Biosecurity

A prawn

Kirsten Rose - Executive Director of Future Industries - reflects on CSIRO's 90 years of work in northern Australia, and outlines our vision for the future.

Digital decision-support tools are now deployed in many aspects of agronomy, but how about for the management of weeds, pests and diseases?

Covid-19 has shown us the fragility of our health, and the power of science to rapidly respond. Similar breakthroughs are waiting in the wings if a comparable disaster befell agriculture.

Pig farm

Disease outbreaks, like extreme events can strike anywhere, at any time. Hot on the heels of severe bushfires in Australia over the summer, heat waves in India and Japan, and locust plagues in Eastern Africa, we have COVID-19. Another disease outbreak is looming large in the agriculture sector: African swine fever.

A cross-Tasman collaboration involving our Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform and Managing Invasive Species and Diseases program has produced the first full genome sequence of the ship rat.

Black tiger prawns in hand

CSIRO’s efforts to help the Australian farmed prawn industry recover from this devastating outbreak also required a rapid response to protect a vital research facility that is assisting the industry pick itself back up.

tiger among grasses

An estimated 14 million people die from infectious diseases each year. A key link in the chain of infection is deforestation and increased contact between wild animals and humans. If we're to control the spread of disease, we need to be better at predicting outbreaks.

caterpillar in cotton

Global trade means global pests – not just in the way they spread but in the way they breed. Hybridisation of two moth species has now been confirmed, creating a fast-generating, pesticide-resistant mega pest which threatens broad-acre crops across the Americas. What’s next?

Bird in flight

With rats and mice driving sea birds and other animals on remote islands to extinction, scientists and environmental managers are now turning their attention to new genetic technologies that could offer more targeted solutions than traditional baiting programs. Risk analysis and responsible research is front and centre in the discussion.