Welcome to Chris O’Connor, who joined PHA this week as the Fruit Fly Engagement Coordinator. 

With a strong background in horticulture, Chris has held commercial buying roles with major retailers, as well as roles with state and national peak industry bodies.  He has solid experience in delivering extension programs in biosecurity and has supported the delivery of the nursery industry’s BioSecure HACCP program. In one of his recent roles he worked with Macquarie University where he focused on engaging growers and other key stakeholders in Fruit Fly Sterile Insect Technique R&D funded through the Hort Innovation SITPlus program. 

In addition to his industry experience, Chris holds a Bachelor of Horticulture, Master of Sustainable Agriculture and is currently studying a Master of Research at Macquarie University, part-time focusing on detecting the origin and host use of invasive arthropods using isotopes and biometals. 

Chris’ role with PHA will the coordination of the fruit fly extension project and the National Fruit Fly Council’s (NFFC) engagement activities, as well as supporting Stuart Burgess, NFFC Manager, in building effective relationships with key fruit fly stakeholders.