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Horticulture Innovation Australia announces two strategic appointments for fruit fly management

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) welcomes two strategic contract appointments in the area of Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) Area Wide Management (AWM) and Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

The first announcement is Mr Dan Ryan who has been appointed to the role of Program Director of the SITplus consortium. The SITplus consortium is a research group facilitated by Hort Innovation that brings together experts from Macquarie University, Primary Industries and Regions SA’s (PIRSA) Biosecurity SA and South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) divisions, Hort Innovation, the CSIRO Health and Biosecurity Flagship, Plant & Food Research Australia, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Mr Ryan brings a wealth of horticultural experience to this pivotal role, having worked as Business Leader Australia for Plant & Food Research (Australia) for 11 years, as well as being a representative stakeholder in the SITplus consortium. Mr Ryan was selected from a number of high quality candidates that interviewed for the role, and has been engaged on a three year contract beginning 21 September 2015.
The focus of Mr Ryan’s role will be to work with all the consortium stakeholders to enhance the momentum generated to date, communicating to existing and new research and commercial partners, aligning the different components of the Hort Innovation $48 million Qfly management investment, of which SITplus is central. Successful delivery and production of a sterile male line of Qfly and the associated AWM adoption are the two key outcomes of the initiative.

Hort Innovation is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Penny Measham as the Qfly AWM Coordinator. Dr Measham has a science background and has been working with fruit industries for 10 years in numerous research and extension roles. Dr Measham has an excellent track record for industry engagement through her previous role as national coordinator of an industry development program. The role of Qfly AWM Coordinator is part of the recent funding to Hort Innovation secured through the Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit co-investment project ‘Adaptive area-wide management of QFly using SIT.’ Dr Measham has been engaged on a 34 month contract with Hort Innovation as of 24 August 2015.

As part of the SITplus R&D initiative, the project seeks to prepare and support industry and councils for the eventual deployment of SIT Qfly to achieve effective and efficient Qfly suppression. Dr Measham will be the primary two-way conduit between the project’s research team and stakeholders involved in Qfly management for delivery of the regionally focussed programs in horticultural production areas affected by endemic Qfly or outbreaks.

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