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Dr Jessica Vereijssen

Science Team Leader

Where are the pest insects in the environment, especially after the crop is gone? How do insects interact with each other and crops? How can we sustainably manage them? How can we prevent invasive insects from coming into the country? These are questions I like addressing in my research. I was trained as an entomologist and plant pathologist at Wageningen University in The Netherlands, from which I received my PhD in Plant Pathology. I studied the epidemiology of a foliar pathogen in sugar beet and developed and implemented a Decision Support System to help growers control the disease more sustainably and profitably. In NZ, after a portfolio manager position, I became an AGMARDT Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr Stephen Goldson at the Bio-Protection Research Centre (Lincoln University), where I studied the ecophysiological responses of weevil pasture pests and their parasitoids for improved management. I joined Plant & Food Research in 2012 and have since then worked on (invasive) insect vectors and the plant pathogenic organisms they may vector. I enjoy engaging with industry and growers and communication my research to science and non-science audiences. I am also the Theme Leader for 'Surveillance & Response' in the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) research collaboration.