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Dr Simone Heimoana


Research Scientist


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Prior to joining CSIRO Cotton Research in 1997, Dr. Heimoana worked in the horticultural export industry, on fruit fly ecology and management and quarantine disinfestation. Her background in Plant Protection and IPM fitted in well with developing IPM strategies in the Cotton Industry as well as research on economic pest thresholds, insect and plant sampling techniques, insect breeding and ecology, host plant resistance, non-target effects of Bt-cotton and insecticides, plant compensation for insect damage, resistance and insect borne diseases. The focus in the past years has been on secondary sucking pests including Green vegetable bug, whitefly, thrips, jassids and aphids. The effects of aphids and aphid honeydew on cotton photosynthesis were the subject of her PhD thesis. Dr. Heimoana extended her research on the factors that affect the discolouration of cotton lint, including insect honeydew, fungal infestations and weathering.
On the side Dr. Heimoana is interested in the Circular Economy and Entomophagy, and she has participated in a CSIRO initiative into the development of insect protein raised on agricultural waste products. Recently, she completed a SIP project that successfully grew oyster mushrooms on fibrous waste and tested the value of spent mushroom compost in insect rearing. Having lived, worked and travelled in the South Pacific, her other interests include food security in the region.

Other Interests

Reading, cooking, gardening, walking, rock climbing

Current Roles

  • 2023 Team Leader
    Pest Management Team

  • 2021- current Project Leader
    CRDC - Developing proactive approaches to IPM in cotton production systems

  • 2018-2021 Project Leader
    CRDC - IPM for Emerging Pests

  • 2018-2021 Project Leader
    CRDC - Reducing the Impact of weather, insects and microbes on cotton colour

  • 2018-2021 Project Leader
    CSD - Investigating early season pest damage in short season cotton growing areas

  • 2018-2021 Co-Researcher
    CRDC - Improved management of Silverleaf whitefly on cotton farms

  • 2020-2021 Contract Research
    Syngenta Seed treatment for Fall Army Worm

  • 2019-2020 Project Leader
    Evaluation of non-target impacts of new cotton traits (Monsanto/Bayer)

Academic Qualifications

  • 2012

    PhD (Agricultural Science)
    The University of Queensland Gatton

  • 1995

    Master of Agricultural Science (Plant Protection/Quarantine Entomology)
    The University of Queensland Gatton

  • 1990

    Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Plant Protection)
    The University of Queensland Gatton

  • 1988

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Rural Technology - Grazing Animal Production)
    Queensland Agricultural College Gatton

Professional Experiences

  • 2018-current

    Research Officer
    CSIRO Agriculture & Food

  • 2015-2017

    Senior Experimental Scientist
    CSIRO Agriculture & Food

  • 1998-2014

    Senior Technical Officer
    CSIRO Food & Agriculture

  • 1996-1997

    Agricultural Officer (Post-Harvest Entomology/Quarantine)
    Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Tonga

  • 1995-1996

    Shed & Quarantine Manager
    Chiquita Brands South Pacific/Golden Goodness Fresh, Ayr

  • 1991-1994

    Technical Officer (Plant Production)
    The University of Queensland Gatton


  • September 2009-October 2009

    Whitefly Study Tour, USA, CRDC Grant to explore the Biosecurity risk of Q Biotype whitefly to the Australian Cotton Industry

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2013-Current

    Member of the Association of Australian Cotton Scientists

  • 2014-2018

    Representative Agriculture & Food Consultative Committee


We have publications by Dr Simone Heimoana