Xuefen completed her Master’s degree (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) at Sun Yat-Sen University, China, in 2017. Her previous research focused on functional genomics, more specifically, she studied the immunity of amphioxus, aiming to understand the origin and evolution of the vertebrate immune system. Her doctoral project will mainly focus on Bryobia mites and Vegetable leafminers, which are serious crop pests in Australia. She is supervised by Ary, Paul and Peter.
Her project includes two parts: First to investigate the species complexity of Bryobia mites in broad acre crops and pastures across Australia. Since the identification of Bryobia mites are often difficult given their small size and lack of suitable morphological characters, there is little information known about their basic biology and ecology worldwide. In this part, DNA barcoding will be used in Bryobia mites to delineate and identify morphologically cryptic species which is important for implementing effective pest control strategies. The second part of the project will focus on the vegetable leaf miner (VLM), which is a polyphagous species of agromyzid fly capable of infesting vegetable and flower crops and driving severe crop losses. Since it was found in Australia in 2015, on the Cape York Peninsula, it is now at a high risk of expanding its range and causing severe detrimental impacts on Australian agriculture. For that reason, it is important to figure out the invasion route of the VLM and study its potential establishment routes, which she will use molecular, morphological and modelling data.
Marianne finished a Bachelor of General Biology at McGill University, Canada, in 2016. After coming over to Australia she completed a year of Honours under Professor Mark Elgar with the department of Zoology at Melbourne University, looking at the Australian meat ant Iridomyrmex purpureus behaviour and communication. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Philosophy with PEARG, as a part of the greater program for control, eradication and preparedness for the Vegetable Leafminer funded by Hort Innovation. The other project partners are the University of Melbourne, cesar, Plant Health Australia, AUSVEG and NAQS. She is supervised by Prof Ary Hoffmann, Dr Paul Umina and Dr Peter Ridland.
Her project will investigate the existing food web complex between host plants, leafminer fly larvae and their parasitoid wasps in Australia. This knowledge will help pinpoint local wasp species that could be applied as biological control agents in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs to help reduce pesticide usage. This will be valuable information to control the spread of several invasive leafminers species that are serious agricultural threats in other regions of the world and that are expected to soon reach Australian soil and crops. One of these leafminer species, Liriomyza sativae, has already been found in Queensland, at the tip of the Cape York peninsula.
Xuan Cheng, PhD candidate
Xuan completed his masters degree in Taiwan, studying the association between acetylcholinesterase and carbofuran resistance in Chilo suppressalis (striped rice stem borer). He is currently studying for his doctorate with a focus on the pest management for Halotydeus destructor (redlegged earth mite, RLEM), an invasive species introduced from South Africa into Australia. RLEM is a winter-active
mite pest, attacking a broad range of agriculturally significant plant species in Australia. Non-diapause eggs are deposited by the female in winter while diapause eggs were produced and contained in the female body. Diapause eggs can survive applications of pesticides as well as summer heat and desiccation. Currently registered pesticides can only kill mites of active stages (e.g., larvae, nymphs and adults) and hence applications of pesticides have to be carefully timed before the production of diapause eggs. Furthermore, pesticides resistance to pyrethroid and organophosphate chemicals in active mites have been found in some populations. In order to manage pesticide resistance, Xuan’s project includes three research areas:
- Understand the dominance pattern and fitness cost of L1024F substitution in the para gene in association with pyrethroid resistance.
- Investigate the mechanism of diapause induction and diapause intensity in order to improve the applications of pesticides.
- Survey the host adaptation of RLEM and the fitness cost during crop rotation, a non-chemical control option.
