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Dr Nancy Schellhorn

Principal Research Scientist, Research Team Leader


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Dr. Schellhorn’s research focuses on landscape scale pest management. Increasing food productivity while reducing our impact on the natural resource base is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Dr. Schellhorn has made several important contributions to this area. She and her collaborators have developed and advanced the concept Pest Suppressive Landscapes (PSL), which provides a way of measuring, designing and managing agricultural landscape mosaics for productivity and biodiversity. Underpinning the concept of PSL are complexities dealing with insect movement and dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. By combining large-scale experimentation with ecological modelling, she and her team are able to inform landscape design and recommend management options for ‘softening’ the agricultural landscape matrix for the capture of ecosystem services of pest control. With her colleagues in CSIRO Data61, Dr. Schellhorn has lead the development of an insect monitoring invention to better understand insect movement, one of the most poorly understood, yet fundamentally important biological processes. The novel device enables capture of real-time, geo-referenced insect images of broad species type. Deployment of the devise advances our understanding of insect habitat use, and has wide reaching application for bio-security, and reducing insecticide application and load in the environment.

Other Interests

Dr Schellhorn is currently Chief Investigator for the Rural R&D for Profit project on 'Adaptive Area-wide Management of Qfly', and has lead the National multi-agency GRDC projects: ‘Pest Suppressive Landscapes’ and the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI), and a CRDC project co-lead by Dr. Cate Paull, on ‘Area-wide pest suppression in transgenic landscapes: Implications for resistance management’. She and her team have recently completed two Horticulture Australia – AusVeg funded projects, ‘Revegetation by Design QLD: Natural resource management and IPM’ and ‘Getting the most out of Eretmocerus hayati: an effective natural enemy of silverleaf whitefly’. The spatial ecology team bring together diverse skills and interests in insect ecology and taxonomy, vector biology, ecological modelling, and GIS with special emphasis on ecological food webs, dispersal and spread in heterogeneous landscapes, and multi-trophic interactions (eg. predator-prey & vector-host relationships).

Current Roles

  • Chief Investigator
    Rural R&D for Profit - Adaptive Area-wide Management of Qfly

Academic Qualifications

  • 1998

    University of Minnesota, USA

  • 1992

    University of Missouri, USA

  • 1991

    Organization for Tropical Studies
    University of Costa Rica

  • 1987

    BS, Agriculture
    University of Missouri-Columbia, USA

Achievements and Awards

  • 2014

    Exceptional Leadership Award

  • 2014

    Outstanding Team Award
    CSIRO - Ecosystem Sciences

  • 2012

    Science & Innovation
    Cotton, Communities & Catchment CRC

  • 2012-2015

    Julius Career Award

  • 2005

    Outstanding Achievement Award

  • 2014

    Chairman's Medal


We have publications by Dr Nancy Schellhorn