What’s your background?

I grew up on the Darling Downs on grain growing property (wheat/sorghum/sunflowers) and a few cattle.  I studied Biology at the University of Southern Queensland and followed that later with post graduate entomology studies at University of Queensland. I worked in the entomology group on various projects, on pests including helicoverpa, aphids and whitefly in grain and cotton.

How did you end up in Cotton Research?

In the early years I worked in and out of the cotton industry in response to pest issues, I was fortunate to receive a CRDC scholarship for my PhD which looked at biological control and cotton aphids. Later an opportunity came up to work on silverleaf whitefly and that has been my focus in recent years as it has emerged as a pest problem for cotton.

What excites you about working in the Cotton Industry?

It’s a great, supportive industry of research, the issue of whitefly and resistance is a high priority, so it’s rewarding to provide outcomes that will help growers produce cotton into the future.

What is your current research project?

Sustainable SLW management through improved insect resistance monitoring, funded by CRDC. Since 2009 I has been the principal researcher of a CRDC funded projects monitoring Silverleaf Whitefly insecticide resistance.  I currently lead a dedicated team to determine the insecticide resistance status of SLW populations collected from the major cotton growing regions across eastern Australia

How will it benefit the grower? 

Silverleaf Whitefly (SLW) is a major pest of cotton.  It has the ability to contaminate cotton lint with honey dew, has a large host range, can rapidly reproduce and can develop resistance to many insecticides. In addition, the honey dew caused by SLW can cause significant problems in the spinning process causing stickiness in the machinery necessitating shutdown for cleaning. Consequently, cotton producing countries that develop a reputation for supplying honey dew contaminated cotton risk significant discounts.  Pyriproxyfen is a cornerstone product that growers are reliant on for SLW control.  Monitoring resistance levels and encouraging best practice of insecticide application will ensure the longevity of this product and the continued production of high-quality cotton.

How will it benefit the industry? 

  • Monitoring SLW resistance across the industry to pyriproxyfen.
  • Increased human capacity and knowledge and adoption of integrated pest management practices.
  • Adoption and increased awareness of insecticide resistance, and the importance of beneficial insects in SLW control.
  • A culture change of the cotton industry in the use of Pyriproxyfen with an understanding of the significance of SLW resistance to this cornerstone product

What are your key findings? 

Take home messages 2022/23 season re SLW Insecticide Resistance

  • Low resistance to Pyriproxyfen – Border rivers & Northern NSW
  • High resistance to Spirotetramat detected in Lockyer valley, elsewhere resistance remains low
  • Low Acetamiprid resistance in populations from St George Gwydir and Lower Namoi
  • Bifenthrin resistance is widespread but generally low

What do you like to do when you aren’t researching?

Recently I’ve been looking into the whole ancestry thing, including getting my DNA tested to see who I’m related to, so in a way I’m still researching!

In 2023, Jamie was named as the Researcher of the Year at the Australian Cotton Industry Awards. Here's what Cotton Australia had to say about his commitment to industry:

“Jamie Hopkinson has been making a significant contribution to the Australian cotton industry through his research into entomological issues for around 20 years. Jamie has shown extraordinary commitment to his research which has taken him to every region where cotton is grown and entailed working weekends, public holidays, navigating long trips to circumvent flooded roads to get his work done!!” 

For more information on Jamie's work, you can contact him directly via Jamie.Hopkinson@daf.qld.gov.au  or 0475 825 340