Respected Qld entomologist wins prestigious GRDC award
Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 05 Mar 2014
One of Queensland’s most highly respected entomologists Hugh Brier was recognised for his exceptional contribution to science communication last night winning the prestigious 2014 Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Seed of Light Award.
Mr Brier was presented with the award during a gala dinner as part of the GRDC’s Northern Region Grains Research Update at Goondiwindi.
Initiated in 1999, the GRDC’s Seed of Light Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to communicating the importance and relevance of research outcomes to the wider grains industry.
GRDC Northern Region panel chair James Clark said Mr Brier’s commitment to furthering growers’ knowledge and understanding of key crop pests was widely recognised and an invaluable step toward improving business profitability.
“The Australian grains industry is incredibly fortunate to have skilled professionals like Hugh Brier who dedicate significant time and effort to furthering the industry’s knowledge and understanding of insect pests and how to manage their impact through integrated pest management programs.
“The communication of research work being undertaken and its relevance for growers’ management at a paddock level is critical in the on-going quest to improve profit margins within the farming system.”
Mr Brier’s career began in 1974 as an experimentalist with the Queensland Government based in Toowoomba before being transferred his current base of Kingaroy in 1975.
In the late 1970s and into the 1980s he undertook the original survey work on peanut white grubs in the South Burnett including the time-consuming process of associating larvae and adults by rearing stuff through.
Over that same period he made connections with entomologists in the United States working on plant resistance in soybeans to lepidoptera and began testing the US material against local lepidoptera.
Mr Brier’s professional interest expanded to podsucking bugs during the 1980s and his work with species such as Helicoverpa culminated in the award of a Masters degree from The University of Queensland and subsequent promotion to the position of Entomologist.
More recently he has pursued the development of economic thresholds for helicoverpa, mirids and podsucking bugs in mungbeans and soybeans.
His passion for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) underpinned the provision of IPM courses for coastal soybean growers and he has played a key role in the development of Queensland’s coastal soybean industry.
He has produced numerous publications to assist growers and agronomists in correctly identifying and managing the multitude of possible insect pests in pulses including a summer pulses chapter in the 2007 Pests of Field Crops and Pasture book (PT Bailey ed), the IPM workshop manuals and agronomist accreditation manuals and more recently the Good Bug Bad Bug book.
Caption: GRDC Northern Region panel chair James Clark presents the 2014 GRDC Seed of Light award to respected Queensland entomologist Hugh Brier.
James Clark, GRDC Northern Panel chair