Dr. Aimee McKinnon

Research Officer

Agriculture Australia

Aimee is a research scientist for Agriculture Victoria in the Microbial Sciences, Pests, and Diseases (MSPD) group. With expertise in microbial-based biopesticides (biorationals) for use in integrated pest and disease management (IPDM), Aimee’s research focuses on understanding how microbial agents work to control insect pests and pathogens when applied to growing systems, with the broader aim to determine synergistic management practices, and to optimise the delivery of biological control agents. Since 2022, Aimee has been reviewing and evaluating prospective biopesticide agents and formulations for their efficacy to control key pests and diseases of commercial mushrooms in Australia, with a focus on mushroom flies and the pathogens that they may vector.

Investigating biorational agents to complement mushroom pest and disease management

The mushroom fly, Lycoriella ingenua, is a major pest species in commercial mushroom production and can vector mycoparasitic fungi such as Trichoderma (green mould) and Lecanicillium fungicola (dry bubble disease). There is a growing demand for alternative control measures for pests and diseases, since control options are limited and the rise of resistance to available measures continues to threaten production. In this presentation, I will outline what biorational agents are, discuss some of the options that are available in Australia, and present some of the research we have conducted at Agriculture Victoria to assess novel biorationals for efficacy against mushroom sciarid flies.