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ARS Home » Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation » OBCL Research Highlights » ABCL Welcomes New Staff Member: Virgine Singarayan (Swathi)

ABCL Welcomes New Staff Member: Virgine Singarayan (Swathi)

Virgine Singarayan (Swathi)
Virgine Singarayan (Swathi). (Photo courtesy of the USDA ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory)

In January, USDA ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL) staff member Christine Goosem went on long-term study leave to complete a PhD on Passiflora pollination through James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. Christine will be missed. We wish her all the best in her studies look forward to her return in 2024.

In her absence, Virgine Singarayan (Swathi) has joined the ABCL laboratory as a research technician. Swathi has the undergraduate degree in agricultural science, a research higher degree in plant science, and a PhD in soil science. She has excellent experience in pest management in stored grains, insecticide resistance and insect pests of biosecurity concern.

She has previously worked as a diagnostician in the national khapra beetle response program operated within Biosecurity at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Swathi is excited to work on insect-plant interactions to evaluate biological control agents for U.S. weeds. Her major tasks initially include the evaluation of a gall wasp and leaf tying moths of ear leaf acacia, an invasive weed in Florida.

Contact: Matthew Purcell and Virgine Singarayan  

USDA ARS Australian Biological Control Laboratory (ABCL) is based at the Ecosciences Precinct in Brisbane, Australia, and is administered through a Specific Cooperative Agreement between ARS and Australia’s Federal research body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The agreement has been a very productive, mutually beneficial, long-term collaborative relationship originating in 1985. Assisting with solving U.S. problems is reciprocated by ARS through supplying Australian scientists with biological control agents from the America’s to control invasive weeds in Australia.