December 1, 2015
In order to increase awareness of the work undertaken by the Crawford Fund, Dr James Ridsdill-Smith (Coordinator, WA Committee) presented at the CSIRO Auditorium in WA on 24 September. His presentation, titled ‘International agricultural research under the Crawford Fund’, was part of the CSIRO Land and Water Seminar Series. The presentation abstract, and information about James’ background, are below.
Australia has a proud record of leadership in International Agricultural Organisations reflecting both on the people and the quality of agricultural research carried out. The Crawford Fund is a non-government organization set up to promote and support international agricultural research for developing countries. Good science and evidence-based policy is considered to hold the key to reducing rural poverty in developing countries, and can assist economic progress, stability and sustainability. This is of mutual benefit to developing countries and to Australia.
James Ridsdill-Smith is currently Program Co-ordinator, Western Australia, for the Crawford Fund and will describe how the fund carries out its activities in Australia through a national conference in Parliament House, Canberra; masterclasses; training programs; and a strong media program to raise awareness, including growing a Young Crawford program. The WA Committee is one of eight state and territory committees.
James Ridsdill-Smith was appointed to CSIRO Entomology from the UK in 1964. He worked first in Armidale NSW based at the University of New England, and since 1977 in Perth, WA at the Floreat labs. He has been involved in a number of different programs aimed to improve management of a range of ‘intractable’ pests based on a better understanding of their biology and ecology, and retired in 2006 still in the Division of Entomology.
His work has led to a new approach to the control of the redlegged earth mite, a major pasture pest, based on predicting the onset of summer diapause, and the introduction and evaluation of dung beetles to WA and their impact on bush fly populations. He spent eight years on the western panel of GRDC. After retirement, he was involved with the Plant Biosecurity CRC and now the Crawford Fund, and other committees and consultancies.