Blog icon

Dr Rieks Van Klinken

Group Leader


Please enter a valid first name

Please enter a valid last name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message to send to the contact

Contact details:

GPO BOX 2583


I am a systems thinker and ecologist working to solve national biosecurity challenges. I lead the Pest Management Systems Group within CSIRO Health and Biosecurity with staff in Brisbane, Townsville, Canberra and Darwin. We work on the ecology and management of invasive species including feral animals (pigs and buffalo), invasive plants and pest insects (especially fruit flies). A personal passion is mesquite (Prosopis), a thorny weed from the Americas that now forms impenetrable thorn-forests in hot, arid regions of the world. We complement our empirical work with predictive spatial modelling to help policy makers and managers work out how, where and when to invest their resources.

I also lead national, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency research aimed at improving market access for Australian agricultural industries. This includes building international linkages such as with relevant researchers in China, New Zealand and the USA.

I continue my interest in development work, including to support biosecurity R&D in Bhutan following my year there as volunteer plant protection advisor in 2016-7.


Current research interests include:
* help grow agricultural markets through the development of underpinning principles and tools to address biosecurity concerns. A primary focus is the development and adoption of phytosanitary systems approaches.
* regional to national scale prediction of plant and feral animal invasions, and their responses to climate change, land use change and alternative management practices. This includes using Bayesian Belief Networks, GIS and field validation.
* spatially and temporally quantifying the impacts of invasive organisms, and predicting which species will become high impact and where
* biological control, including improving target and agent selection, host specificity testing and post-release evaluation


We have publications by Dr Rieks Van Klinken