Management of sucking bugs in Rubus

Integrated pest management of sucking bugs in Australian Rubus

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

The Australian Rubus berry industry is in the midst of a rapid expansion. These gains have been derived in part by the increased utilisation of covered cropping systems. However, these systems coupled with reductions in agrochemical use have created ideal environments for pestiferous insects including sucking bugs such as mirids and pentatomids. Further, due to consumer driven expectations, a return to chemically intensive berry production methodologies is no longer seen by industry as an acceptable method of sucking bug control. This project seeks to advance Australian integrated pest management (IPM) of sucking bugs in blackberries and raspberries by assessing the efficacy of potential IPM controls for these pests. In order to provide improved pest monitoring strategies, this project will also investigate the use of, and where relevant isolate and field test, the pheromone cues used by sucking bugs for pest control or crop monitoring activities in commercial Rubus production systems.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Stephen Quarrell


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to Domestic/ International/ Onshore applicants
  • Applications are open to applications from agricultural entomology discipline background only
  • English language score must be above minimum entry requirements for this project

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Demonstrated understanding of integrated pest management essential

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Understanding of insect chemical ecology or organic chemistry strongly desirable

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Stephen Quarrell to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 27 March 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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