Our team

Our phytosanitary systems approach research is delivered by a multi-disciplinary, multi-partner team.

The CSIRO team

Dr Rieks Van Klinken, CSIRO Research Scientist

Group Leader, Pest Management System

  • Rieks is an ecologist and systems thinker who tackles national biosecurity challenges. He leads the Market Access Work Package in CSIROs’ newly created Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission of which the phytosanitary systems approach project is the largest. The systems approach project aims to develop and apply improved scientific methods and tools for biosecurity risk management. His role involves coordinating this national, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency project and building linkages with industry, regulators and international partners. As the leader of the Pest Management Systems Group within CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Rieks' broader role is to coordinate research that tackles the ecology and management of invasive species including feral animals (pigs and buffalo), invasive plants and pest invertebrates (such as fruit flies, ants and snails).
Jane Muller, CSIRO Research Consultant

Jane Muller

Engagement consultant, Agricultural exports

  • Jane leads the industry engagement and implementation planning process for the systems approaches research, liaising closely with biosecurity regulators, industry organisations and growers. Jane has worked for many years with horticulture industry groups and growers, facilitating engagement in government policy development and industry programs addressing environmentally sustainable farm practices, rural water use efficiency, climate risk management and adaptation, natural disaster resilience, fair employment practices, and leadership development. From her business development and project portfolio management roles, Jane has experience identifying strategic alignment between industry priorities and funding opportunities.
Matt Hill, CSIRO Research Scientist

Research Scientist

  • Matt is a research scientist who develops data-driven solutions for questions relating to biosecurity and integrated pest management. Matt’s research focuses on invertebrates in agricultural systems and generating predictions on how individual species and ecological communities may be affected by global processes such as climate change, biological invasions and application of pesticides, in order to better manage them. For the systems approach research, Matt develops and tests quantitative methods that support the design and validation of pest monitoring regimes and management measures applied through the production and packing process in horticulture systems.
Maryam Yazdani, CSIRO Research Scientist

Research Scientist

  • Maryam is an entomologist who's work aims to improve our understanding of insect pest biology and ecology in agricultural systems, towards developing practical, cost effective and environmentally sensitive pest management. Maryam's detailed entomology knowledge and data analysis helps validate the efficacy of proposed systems approaches for fruit fly and moth pests of quarantine concern in horticulture crops.
Jens Froese profile

Research Scientist

  • Jens is a Geographer and Landscape Ecologist, educated at the University of Freiburg, Germany and The University of Queensland, St. Lucia. In his role with CSIRO Health & Biosecurity, Jens develops methods, workflows and decision support tools that enable adaptive management of biosecurity risks and invasive species. Jens' research approach is integrative, drawing on over 10 years of interdisciplinary and cross-institutional education and work experiences. Before joining CSIRO, he worked for Biosecurity Queensland in various research- and policy-related capacities, completed a PhD at The University of Queensland on modelling feral pig populations in northern Australia to aid risk-based management of infectious animal diseases, and was a Research Associate with the Quantitative Applied Spatial Ecology Group at the Queensland University of Technology.
Peter Caley, CSIRO Research Scientist

Research Team Leader, Biosecurity Risk

  • Peter is a principal research scientist with CSIRO Data61 who applies quantitative methods to address contemporary problems in the environmental, agricultural and health sciences. Peter is leading the development of quantitative models to validate the efficacy of phytosanitary systems approaches. Peter's expertise is also applied to other critical health and biosecurity issues, including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, risk assessments for ports for bee pests and pest bees, and optimization of surveillance with direct uptake by biosecurity agencies.
Dr Nick Beeton

Senior Research Scientist , Environmental & Ecological Risk

  • Nick is an ecological modeller, with a background in applied mathematics. Nick's research has contributed to improving our understanding of facial tumour disease in Tasmanian Devils; spatial modelling of invasive and threatened species; new approaches in phylogenetics and niche modelling of various plant species; and analysis of ecological and human health risks associated with transgenic methods of controlling malaria vectors. For this project, Nick contributes to the development of quantitative models and analysis of field data.
Dr Justine Murray, CSIRO Research Scientist

