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Dr Hazel Parry

Senior Research Scientist


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Contact details:

GPO BOX 2583


Dr Hazel Parry seeks to gain knowledge on landscape features and environmental drivers that increase pest and disease vector outbreak risk, in relation to population dynamics and dispersal behaviours.

This knowledge supports more cost-effective and efficient use of a range of insect pest management technologies: from pesticide to biocontrol.

This generally involves taking a holistic perspective, considering the farm landscape as a whole and thinking beyond the crop. By combining a field-based, ecological approach with spatially-explicit simulation models, Dr Parry’s research aims to gain knowledge that will help address the global challenges of food security and health crises at the landscape scale, such as increasing agricultural productivity whilst minimising our impact on the natural resource base. Recently she has incorporated both an economic and social dimension to her work, which she sees as important to achieve impact. Her vision for the future is that new sensor technology for monitoring pests and benficials can combine with powerful ecological models for forecasting population dynamics within agricultural landscapes to support real-time, informed, integrated pest management decisions: Digital IPM.

Dr Parry's research has the following four themes.

Research Themes

1) Movement ecology
Understanding what drives the movement behaviour of a species is a powerful way to begin to estimate where a species may distribute itself in space and time. Individual organisms can exhibit particular behaviour during all three stages of movement (initiation, transportation and deposition) that can be influenced by multiple environmental and biological factors. Understanding these processes allows us to model what the likely implications might be for the population distribution in space and time.

Key previous research:
* Movement and egg-laying behaviour of Lepidoptera (Helicoverpa spp. and Monarchs) (CRDC funded, collaboration with Professor Myron Zalucki, University of Queensland and Professor Tony Ives, University of Wisconsin)
* Flying-fox (fruit bat) movement and foraging behaviour with implications for Hendra virus risk (RIRDC funded)
* Insect pest and natural enemy movement across a native vegetation-crop ecotone (GRDC funded, collaboration with DAF Qld)
Key current research:
* Supervising PhD student (joint with Prof. Tony Clarke, QUT): Larval host use of Bactrocera tryoni and its effect on emergent populations within the local environment
* Movement ecology of pest Helicoverpa; implications for ongoing spread (contribution to forthcoming Annual Review of Entomology article with Drs. Chris Jones, Jason Chapman and Prof. Don Reynolds (Rothamsted, UK) and Dr Tek Tay (CSIRO).

2) Area-wide management of mobile pests in dynamic agricultural landscapes
Insect pest populations are not contained within a crop field, yet this is the primary scale at which management views the problem. A consideration of population dynamics of both pests and beneficials across landscapes in space and time allows us to better consider the extent and timing of management options necessary to more effectively control pest populations. An important factor is the complex structure and dynamics of the landscape itself, something that can be very important in understanding the persistence of pests in time and space, yet is often ignored or highly simplified in landscape ecological studies.

Key previous research:
* Pest and beneficial insect populations of grains and their association with plant and habitat types as well as landscape complexity (GRDC funded, collaboration with DAF Qld)
* Movement of Helicoverpa spp. and implications for Bt resistance management (CRDC funded, collaboration with Professor Myron Zalucki, University of Queensland and Professor Tony Ives, University of Wisconsin)
Key current research:
* Area-wide management of Queensland Fruit-fly (Bactrocera tryoni) for Sterile Insect Technique (project leader, Rural R&D for Profit funded, collaboration with Hort Innovation, QUT, AgVic, NSW DPI, SARDI/PIRSA and a number of industry bodies)

3) Integrated pest management in socio-ecological systems
In order to overcome barriers to the uptake of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and facilitate adoption, a focus on ecological processes is not sufficient: we need to understand the role of the socio-economic dimension. We still have a long way to go to better align our understanding of socio-economic and ecological systems for more effective IPM; for example cost-benefit evaluation of conservation biological control is still in its infancy and economic thresholds for pesticide spray are not yet dynamic. Undertaking multi- and inter-disciplinary research is also not without challenges. However, it is at this interface that research may have the greatest impact in enabling the uptake of IPM practices.

Key previous research:
* Economic decision support for integrated pest management (focus on grains and the costs-benefits of pesticide vs conservation biological control in native vegetation remnants) (GRDC funded)
Key current research:
* Area-wide management of Queensland Fruit-fly (Bactrocera tryoni) for Sterile Insect Technique (project leader, Rural R&D for Profit funded, collaboration with Hort Innovation, QUT, AgVic, NSW DPI, SARDI/PIRSA and a number of industry bodies) – this project has both a large socio-economic as well as ecological dimension.
* Cassava whitefly in Africa (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded): best management practice for the introduction of whitefly-resistant Cassava varieties.
* Collaboration with Dr Aude Vialatte, Dynafor-INRA (Toulouse), particularly in relation to the MAELIA platform for integrating environmental, social and economic impacts for ecosystem services research (INRA-CSIRO grant).

4) Methods and best practice in spatial simulation modelling
Spatial simulation modelling, encompassing a range of techniques from individual-based to matrix approaches, is constantly evolving as a field. I integrate models with behavioural studies from the lab and the field, validating against large scale field datasets which have been obtained over the years by the Pest Suppressive Landscapes team. As my knowledge of modelling techniques increases or I need to develop solutions when faced with new problems, I publish methodological studies.

Key studies:
* Practical guidelines for modelling post-entry spread in invasion ecology.
* Large scale agent-based modelling (including parallel processing and super-individual methods)
* The challenges of developing spatially explicit network models for the management of disease vectors in ecological systems.
* Simulation modelling of long-distance windborne dispersal for invasion ecology.
* Bayesian sensitivity analysis of agent-based models.

Other Interests

Argentine Tango dancer.  Artist (felt making).  Triathlete and marathon runner.   Clarinetist (formerly in a Gypsy band). Fluent in French, basic German.

Current Roles

  • Spatial Modeller/Ecologist
    1180.4 CRDC: Pest Suppression in transgenic Cotton

  • Spatial Modeller/Ecologist
    RIRDC Flying Fox Hendra Monitoring

  • Spatial Modeller/Ecologist
    CLSD-1180.4 GRDC IPM in Landscapes

Academic Qualifications

  • 2006

    PhD Geography (Ecological Modelling)
    University of Leeds, UK

  • 2002

    BA (Hons) Geography
    University of Cambridge

Professional Experiences

  • 2006-2009

    Research Scientist
    Food and Environment Research Agency, UK (Fera)

  • 2009-2011

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    CSIRO Entomology, Canberra

Other highlights

  • -2016

    Co-convened a symposium and chaired a workshop at ICE 2016 (Orlando)

  • 2015-2018

    Invited Fellowship at INRA/University of Toulouse, France late 2015 and awarded an INRA/CSIRO scholarship for an exchange with INRA 2017/18.

  • 2017-2018

    Member of the Technical Advisory Committee for SIT Plus

  • 2017-current

    Partner in the ITTC for Qfly research