Publications:Cheng X., Umina P. A., and Hoffmann A. A. (2018) Influence of previous host plants on the reproductive success of a polyphagous mite pest, Halotydeus destructor (Trombidiformes: Penthaleidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. In Press (doi: 10.1093/jee/tox368)
Hill M. P., Hoffmann A. A., Umina P. A., Cheng X., Miller A. D. (2016) Genetic analysis along an invasion pathway reveals endemic cryptic taxa, but a single species with little population structure in the introduced range. Diversity and Distributions. 22: 57-72
Chang C., Cheng X., Huang X. Y., Dai. S.M. (2014) Amino acid substitutions of acetylcholinesterase associated with carbofuran resistance in Chilo suppressalis. Pest Management Science. 70: 1930-1935
Li C.X., Cheng X., and Dai S.M. (2011) Distribution and insecticide resistance of pink stem oorer, Sesamia inferens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in Taiwan. Formosan Entomologist 31: 39-50
Cheng X., Chang C., and Dai S.M. (2010) Responses of striped stem borer, Chilo suppressalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), from Taiwan to a range of pesticides. Pest Management Science. 66: 762–766
- Host performance of pests depends on plant types encountered in the previous generation: the case of the polyphagous redlegged earth mite pest, Halotydeus destructor. Combined Australian Entomological Society /New Zealand Entomological Society Conference in Melbourne, Australia
- The fitness cost of bifenthrin resistance of the redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor. The 46th AGM & Scientific Conference of the Australian Entomological Society in Cairns, Australia
- Distribution of rice stem borers and insecticide resistance of Chilo suppressalis (Walker) in Taiwan. 27th Congress of Taiwan Entomology Society in Taipei, Taiwan,
2016 GSSA (Government Scholarship to Study Abroad) of Taiwan Ministry of Education
2013 MIFRS and MIRS of University of Melbourne
2012 Outstanding Paper Award of Taiwan Entomological Society (台灣昆蟲學會101年度最佳論文獎)
Yifan Zhang, Masters student
Yifan graduated from the Ocean University of China in 2015 and obtained a Bachelor of Biological Science (Marine Biology). After that, Yifan become a Master student of Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne. In 2017, she changed major and joined in PEARG group, focusing on the project: Costs of Wolbachia infection in mosquitoes under different rearing conditions and between nuclear-mitochondria genomes.
Yifan has two main research interests: The first is the interaction between two primary environmental factors, nutrition and temperature and how these impact on mosquitoes with Wolbachia infections. The second aspect of the project focuses on the nuclear and mitochondria incompatibility impacts the Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti.
Effect of environment on stability of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti mosquitos.
Moshe obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne in 2016. He joined PEARG the same year to commence his Masters, focusing on the population genomics and dispersal of mosquito vectors of dengue and other arboviruses in Southeast Asia.
Moshe’s masters research has two key aspects: The first focuses on understanding the extent and impact of population structure and genetic differentiation on Aedes albopictus mosquitoes across Peninsula Malaysia. The second seeks to use estimates of genetic relatedness to tease out patterns of Aedes aegypti dispersal across an urban landscape in the city of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Both are closely connected to Wolbachia release programs, and intended to assist in optimizing these releases over different regions and local environments.
Xinyue Gu, Visiting PhD candidate
Xinyue is a PhD candidate working with Bactrocera species and Drosophila pandora in temperature adaptation. She completed her Bachelor of Science in 2010 and became a PhD student in Sept. 2014 at China Agricultural University. Now she is visiting PEARG for a year, supported by Chinese government in the University of Melbourne. Her training and research here includes transcriptome analysis, the correlative methods and techniques of mechanistic models under climate change, and the CRISPR/CAS9 system in Drosophila will be the essential part of her doctoral dissertation.
• Wolbachia infections in D. pandora under heat stress
• The function of key genes in temperature adaptation in Bactrocera species
Gu X., Liu L., Guo S., Li Z.*, Comparative transcriptome analyses of cuticle-related genes associated with Bactrocera dorsalis(Hendel) and B. correcta(Bezzi), 1st Symposium of Tephritid Workers of Asia, Australia and Oceania (TAAO), Putrajaya, Malaysia, 2016.08.14-08.19
CAU Outstanding Cadres 2017
2nd Prize Excellent PhD Scholarship of CAU 2017/2016/2015
Excellent graduate of Beijing 2014
Samantha graduated with a first degree, Bachelor of Science Zoology, she remained at Aberystwyth University, Wales to undertake a Masters Degree in Managing the Environment, finishing in 2012. Her undergraduate thesis investigated the effects of urbanization on garden snails (Cornu aspersum Müller) and the results were later presented on BBC’s ‘Autumnwatch’. Research for her Master of Science thesis commenced in conjunction with Sustainable Forest Management Ltd and investigated the effects of plantation on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) on the abundance and diversity of arthropods.
