Researcher biography

I am an entomologist with a research interest focused on studying host-pathogen interactions and discovering insect-specific viruses. I have investigated gene expression and the role of small non-coding RNAs in various host-pathogen models, particularly in crucial agricultural pests and medically significant vectors like the Aedes aegypti, responsible for transmitting dengue and Zika viruses. My previous project, aimed at exploring the function of Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus in the biological control of the coconut rhinoceros beetle in the Pacific Islands, has substantially enhanced our comprehension of this invasive pest within the framework of an offshore biosecurity strategy. By establishing industry partnerships and securing funding to improve the Australian sugar industry, one of Australia's largest agricultural sectors, I have been able to focus on entomopathogenic viruses that affect root-feeding pests in sugarcane.