Ecological processes can be managed to improve productivity, sustainability and the quality of our farm environments. We just need to understand how…..

Agroecology is the study of applied ecological processes in agricultural production systems. We use this knowledge to develop and integrate farm management options that use ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the services that humans derive from nature and functioning ecosystems. Food production itself is a type of ecosystem service we all can appreciate. Agricultural producers also receive benefits from invertebrates through processes such as pest control, pollination and waste decomposition. The primary objective of an agroecological approach is to reduce use and reliance on synthetic farm inputs, like pesticides, while intensifying production. Our research contributes to diversifying farming systems, reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture, and ensuring that pest management is sustainable for farmers and the community.

As a team we have significant expertise working with invertebrate pests on-farm and at the landscape-scale, but we also work on weeds, insects as recyclers of waste, pollinators, natural enemies like parasitic wasps and predators and biocontrol agents and pathogens. We have projects based in grain and cotton systems in Australia and overseas and sit within CSIRO Agriculture & Food. If you would like to know more have a scroll through our focal areas and see some example projects.

The FAO has described 10 interlinked elements of Agroecology that we apply in our research:

  • Diversity
  • Synergies
  • Efficiency
  • Resilience
  • Recycling
  • Co-creation and sharing of knowledge
  • Human and social values
  • Culture and food traditions
  • Responsible governance
  • Circular and solidarity economy

Actively managing ecosystem services in production landscapes that have a diversity of uses can be challenging. Our team uses a diversity of scientific approaches to study species, populations, and processes that are important to human societies.