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As an initiative under our National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostics and Surveillance Professional Development Activities, Plant Health Australia (PHA) is working with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD – WA) to deliver a PSHB workshop for network members.

  • Polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB) Euwallacea fornicatus is a beetle native to Southeast Asia. The beetle attacks a wide range of plants by tunnelling into trunks, stems and branches. PSHB has a symbiotic relationship with a Fusarium fungus, farming it inside the tree as a food source for the beetle and its larvae. In susceptible trees, the fungus kills vascular tissue causing Fusarium dieback and tree death.
  • As PSHB is currently a biosecurity threat for the eastern states and is currently under eradication in Western Australia, this workshop provides the perfect opportunity to train interested staff from surveillance background, entomology and diagnostics background on how to identify PSHB, how to identify PSHB affected trees in the community and how to isolate and identify Fusarium AF-18 from PSHB beetle and trees.


  • Surveillance strategies taught to participants to understand how to survey for a pest within trees, this will include symptomology and participants spending a day in the field with current field officers working on PSHB.
  • Morphological ID of the PSHB insect. Entomologists will be taught what the current processes used are.
  • Pathologists will be taught how to isolate Fusarium from the beetles and from the wood of hosts. They will also be taught how to identify Fusarium AF-18 morphologically.


  • Participants will have the skills to identify suspect detections of PSHB in woody hosts.
  • Participants will have the skills to isolate pathogens from beetles and woody hosts associated with infections of PSHB.
  • Participants will have the skills to morphologically identify possible Fusarium AF-18 cultures and Graphium euwallaceae cultures isolated from beetles and woody hosts.


  • PHA will facilitate accommodation and Workshop Registration.
  • Catering i.e., morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea will be provided.
  • Participants and sponsoring organisation to cover remaining costs such as flights and dinner.

Workshop facilitators

Dr Kylie Ireland

Kylie is research scientist in the DPIRD Plant Biosecurity Preparedness and Response Team and a subject matter expert on the PSHB response. With a PhD in plant biosecurity from Murdoch University, Kylie has worked on a diverse range of projects across Australia and around the world, including pest risk modelling, Myrtle rust ecology, plant pathology advisor in Laos, weed biocontrol and fungicide resistance extension. Kylie leads the editorial team of the APPS Newsletter and is a passionate advocate for improved knowledge flows at the science-policy-management nexus.

Melinda Moir

Melinda Moir is the supervisor of the DPIRD Diagnostic and Laboratory Services entomology section. She has managed the entomological laboratories aspect of the PSHB incident since the beginning of the incident in August 2021. This has included staffing, laboratories, processes, liaison with other labs (molecular, pathology, receivals) as well as the incident team, and reporting of all results

Andras Szito

Andras (Andy) Szito is a long-standing DPIRD biosecurity entomologist with specialist skills in the taxonomy of Coleoptera. He has previously presented workshops on Khapra beetle and related Dermestids. Andy has been heavily involved in the Polyphagous Shothole borer incident in Western Australia and is relied upon for morphological identifications.

Dominie Wright

Dominie Wright is the supervisor of the DPIRD Diagnostic and Laboratory Services plant diagnostic section. Dominie specialises in mycology and bacteriology. Dominie has been involved in many incidences over the years at DPIRD, including the current PSHB incident. The Plant diagnostic section is responsible for the isolation and identification of fungi associated with PSHB beetle and hosts.