The Agricultural Scientific Collections Unit has capabilities in the areas of:
- Management of data on distribution, host range, pest status and diagnostics for agricultural pests and diseases.
- Electronic database networking for biosecurity.
- Taxonomic expertise in agricultural insects, fungi, and mites.
- Understanding of Australian biodiversity, particularly in groups of agricultural importance.
- Use of DNA for bar-coding pest species of insects, mites, and fungi.
- PCR-based identification of fruit fly larvae.
- Molecular-based diagnostics for agricultural pests, both domestic and exotic.
- Development of electronic diagnostic tools delivered via the internet.
Key research collaborations
Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for National Plant Biosecurity; University of Sydney; Charles Sturt University; La Trobe University; Curtin University; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Chinese Academy of Sciences; The Natural History Museum, London; CRC for Australian Weed Management; New Zealand Arthropod Collection; Landcare Research, Auckland; and the Victorian Plant Research Institute; North West Agricultural University of Agriculture and Forestry, Shaanxi, China; and, University of Agricultural Science, Bangalore, India.
The Agricultural Scientific Collections Unit has online summaries of its scientific outputs. In some cases the summary has the full outputs available as a PDF which can be downloaded. The scientific outputs are arranged by year of publication.
In addition to the published outputs of research, the Unit maintains substantial collections of scientific specimens and illustrations. These collections are protected under the Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust Act 1983 and ownership is vested in the NSW Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust.
Staff of the Unit have also developed a series of advanced identification keys for some groups of insects. These keys allow trained entomologists in other locations draw upon the accumulated knowledge and expertise of the Unit.
Dr Murray Fletcher
Principal Research Scientist
Research Leader, Scientific Collections
Phone 02 6391 3943