Meet the team – take a peek into Ruth’s role

Author: | Date: 17 Mar 2020

Ruth Peek
Ruth Peek, GRDC Crop Protection Manager – South

Ruth Peek is the GRDC’s Crop Protection Manager – South, based in the southern office in Adelaide.

In this role, Ruth is responsible for maintaining oversight of the status of crop diseases, weeds and pests in the southern region (South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania) and for activating and managing GRDC investments in research, development and extension (RD&E) to address new and ongoing constraints and opportunities.

Having joined the GRDC in 2019, Ruth says she has relished the challenges associated with her crop protection role and being involved in RD&E efforts to support the region’s grain growers.

“There is certainly never a dull moment in the grains industry in terms of ever-evolving issues impacting on crop production and grower profit,” Ruth says.

“It is critical that the GRDC remains on top of any emerging issues so that growers can respond appropriately. I enjoy playing a part in ensuring we have in place appropriate, targeted research by world-class scientists who are working hard to provide growers with answers and solutions.”

Ruth grew up in the township of Mintaro in SA’s Clare Valley and graduated from the University of South Australia in 2004 with aBachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity, Environment and Park Management) degree.

Following University, she moved to the Northern Territory and worked as a park ranger in National Parks for NT Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of Natural Resources Environment and the Arts).

This role included weed management, pest management (camel, wild dogs and cats), fire management activities, park regulation enforcement, and conducting talks and guided walks and wildlife conservation of Rufous Hare -wallaby and sea turtles.

Ruth was also contracted for 12 months to the NT Department of Health and Families’ Centre of Disease Control, working in the medical entomology team conducting surveillance, monitoring, identification and eradication of pest and exotic populations of mosquitoes.

She then moved to the Australian Capital Territory for the 2009-10 fire season, working at the Department of Territory and Municipal Services, Parks, Conservation and Lands as the crew leader for the Seasonal Fire Management Unit conducting fuel load surveillance and assessment, maintaining fire breaks and buffer zones, hazard reduction burns and responding to wildfires.

Ruth then went on to work at Geoscience Australia in the paleo-sedimentary laboratory processing core samples and in data information management for the petroleum and marine division.

After starting a family, Ruth and her husband moved back to SA where in 2016 she took up a position as a plant biosecurity officer and market access auditor with Biosecurity SA (Primary Industries and Regions SA).

This role involved horticultural industry audits, inspection, monitoring and eradication of horticulture and viticulture pests and disease to maintain SA’s clean and green produce status.

Contact details: 0455 534040 or