Scientific Task force
Program Governance and Scientific Rigour
The BFF scientific task force operates as an expert advisory panel. The task force consists of scientists and experts representing bee biology, entomology, agriculture, ecology, food/seed industry and other pollinator stakeholder groups.
Mary Cannard is a Pest and Disease Agronomist at Olam Edible Nuts, based in Sunraysia. Her role includes pest and disease management over 12,000 hectares of Almonds and she works closely with beekeepers providing hives for pollination on Olam’s orchards. Mary has a degree in Horticultural Science with a first class Honours. She has over 20 years’ experience in many horticultural crops, including 8 years providing technical advice to Murray Valley citrus growers and 8 years in almond production. Mary’s interests include biological control and bee-friendly almond production and Mary is a passionate gardener.
Kade Denton is the Senior Project Officer at the National Farmers’ Federation. At the NFF Kade leads project management, leadership activities and cross-cutting policy issues, including pollination and industry growth to $100 billion by 2030. Kade has a background in agriculture and entomology, studying the role of insects and pollinators in agricultural systems. In his spare time, Kade is a backyard beekeeper.
Dr. Kevin Foster
Dr. Kevin Foster is a Senior Research Officer at UWA, School of Agriculture and Environment. He brings over 30 years’ experience in Pasture Science including 11 years breeding legumes with high oestrogenic content for their therapeutic and medicinal value for the pharmaceutical industry. Kevin is the co-breeder of two red clovers that have been granted full Plant Breeder Rights protection. His publications span scientific and extension materials.
Kevin’s current research interests include phytoestrogens and other pasture compounds that affect animal health and reproduction and investigating the potential of high-value honey production from selected legume cultivars.
Based at Tocal Agricultural College, a NSW Dept. of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) research station, Liz works as DPI’s Technical Specialist - Bees. Liz co-manages the “Plan Bee” Honey Bee Genetic Improvement Program with AgriFutures and University of Sydney’s Dr. Nadine Chapman, provides technical advice and drives research, development, and extension initiatives for the beekeeping industry in NSW. She is the main point of contact between nsw DPI and honey bee and pollination dependent industries and government agencies.
Dr. Paul Horne
Paul has over 30 years experience working on research, development and implementation of IPM and he is recognised both in Australia and internationally as a leader in this field. Working with Jessica Page, both are recognised as experts in facilitating practice change from insecticide-based pest management to successful IPM. They have co-authored two books and many scientific papers on IPM and control pests in agriculture. Paul has been an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University, where he lectured in entomology and IPM for many years, and where he and Jessica regularly supervise undergraduate and post-graduate students.
Trevor Monson comes from Mildura, Victoria, and has over fifty years of experience as a beekeeper, grower and pollination specialist. He pollinates nuts, avocados, seeds, fruit and vegetables, and through his contracting business, Monson Honey and Pollination, manages hives from QLD, NSW, VIC and SA for the pollination of almonds grown in NW Victoria and NSW (120,000 hives in 2020). Trevor works in partnership with growers to accomplish optimal flight coverage and pollination outcomes, while addressing special needs associated with crops grown in glasshouses, under nets and in tunnels. The number of hives, their positioning, farm access, safety needs, chemical use, staff readiness workshops, farm inductions, the preparation of strong healthy hives, their delivery, placement, assessment, removal and detailed auditing results are crucial to his success.
Dr Romina Rader
Associate Professor Community Ecology (Plant-Animal Interactions), Ecology - Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law; School of Environmental and Rural Science University of New England.
Romina’s current projects relate to wild and managed insect pollinators, their efficiency at pollinating horticultural crops and finding ways to improve fruit yield and quality by understanding their life history needs.
Names of other task force members will be announced soon.