Congratulations to School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Honours student Thomas Heddle who won the Student Poster Award at the Australian Entomological Society (AES) (combined with New Zealand Entomological Society) held in Melbourne last month.

Thomas’s project investigated the potential use of known parasitoids in Australia for the biological control of Russian Wheat Aphid, Diuraphis noxia under the supervision of Michael Nash and Maarten Van Helden, in the Plant Protection research group in the School’s Department of Agricultural Science and SARDI.

It involved sampling four paddocks at three different regions in South Australia: Tarlee (lower mid north), Walker Flat (Murray Mallae) and Mundulla (Upper South East). Tom found that Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh) was the dominant parasitoid of Russian Wheat Aphid. Other parasitoids were found to use Russian Wheat Aphid as a host but not in large numbers.

The conference explored themes of insect and human interactions and understanding and managing  the environment and landscapes for our future co-existence and mutual benefits.

“I found the conference very eye opening and an excellent opportunity to expand my thoughts about my projects. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet a wonderful group of people with similar interests,” Thomas said.

Pictured: Thomas Heddle accepting his award from Dr Cor Vink, Curator of Natural History at the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch NZ.

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