PhD (Imperial College London)
Position: Senior Lecturer

Room: 379G Goddard Building 8
Phone: +61 7 3365 4822

Research Interests

My research focuses on the biological control and integrated management of insect pests. Understanding the ecological and biological relationships between insects and their natural enemies(pathogens, parasitoids and predators) and the interactions between these natural enemies is fundamental to effective biological control and is central to my research. Strategies which manipulate natural enemies to enhance their impact on pest populations are under development, examples include

  • Integration of biological stressors and fungal entomopathogens for improved control of insect pests

  • Reduced insecticide inputs combined with the provision of adult food sources to enhance endemic parasitoid performance

  • Utilizing inducible plant defences to manipulate pests and improve the effectiveness of natural enemies.

Externally funded research projects concentrate on the development of sustainable pest management strategies for insect pests in developing countries. In Indonesia the structure and function of the natural enemy complexes attacking the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the cabbage cluster caterpillar (Crocidolomia pavonana) are being determined. In Samoa the biology and ecology of the egg parasitoid Trichogramma chilonis is being investigated and the possibility of its release as a biological control agent of C. pavonana in Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands explored. Research in Fiji is focused on quantifying field resistance of the diamondback moth to commonly used insecticides. An insecticide resistance management strategy has been developed and will be implemented in collaboration with UN-FAO.

Selected Publications 

Zalucki M. P., Shabbir A., Silva R., Adamson D., Liu S.-S. & Furlong M.J. 2012. Estimating the economic cost of one of the world’s major insect pests, Plutella xylostella: just how long is a piece of string? Journal of Economic Entomology in press.

Dosdall, L. M., Zalucki, M. P., Tansey, J. A., & Furlong, M. J. 2012. Developmental responses of the diamondback moth parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum (Hellén) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) to temperature and host plant species. Bulletin of Entomological Research 102: 373-384.

Silva, R. & Furlong M. J. 2012. Diamondback moth oviposition: effects of host plant and herbivory. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 143: 218–230.

Furlong, M. J. & Zalucki, M. P. 2010. Exploiting predators for pest management: the need for sound ecological assessment. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 135: 225–236.

Furlong, M. J. & Asgari, S. 2010. Effects of an ascovirus (HvAV-3e) on diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, and evidence for virus transmission by a larval parasitoid. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 103: 89–95.

Funded Projects

Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production
Grant Body: ACIAR
Grant Period: 2011-2016
Value: $3,475,000

Invasion ecology of thrips in relation to seedling cotton
Grant Body: Cruiser Fund
Grant Period: 2011-2014
Value: $152,000

An analysis of fruit-spotting bug activity in avocado crops from fruit-set to harvest Grant Body: HAL
Grant Body: Horticulture Australia Ltd.
Grant Period: 2012-2016
Value: $122, 500

Professional Associations

  • Society of Invertebrate Pathology

  • Entomological Society of America

  • Australian Entomological Society

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