Research Scientist

Catherine will be speaking in Session 7. Vineyard health and biodiversity. Click here to see more.

Abstract

Grapevine phylloxera is one of the world’s worst vine pests. Wine Australia and Agriculture Victoria have co-invested in research to advance an integrated management approach for grapevine phylloxera over several years. The research focuses on the following components.

  • Detection
  • Disinfestation procedures
  • Rootstocks and phylloxera interactions
  • Phylloxera biology and genetics
  • Biological control

Recent research has developed a new tool for quick in-field detection tool (LAMP), shed light on temperature thresholds for phylloxera survival and development, and uncovered novel genetic strains. To support the National Phylloxera Management Protocols, disinfestation protocols have been validated and new procedures developed. Findings from interactions between rootstocks and diverse phylloxera genetic strains have been fed into the grapevine selector tool. A comprehensive review of biological control options showed promise for phylloxera management. This presentation will highlight key findings from science and implications for phylloxera management.

Biography

Catherine Clarke is a Research Scientist at Agriculture Victoria. Prior to joining Agriculture Victoria, Catherine was a postdoctoral fellow at Charles Sturt University, Orange Campus, where she conducted research on a plant hopper pest of palm trees in Papua New Guinea and two pine pests in Australia. Catherine completed her PhD at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya with training undertaken at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, the National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) in France, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, USA. Her research aims to better understand the biology and ecology of insect pests and, their interactions with plants. This knowledge underpins the development of sustainable crop protection strategies and plant biosecurity processes. Catherine and her team were awarded the ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year in 2018, a publication that showed important implications for the National Phylloxera Management Protocols and biosecurity. Catherine is Chief Investigator for phylloxera research at Agriculture Victoria.