Research Scientist, Adaptive Biosecurity Management

  • Justine is a landscape ecologist with skills in expert elicitation and species distribution modelling. Justine has extensive experience in developing decision support tools, especially with Bayesian networks and spatial models. Her research covers pests, introduced and threatened species in both natural and agricultural landscapes, and investigates the relationship between species and their environment at multiple spatial scales. Justine's models help to design systems approaches by identifying the risks associated with a pest or disease and assessing the options to lowering the risk with suitable management solutions.
Kerry Collins, CSIRO Research Analyst

Kerry Collins

Natural Resource Analyst, Biosecurity & Biotechnology

  • Kerry draws on her holistic knowledge of natural resource sciences to provide support to multi-disciplinary teams of social and biophysical researchers addressing diverse natural resource management issues. For the systems approaches work, Kerry manages multiple datasets generated from case study sites, ensuring accurate data is supplied for analysis and quantitative modelling. Kerry also has extensive research experience in soil systems analysis; land use, land use change and land use efficiency; and the development of natural resource management decision support tools.

Australian state government delivery partners

Lloyd Kingham, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Lloyd Kingham

Plant Biosecurity Officer, Plant Product Integrity and Standards, New South Wales Dept Primary Industries

  • Lloyd specialises in developing and harmonising domestic market access proposals for regulated agricultural and horticultural products. Lloyd leads the New South Wales team in the CSIRO/Hort Innovation Systems Approach project, contributing to the development of systems approach protocols and leading the New South Wales Cherry and Citrus case-studies. In his role with NSW DPI, Lloyd helps to manage a number of critical domestic trade issues including Potato Cyst Nematode, Red Imported Fire Ants, and the use of Methyl Bromide. Previously he implemented a 3 year project to address biosecurity requirements for airfreighted fresh cherries into south-east Asia, coordinating efforts across the NSW DPI International Engagement Unit, Horticulture Industry Development, Local Land Services, Vic EcoDev and Cherry Growers Australia including 17 cherry producers at Orange, Young and Batlow. This included the development of a ‘4 day’ protocol for irradiated cherries into Indonesia.
Kim James, Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Kim James

Senior Policy Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)

  • Kim has over 40 years’ experience in international trade development, biosecurity and market access in the fields of agriculture, floriculture and horticulture. He has a strong background in research and development, program and project development, nationally and domestically. He has previously worked for a number of years for a national Research Development Corporation with a focus on biosecurity and improved control of a range of horticultural pests of quarantine concern to protect and increase trade opportunities.
Elliot Howse, Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Elliot Howse

Research Scientist, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)

  • Elliot is a biologist working to help horticultural industries appropriately manage pests of quarantine concern, particularly insects. His interests are sterile insect technique (SIT), integrated pest management (IPM) and alternative pollinators for horticultural crops. He is actively involved in the extensive fruit fly and moth-trapping program for the apple case study as part of the national systems approach project. The comprehensive dataset collected will be used to improve market access options via a systems approach project. Elliot is also involved in developing and maintaining colonies of Medfly and Light brown apple moth for apple case study trials.
Helen Collie, Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Helen Collie

Technical Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD)

  • Helen is an experienced technical officer based in Manjimup. Over a number of years, she has developed a close working relationship with a number of growers and horticultural industries in the region. She has been involved in a number of horticultural projects including fruit fly disinfestation, field pest monitoring, developing pest control strategies for the truffle industry, investigating the effects of six-spotted mite on avocados and is currently supporting the apple case study fruit fly and moth surveillance program in the region.

CSIRO also acknowledges the valuable contributions to our current research projects from personnel from Agriculture Victoria, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and Cherry Growers Australia.