|Ms Linda Semeraro
Department of Primary Industries,
621 Burwood Highway, Knoxfield, VIC, 3180;
PB 15 Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre, VIC, 3156
ph: (03) 9210 9329 Fax: (03) 9800 3521 Linda.Semeraro@dpi.vic.gov.au
Experience with Scolytinae (bark beetles) and identification_______________ __
I was recently awarded a diagnostic training scholarship (2006/2007) through the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity (program co-ordinated by the Australian Government, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry), to learn about exotic bark beetle species. My particular focus was to learn how to identify the Southern Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimermann and Mountain Pine Beetle, D. ponderosae Hopkins. As part of the scholarship and training:-
I attended a 3-day bark beetle (Scolytinae) identification workshop at Cornell University Ithaca, USA, (with instructor Mr Hoebeke) and also visited specialists working on Scolytinae beetles at the University of Bergen, Norway (Dr Lawrence Kirkendall and Dr Bjarte Jordal).
I am currently preparing a diagnostic protocol “Identification of Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann and D. ponderosae Hopkins (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) beetles”.
Based on the procedures in the protocol, I have validated a molecular diagnostic test for Southern Pine Beetle at DPI, Knoxfield and further molecular tests are to be validated.
I will be registering on the Plant Health Australia Plant Health Expertise register.
Background in diagnostic services_____________________________________________
In my current position as an Entomologist, with the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, (see Employment History below), the main focus of my work is to provide insect pest identifications as part of DPI’s diagnostic services. The main stakeholders are both private and public clients, State government departments and quarantine bodies such as Biosecurity Victoria and AQIS. Much of my activities are linked with the DPI diagnostic service (Crop Health Services) and Plant Standards Branch (Biosecurity Victoria).
This work requires both morphological identification skills and also use of molecular diagnostic techniques.
Current (2000 to present)
Position: (full-time ongoing) Entomologist, Department of Primary Industries, Primary Industries Victoria, Knoxfield Centre
Supervisor: Dr Mali Malipatil
Curation and identification of insect specimens using both morphological and molecular diagnostic techniques.
Adoption, development and research into molecular diagnostic tests for detection of exotic insect pests.
Assist with preparation of diagnostic protocols for exotic pests such as one recently prepared by Dr Mali Malipatil and myself on the Asian and African citrus psyllid.
Position: Technical Officer, NSW Agriculture (currently known as NSW Department of Primary Industries), Orange Agriculture Institute, Orange, NSW
Supervisor: Dr Murray Fletcher
Contributed to taxonomic research of economically significant leafhoppers through scientific illustration and photography.
Monitored and identified quarantine pests such as Western
Flower Thrips and fruit fly.
1996 Position: Technical Assistant, NSW Agriculture, Biological and Chemical Research Institute (BCRI), Rydalmere, NSW
Supervisors: Mr Graham Goodyer and Ms Danuta Knihinicki
Assisted with taxonomic research though scientific illustration of Elateridae beetle larvae, with focus on significant taxonomic characters.
Curation, sorting and identification of Phytoseidae slide mounted mites.
Currently: Master of Science degree (Part-time student), LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria.
Supervisors: Dr Tim New, Dr Murray Fletcher, and Dr Mali Malipatil
Project Title: A systematic study of the Australian Macropsinae leafhoppers
The main aim of the project is to determine whether Macropsis and/ or Oncopsis, the two largest genera within this subfamily with mostly Holarctic distribution, are represented in Australia. Another goal is to determine which major genera occur here.
1991 – 1995: Bachelor of Science degree, School of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW (1991 - 1995)
Focus on Zoological Sciences
M.J. Fletcher and L.Semeraro (2007) The genus Carvaka Distant in Australia (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Selenocephalinae), Australian Journal of Entomology
M.B. Malipatil, L.A. Mound, K.J. Finlay, L. Semeraro, (2002) First Record of Lily Thrips, Liothrips vaneeckei Priesner, in Australia (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), Australian Journal of Entomology 41 (2): 159-160.
M.J. Fletcher and L. Semeraro, (2001) The genus Scaphoideus Uhler in Australia (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae) Australian Journal of Entomology, 40 (1): 1-8