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USDA ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory

The USDA ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL) is based at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Ecosciences Precinct, Brisbane, Australia. These are joint facilities shared between CSIRO and Queensland State Government science departments. It incorporates office, laboratory, insectary, glasshouse and greenhouse facilities as well as a state of the art QC3 quarantine facility. Colocation with agencies conducting similar research fosters research collaboration and reduce costs through a reduction in duplication of facilities and equipment. Since 1991, ABCL has been jointly operated by the USDA ARS and CSIRO through five-year cooperative agreements. Currently CSIRO employs all scientific staff which includes 1.2 scientists and four full time and two part time technical officers, and provides the infrastructure and facilities. Most staff have more than 25 years’ experience in entomology and biological control research.

The staff of ABCL collaborate closely with U.S. scientists and actively search the natural areas of Australia and Asia for insects and other organisms that feed on pest insects and plant species that are invasive in the U.S. Many invasive weeds in the U.S. are native to Australia and Asia, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea. With excellent collaborators in the region, ABCL explores Australasia, not only to find the most promising biological control agents, but also to assist U.S. biological scientists with support in this region.

Research Highlight

Can biocontrol halt the spread of invasive Cogongrass? An example of ARS collaboration with the Australian Biological Control Laboratory.

For more information or to discuss potential collaborations please contact ARS OIREC at