Dr Gary Fitt has extensive experience in agricultural sustainability and the interface between natural and managed environments.
He is an entomologist with international expertise in insect ecology and in development of strategies to prevent insects developing resistance to insecticides and to the proteins which are the active agent in the transgenic insect resistant plants. His studies in insect migration and activity in various crops were vital to the cotton industry having in place a pre-emptive management strategy to ensure the main pest of Australian cotton, the Helicoverpa caterpillar, did not develop resistance to the insecticidal proteins produced in GM cotton.
He obtained his BSc with First Class Honours and his PhD also from the University of Sydney.
He has held many roles over his career in CSIRO including:
|2007 –||Deputy Chief, CSIRO Entomology|
|2006 – 2007||Assistant Chief, CSIRO Entomology, Canberra|
|2003 – 2006||Strategy Director, CSIRO Entomology, Brisbane, Queensland|
|1999 – 2003||CEO, Australian Cotton Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), Narrabri|
|1993 – 1999||Program Leader, Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Sustainable Cotton Production, Narrabri|
|1990 – 2004||Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Entomology, Narrabri|
|1990 – 1999||Officer in Charge and Program Leader, CSIRO Cotton Research Unit, Narrabri|
|1983 – 1986||Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Plant Industry, Narrabri Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Entomology, Narrabri, New South Wales|
|1977 – 1979||Experimental Scientist, CSIRO Entomology, Darwin, Northern Territory|
In addition he was appointed:
|2002||Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, at the University of Sydney|
|2001||Adjunct Professor of the School of Rural Science and Ecosystem Management at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales|
Dr Fitt’s research interests included:
- ecology, behaviour, modelling and management of Helicoverpa species in multi-cropping systems which aims to develop a greater understanding of the moth’s ecology and pest management
- integrated pest management (IPM) systems for sustainable crop production
- field and laboratory studies of host plant resistance of cotton performance evaluation and resistance management strategies for transgenic cottons and other crops. His research on the performance and management of genetically modified Bt cotton varieties has provided the basis for current resistance management strategies in Australia.
- agricultural sustainability and the interface of natural and managed environments where he has played a lead role in international efforts to ensure the sustainable use of genetically modified (GM) crops globally.
Honours and awards
His work has been recognised in many ways including:
|2001||Fellow, Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering|
|2006||ATSE Clunies Ross Award with Danny Llewellyn and Greg Constable, for application of science to the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of Australia|
|2002||Mackerras Medal, Australian Entomological Society, for excellence in entomological research|
|2001||Centenary Medal, Commonwealth of Australia, for service to science|
|1999||Sir Ian McLennan Certificate of Commendation, for contributions to industry|
|1993||Cotton Industry Researcher of the Year|
|1984 – 85||Jabez Hayden King Memorial Prize for the most meritorious Doctorate awarded in the School of Biological Sciences|
Professional society membership
- Royal Entomological Society of London
- Australian Entomological Society
- British Ecological Society
- Fitt G, 2009, Personal communication.
- Cotton research from seed to shirt
- Bollgard® II ‘ the new generation of GM cotton (CSIRO Plant Industry)
- Prestigious award for CSIRO cotton researchers (Achievements)
- CSIRO cotton breeders win innovation award, 2005 (Media Release)