Meet a researcher

They know their banana plants but what do you know about them?

Our team of Australian banana researchers working on industry funded research and development span across several government departments, universities and organisations throughout Australia. 
Collectively they have over 400 years’ experience in banana research!
Over time, we aim to introduce you to our researchers and give you some insight into the work that they do as well as some fun facts about each of them. 

Shanara Veivers

Diversity and hard work paves the path for a rewarding career in horticulture.

It’s not every day you find a job that sees you out and about doing field work, running lab experiments, organising and facilitating events, and visiting banana growers on farm. This is all in a day’s work for Research Horticulturist Shanara Veivers, who has gained a diverse range of experience since starting with the Department approximately four years ago.
As an integral member of the banana extension team, Shanara has been responsible for managing an innovation trial based at the South Johnstone Research Facility. This has involved investigating a number of ‘out of the box’ concepts focused on increasing agronomic and environmental performance of banana farming systems. Some of her research areas have included the effects of different de-suckering methods, ground covers, ‘softer’ chemical options, and more recently the use of entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of banana weevil borer and bunch pests.
Meet a researcher

Shanara Veivers
Research Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture, South Johnstone, Qld 

When she isn’t working in the trial, Shanara’s time is spent undertaking farm visits, conducting small demonstration trials as well as planning and organising extension events for industry, including the National Banana Roadshows.
Growing up in Queensland’s beautiful Far North, Shanara has always felt an affinity with the environment and agriculture. It’s not surprising that this interest led her to complete a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Environmental Science, at James Cook University in Townsville. Shanara says, ‘Growing up in the local region, where agriculture, particularly banana production is so important for our community, the most exciting part of my role is being a part of the banana farming community. Working with leading scientists and industry stakeholders and being able to provide growers with the latest R&D as well as practical solutions for their farming operations gives me the greatest satisfaction.’
In recognition of Shanara’s contribution to banana research, development and extension activities, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has nominated her for the 2020 Queensland Women in STEM Prize.
Away from work, Shanara enjoys being outdoors and keeping active. She said without a doubt bananas are a staple fruit at home, with banana pancakes topping the list as her favourite banana recipe.

Our banana researchers

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Jeff Daniells
Principal Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone
Profile

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Richard Piper
Entomologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Wayne O’Neill
Plant Pathologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Ecosciences Precinct
Brisbane

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Kathy Crew
Plant Pathologist (Virology)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Ecosciences Precinct
Brisbane

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Tegan Kukulies
Development Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Kathy Grice
Senior Experimentalist (Plant Pathology)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mareeba Research Facility
Mareeba

David East
Plant Pathologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone
Profile

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Tony Pattison
Principal Nematologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Hazel Gaza
Soil Ecologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Katie Ferro
Research Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone
Profile

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Stewart Lindsay
Team Leader – Banana Production Systems
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Shanara Veivers
Research Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Carole Wright
Senior Biometrician
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mareeba Research Facility
Mareeba

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Ingrid Jenkins
Information Development Officer
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

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Curtis Lanham
Development Horticulturist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture
South Johnstone

Jennifer Cobon
Principal Experimentalist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Ecosciences Precinct
Brisbane

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Peter Trevorrow
Senior Plant Pathologist
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mareeba Research Facility
Mareeba

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Nandita Pathania
Plant Pathologist (Bacteriologist)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mareeba Research Facility
Mareeba

R&D organisations working with the Australian banana industry