Biosecurity & Crop Protection

AUSVEG’s project officers undertake a number of extension projects in the space of biosecurity and crop protection. These projects aim to improve the management of pests and increase the availability of best practice resources for Australian Vegetable growers. Core foci include biosecurity, sustainable growing and pest management solutions.


Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the vegetable industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to actively determine pests of high priority, analyse the risks they pose and implement procedures to reduce the chance of pests becoming established. AUSVEG is involved in a number of extension projects with a core biosecurity focus including:

Sustainable growing

Sustainable vegetable growing is integral to the success and future growth potential of the vegetable industry. AUSVEG strives to provide resources and advice on sustainable growing practices. Current projects include:

  • EnviroVeg Program – EnviroVeg is the Australian vegetable industry’s environmental program, which provides Australian vegetable growers with guidelines and information on how to manage their business in an environmentally responsible manner. A full description of EnviroVeg can be found here.

Pest management solutions

Pest management involves agrichemical, cultural, and biological control for the control of pests. More information can be found at crop information. Current projects include:


Project Officers

Dr Jessica Lye | Manager – Science & Extension

Jessica joined AUSVEG in August 2014. She manages the National Vegetable and Potato Biosecurity Program, as well as the extension team at AUSVEG.

Jessica has 10 years of experience in scientific research, science communication, adult education, public speaking and engagement. A Monash University alumni, Jessica completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Genetics and Zoology, before undertaking Honours based research in Plant Biotechnology (2006), and completing her PhD in Molecular Genetics (2013).

In 2016 Jessica was awarded the RIRDC Rural Woman’s Award for Victoria. The award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities. Through the award Jessica has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course and continued to develop her knowledge of biosecurity policy and farm-biosecurity best practice for the benefit of Australian growers. Jessica is a member of Australian Women in Agriculture – Victoria Division.

Outside of biosecurity, terrariums, horses and hiking are also key interests.


Callum Fletcher | Biosecurity Coordinator

Callum joined AUSVEG in 2016 and holds the position of Biosecurity Coordinator. Previously, he worked in New Zealand as a researcher and agricultural industry consultant. Callum is a Masters graduate from the University of Canterbury and his skills include insect taxonomy and the plant pathology of a range of crop pests in cereals, potatoes and vegetables. He has specialist knowledge of many areas of the Zebra Chip complex, including morphological diagnostics of the Tomato potato psyllid.

Callum’s interests include cycling, camping and exploring his new home in Australia.


Andrew Shaw | Environment Coordinator

Andy joined AUSVEG in March 2015 and coordinates the EnviroVeg program. Andy holds a bachelor of science with first class honours in chemistry from La Trobe University and is a 2017 Growing Leader. Having grown up in north-west Tasmania (where his family has a background in vegetable farming), Andy has spent time working from the offices of AUSVEG SA, with growers across the country and led the 2017 USA vegetable industry development tour. He demonstrates skills in facilitation, collaboration and understanding grower food safety requirements.

Andy enjoys the great outdoors, travelling, reading and inflicting puns upon his friends.


Madeleine Quirk | Biosecurity Officer

Maddy joined AUSVEG in September 2016. She currently holds the position of Biosecurity Officer. Maddy studied a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts at Monash University. She majored in Ecology and Conservation Biology and Geography, Climate and Physical Environments. Her key skills include science communication, research and writing, and planning.

Outside of her work and study commitments, Madeleine enjoys travelling and skiing.


Patrick Arratia | Agrichemical Pest Management Needs and Priorities

Patrick joined AUSVEG in July 2017 and coordinates the Agrichemical Pest Management Needs and Priorities project. Previously, he worked in South Australia as a breeding agronomist managing the canola contra season program for one of the big chemical companies. Patrick brings with him experience in agronomy, qualifications in Agricultural Engineering and passion for the agricultural industry.

Patrick's interests includes playing soccer (football) and guitar, travelling and hiking.


Alan Nankivell | Tomato potato psyllid Program Coordinator

Alan Nankivell joined AUSVEG in October 2017. He holds the position of Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) Program Coordinator. Alan's role involves acting as a central point and knowledge broker. He facilitates collaborations between researchers, industry groups, government, growers and service providers to aid in the development of guidelines for TPP management on-farm. Alan also works with the Government of Western Australia to support Transition to Management (T2M) activities.

Alan holds qualifications in Arts, Social Administration and Adult Education with majors in Organisational Management, Geography and Sociology. Alan has over 10 years' experience in the biosecurity industry. He was CEO of Vine Health Australia from 2008 until 2016 and worked as Research Coordinator for PBCRC from 2016 until October 2017. His key skills include strategic planning, project coordination, and management.

Alan's interests include farming and fixing anything!


Lisa Brassington | Project Officer - Plant Pest Surveillance Project

Lisa Brassington began working at AUSVEG in December 2017. She works as a project officer for the Rural Research and Development for Profit project 'Improving Plant Pest Management through Cross Industry Deployment of Smart Sensors, Diagnostics and Forecasting', also known as the Plant Pest Surveillance Project. Lisa is undertaking desktop research for seven of Australia's Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) of the major field crop commodities, growing regions and seasons and related key pests, as information for a prioritisation system to be used in Australia wide pest surveillance.

Lisa has qualifications in Applied Science (Urban Planning and Regional Policy). Recently, in 2017, she graduated from a Masterclass in Horticultural Business. Lisa has experience within the industry including working at Peninsula Fresh Organics and recently working for the Mornington Peninsula Shire as green wedge strategic planner. Lisa is the 2017 recipient of the Women in Horticulture excellence award, presented during Hort Connections 2017 in Adelaide. Her key skills include stakeholder and community engagement, land and water policy, and peri-urban agribusiness.

Lisa enjoys living near the beach, visiting farm gates, wineries and farmers markets, and having a chat about all things farming on her social media accounts.