a partner organisation, please get in touch.
Manager Invasive Species Research – Vertebrate Pest and Weeds Research Units
02 6391 3890
Research Leader, Weed Research Unit
02 6363 7845