Jennifer Marohasy
Director, Environment Unit, IPA

Biographical Details

Dr Jennifer Marohasy joined the IPA on 1 July 2003 as Director of the newly formed Environment Unit. The Unit has been established to provide market-based, science-driven solutions to environmental problems.

Jennifer started life on a cattle station in the Northern Territory before attending boarding school in Brisbane. After completing a science degree at the University of Queensland she worked for seven years in remote parts of Africa in search of biological control agents for some of Queensland worst rangeland weed species. She was awarded the Australian Cattlemen's Union Research Medal in 2001 in recognition of her contribution towards the biological control of rubbervine (Cryptostegia grandiflora).

During the 1990s, Jennifer published 12 papers in international and Australian scientific journals and 2 book chapters. Her PhD research challenged the theoretical basis for the protocols then used to test host specificity in potential biological control agents and is recognised as contributing to a paradigm shift in biological control research. In 1998, she was invited by the United States Department of Agriculture to give the keynote address at the annual general meeting of biological control scientists in Hawaii.

In 1997, Jennifer started with the Queensland Canegrowers Organisation as Environment Manager overseeing the development of an industry-wide best management programme, endorsement of the first commodity-specific code of practice under the Environment Protection Act 1994 (Queensland), development of submissions to government enquiries and also assisted regionally-based officers develop plans and strategies particularly in the areas of environmental management and pest management.

Over the last 2 years, Jennifer has developed an interest in anomalies between fact and perception regarding the health of the Great Barrier Reef. She co-authored a critique of WWF's reef campaign (WWF Says 'Jump!' Governments Ask 'How High'? [65k PDF file]) and has more recently challenged perceptions regarding water quality in the River Murray (Received Evidence for Deteriorating Water Quality in the Murray River).

As Director of the Institute's recently formed Environment Unit, Jennifer hopes to work with a network of committed individuals to inject some real science and economics into public policy decision-making on environmental issues.

Speaking Topics

Recent Speeches, 2003

Received Evidence for Deteriorating Water Quality in the Murray River. An Address to the second IPA Water Forum, ACIL House, Canberra, 25 July 2003.

The Exploitation of Science for the Erosion of Property Rights. Address to Property Rights Australia, AGM, Roma, July 2003.

Property Rights and the Great Barrier Reef. Address to the Mackay Rural Production Society AGM, Mackay, June 2003.

Impacts on Queensland Primary Producers. Proceedings Handbook. Property Rights in Paradise Forum 8-9 April, 2003. Sofitel Reef Casino Cairns.

Jennifer has been an invited Guest Speaker at many events including:


Scientific publications include:

Withers, T., McFadyen, R. & J. Marohasy (2000) Importation Protocols and risk assessment of weed biological control agents in Australia. In P.A. Follett & J.J. Duan (eds.) Nontarget effects of biological control, Kluwer Academic Publishers p. 195-214.

Marohasy, J. (1998) The design and interpretation of host specificity tests for weed biological control with particular reference to insect behaviour. Biocontrol News and Information 19: 13-20.

Marohasy, J. (1997) Prioritising Biological Control Agents. In M. Julien & G. White (eds.) Biological Control of Weeds: theory and practical application, ACIAR Monograph No.49 p. 57-62.

Marohasy, J. (1997) Acceptability and suitability of seven plant species for the mealybug Phenacoccus parvus Morrison (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 84: 239-246.

Nahrung, H. & J. Marohasy (1997) Maternal frass is necessary for embryonic development in Weiseana barkeri Jacoby (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Australian Journal of Entomology. 36: 95-96.

Gagné, R. J. & J. Marohasy (1997) A new species of Schizomyia Kieffer (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) on rubber vine and other Asclepiadaceae in Madagascar. Australian Journal of Entomology 36: 15-18.

Marohasy, J.J. (1996) Host shifts in biocontrol - real problems, semantic difficulties or poor science. International Journal of Pest Management 42:(2) 71- 75.

Marohasy, J.J. (1995) Prospects for the biological control of prickly acacia, Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd. ex Del. (Mimosaceae) in Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 10: 24- 31.

Marohasy, J.J. (1994) Biology and host specificity of Weiseana barkeri (Col.:Chrysomelidae): a biological control agent for Acacia nilotica (Mimosaceae), Entomophaga 39:1- 5.

Marohasy, J.J. (1994) The pest status of Phenacoccus parvus Morrison (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). International Journal of Pest Management 40:337- 340.

Gagné, R.J. & J. Marohasy (1993) The gall midges (Dipera: Cecidomyiidae) of Acacia spp. (Mimosaceae) in Kenya. Insecta Mundi 7:77- 124.

Marohasy, J.J. & P.I. Forster (1991) A taxonomic revision of Cryptostegia R.Br. (Ascelpiadaceae: Periplocoideae). Australian Systematic Botany 4:571- 577.

McFadyen, R.E. & J.J. Marohasy (1990) A leaf feeding moth, Euclasta whalleyi (Lep: Pyralidae) for the biological control of Cryptostegia grandiflora (Ascelpiadaceae) in Queensland, Australia. Entomophaga 35:431- 435.

McFadyen, R.E. & J.J. Marohasy (1990) Biology and host plant range of the soft scale Steatococcus new species (Hem: Margarodidae) for the biological control of the weed Cryptostegia grandiflora (Asclepiadaceae). Entomophaga 35: 437- 439.

Marohasy, J.J. (1989) A survey of Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis Poir) and its natural enemies in Madagascar with a view to biological control in Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly 4 :139- 140.

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