She volunteered at the Natural History Museum in London, UK where she worked alongside Dr Andrew Polaszek, sorting through samples collected from different geographic regions and identifying parasitic Hymenoptera (particularly the superfamily Chalcidoidea). During this period, she published three papers.
Samantha’s PhD began in September 2016 at the University of Melbourne with Professor Ary Hoffmann, Dr Paul Umina and Dr Sarina Macfadyen at CSIRO acting as her supervisors. Her research fits within a larger, national Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) project investigating beneficial species that can be used to control agricultural pests in grain crops.
- Parasitic Hymenoptera associated with aphids in grain crops in Australia. Monitoring D. noxia, M. persicae, other aphids, and their parasitoids in grain crops within rural Victoria.
Ward, S. E., Shih, Y. T., Ko, C-C., and Polaszek, A. (2016). Two new species of Eretmocerus Haldeman (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) parasitizing Aleurolobus rhododendri Takahashi and Dialeuropora decempunctata (Quaintance & Baker) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) from Taiwan. Biodiversity Data Journal.
Ward, S. E., Valente, C., Gonçalves C., and Polaszek, A. (2016). Rediscovery and redescription of Centrodora damoni (Girault) (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) from Australia, an egg parasitoid of Gonipterus spp (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), after nearly a century. Biodiversity Data Journal.
Andrew Polaszek, A., Shih, Y-T., and Ward, S. E. (2015) A new species of Cales Howard, 1907 (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) parasitizing Bemisia pongamiae (Takahashi) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Taiwan, with a key to world species of the Cales spenceri-group. Biodiversity Data Journal.
2017 Australian Entomological Society 48th AGM in Terrigal, NSW
2016 The Australian Entomological Society 47th AGM and Scientific Conference and Entomological Society of New Zealand and NIPI forum and workshop in Melbourne, Victoria (Attendee)
Oliver completed his Bachelor of Science at Monash University in 2016 (Ecology and Conservation Biology/Zoology), and during the final years of his degree, he worked as a technical assistant in an insect physiology lab at Monash’s Clayton campus. He became interested in entomology as applied to agricultural pest management following a research placement with CSIRO in 2015/2016, investigating the life history of silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci).
With PEARG, Oliver’s study focuses on earwigs as pests of grain production in Australia, developing and refining identification techniques using DNA markers. Additionally, he aims to determine some of the conditions that might induce the European earwig (Forficula auricularia) to act as a pest, beginning with the effects of environmental stressors on its feeding behaviours.
Investigating the biology and ecology of earwigs as emerging pests of Australian grain production
Eddie is a PhD candidate supervised by Dr Andrew Weeks, Dr Melissa Carew, Dr Rhys Coleman and Prof. Ary Hoffman. For the last 20 years Eddie has have been working on monitoring of freshwater ecosystems, freshwater invertebrate taxonomy and conservation.
The focus of this project is on using mitochondrial DNA ‘barcode’ to advance taxonomy of freshwater invertebrates and enable detecting different invertebrate species from a sample of water. This will bring much needed rigour to our understanding of the ecological state of freshwater ecosystems and will allow observation of changes of their biodiversity at the species level.
Gooderham, J. and Tsyrlin E (2002) “The Waterbug Book: A Photographic Guide to the Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Temperate Australia.” CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
E. Tsyrlin. A key to Victorian nymphs of Leptoperla (Plecoptera: Gripopterygidae). Identification guide No 38. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology 2001.
