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20 June, 2022

CAIRNS FRUIT FLY RESEARCHER WINS THE BAYER RESEARCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

ENTOMOLOGIST Peter Leach has won the Bayer Researcher of the Year Award at the 2022 Hort Connections conference for his substantial contribution to research in horticulture.


Peter Leach receiving his Award

Mr Leach led a significant portfolio of national market access disinfestation projects on fruit fly for over 25 years. 

Mr Leach and his team have provided data for the successful negotiation of commercially viable new market access protocols for numerous crops in Asia, the US and NZ, expanded domestic market access through irradiation and contributed to international standards that guide phytosanitary work worldwide. 

With Bayer as long-time sponsors, the award acknowledges people with a track record of research or extension work that has advanced the industry, offered long-term benefits to on-farm uptake, and advanced the international reputation of Australian science. 

Bayer’s Head of Customer Marketing for the Crop Science division, ANZ, Tony May, congratulated Peter for his success in his role as Principal Entomologist and Market Access Team Leader at the Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, which has underpinned successful domestic and international outcomes for Australia’s horticulture industry. 

“The Researcher of the Year Award is a fantastic way to recognise the incredible work our researchers are undertaking in the horticulture sector,” Mr May said. 

“It is estimated fruit fly costs the Australian industry $300m annually, so any work that supports the control of this invasive pest will deliver a material benefit for Australian fruit growers. 

“On behalf of Bayer, I would like to congratulate Peter on his contribution to the sector’s success. 

“We have been partnering with AUSVEG for more than a decade now and have a long-standing commitment to the industry. 

“This is a relationship we’re very proud of, and we welcome the opportunity to support innovation in the sector.” 

In accepting the award, Mr Leach said it was an honour to be awarded the Bayer Researcher of the Year Award. 

“We have been conducting our research for 25 years, and to be recognised at the Hort Connections conference is humbling,” Mr Leach said. 

“It has been a team effort, and I look forward to many more years of finding global and local solutions for fruit flies and crops.”


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