Dr Geoff Baker is using his expertise to help protect cotton crops.
Dr Geoff Baker: developing management strategies for invertebrates
Dr Geoff Baker’s current research focuses on insect pests of cotton and managing moth resistance to transgenic cottons.
18 February 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr Geoff Baker is Research Program Leader for Invasion Biology and Functional Ecology in CSIRO Entomology and Stream Leader of Multifunctional Biodiverse Landscapes in CSIRO's cross-divisional Flagship in Sustainable Agriculture.
His activities include:
managing insect pests, microbial diseases and weeds in sustainable landscapes
managing ecosystem services provided by invertebrates and microbes
biodiversity conservation and restoration ecology.
His current research focuses especially on the ecology of the moths, Helicoverpa spp. Dr Baker is investigating the efficacy of refuge crops in reducing the development of moth resistance to Bt cottons.
Dr Baker is also interested in the role of soil invertebrates in contributing to soil structure, fertility and plant production, and in ecological linkages between above and below ground biota.
In addition, he has research projects investigating the management of mollusc pests in grain crops especially their biocontrol.
Dr Baker joined CSIRO Entomology in 1980.
After completing his Doctorate, Dr Baker tutored in terrestrial and marine ecology at the Field Studies Council of Great Britain in Wales.
A National University of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Science and Engineering then enabled him to undertake work at University College, Dublin, Ireland, on the ecology of earthworms and their role in the reclamation of peat bogs.
Initially based with CSIRO in Portugal, he investigated biological control of Portuguese millipedes which are nuisance pests in southern Australia. He returned to Adelaide, South Australia, to complete the work whilst based at the then South Australian Department of Agriculture, now South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).
From the mid 1980s, Dr Baker was based at the CSIRO Soils (now CSIRO Land and Water) laboratories in Adelaide working on the ecology and biological control of pest Mediterranean snails in grain crops and pastures, in collaboration with SARDI.
In 1989, he began research on earthworms with a view to improving soil structure, fertility and plant production, especially in soils used for pasture and grain crops. This work was done with a number of collaborators including:
Dr Baker moved to Canberra in 1998 and became project leader for Cotton Pest Management in 2000.
Dr Baker’s current research focuses on managing Bt resistance in transgenic cotton using refuge crops.
In 2004, he was appointed Stream Leader for Ecosystem Management. His research has been supported by the grains, wool, dairy and cotton industries as well as more general environmental funding.
He was a member of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Soil and Land Management in Adelaide (1991-98), the Australian Cotton CRC (2000-05) and is now a member of the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC.
In 1972, Dr Baker was awarded his Bachelor of Science with Honours by the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia.
In 1976, Dr Baker received his doctorate, also from the University of Adelaide.
His thesis was titled The ecology and life history of the introduced millipede, Ommatoiulus moreletii in South Australia.
Dr Baker was an Affiliate Senior Lecturer in the Department of Soil Science, at the University of Adelaide, from 1991-98.
He serves on the editorial boards of:
Find out more about CSIRO's research on Biodiversity: benefits and threats.