E.Tsyrlin, I.C.Campbell (2002) Colonisation of wood by invertebrates in Australian upland streams: differences between pools and riffles. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 28: 1066-1069
T.J. Doeg, E. Tsyrlin, B.Van Praagh (1996) A survey for the Dandenong Freshwater Amphipod Austrogammarus australis (Sayce). Freshwater Ecology Section, Flora and Fauna Branch, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria
C.J. Walsh & Edward Tsyrlin, Michael R. Grace & Jason A. Sonneman (2002) An ecological assessment of the impact of treated effluent from Mount Hotham Alpine resort on the Dargo River and an initial assessment of Swindlers Ck.
2013 Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) annual conference.
2006 Plenary talk on Australia’s use of biological indicators at the Conference on biological indicators of River Health in StPetersburg, Russia
2005 ASL annual conference.
2002 Oral presentation at ASL annual conference.
2001 Oral presentation at ASL annual conference and International Symposium on Limnology
Eureka Book Price and Whitley medal for The Waterbug Book
Hoffmann completed Postgraduate students
2018 Perran Ross | PhD
2018 Ellen Cottingham | MsC
2018 Tom Schmidt | PhD
2017 Rahul Rane | PhD
2017 Rebecca Jordan | PhD
2017 Bryant Gagliardi | PhD
2017 Megan Hirst | PhD
2017 Peter Kriesner | PhD
2017 Peter Mee | PhD
2016 Michele Johnstone | MPhil
2016 Lihsin Wua | PhD
2015 Rhys Coleman | PhD
2015 Valentina Colombo | PhD
2015 Rachel Slatyer | PhD
2015 Katy Jeppe | PhD
2014 Heng Lin Yeap | PhD
2014 James Camac | PhD
2014 Ian Smith | PhD
2013 Kallie Townsend | PhD
2013 Jess M’Baya | PhD
2012 Purabi Ghosh | MPhil
2012 Matt Hill | PhD
2012 Elise Furlan | PhD
2011 Phillipa Griffin | PhD
2011 Sarah de Garis | MPhil
2011 Kate Mitchell | PhD
2010 Lauren Carrington | PhD
2010 Adrian Rakimov | PhD
2010 John Roberts | PhD
2010 Aston Arthur | PhD
2009 Gareth Holmes | PhD
2009 Warsito | PhD
2009 Cheeseng Chong | PhD
2008 Isabel Valenzuela | PhD
2008 Vanessa Kellermann | PhD
2008 Sean Byars | PhD
2008 Belinda Van Heerwaarden | PhD
2007 Paul Mitrovski | PhD
2007 Michael Nash | PhD
2007 David Sharley | PhD
2006 Nicole Bone | MPhil
2006 Vin Pettigrove | PhD
2006 Melissa Carew | PhD
2006 Lea Rako | PhD
2006 Marina Telonis-Scott | PhD
2005 Martina Bernard | PhD
2005 Michelle Schiffer | PhD
2005 Karen Herbert | PhD
2005 Mark Kellett | PhD
2005 Nancy Endersby | PhD
2004 Paul Umina | PhD
2004 Brad Rundle | PhD
2004 Claire Milton | PhD
2003 Angela Corrie | PhD
2003 Tracy Reynolds | PhD
2003 Andrea Magiafoglou | PhD
2003 Chantelle Sinclair | PhD
2003 Ursula Kolliker-Otte | PhD
2002 David Bennett | PhD
2001 Michelle Robinson | PhD
2000 Andrew Weeks | PhD
2000 Linda J. Thomson | PhD
1999 Nicole C. Jenkins | PhD
1999 Richard Woods | PhD
1999 Miriam Hercus | PhD
1998 Tracey Bjorksten | PhD
1998 David Clancy | PhD
1998 DeAnn C. Glenn | PhD
1997 Carla M. Sgrò | PhD
1995 Marcus Watson | MPhil
1989 Mark W. Blows | PhD