Dr Peter James

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Animal Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 344 32468


Main area of interest is in the biology and control of parasites, disease vectors and nuisance flies associated with domestic livestock species. Research areas include the biology and population dynamics of livestock pests and parasites; development of controls based on natural plant extracts, fungal biopesticides and entomopathogenic nematodes; physical and cultural controls; breeding for parasite resistance; host immunity to parasites; detection, monitoring and early warning systems for livestock pests; optimal and strategic use of pesticides; controlled release and strategic release formulations of insecticides and repellents for livestock parasite control, measurement and management of pesticide resistance and the potential for the use of repellents to protect animals against external parasites. Dr James has been involved with projects across most of Australia’s major livestock industries, has led projects towards the design of IPM programs and web based expert systems for pests in a range of livestock systems, and provides consultancy and contract testing of pest controls and therapeutics for a number of veterinary pharmaceutical companies

Dr James joined QAAFI’s Centre for Animal Science in October 2010. He was previously Senior Principal Scientist and leader of the Integrated Parasite Management Group at the Queensland Government’s Animal Research Institute and EcoSciences Precinct, following more than 20 years as researcher and lecturer at the South Australian Research and Development Institute, University of Adelaide and South Australian Department of Agriculture. Peter obtained his B.AgSc., and Dip. Ed. from the University of Adelaide, a Masters in Pest Management from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver and PhD in Entomology from the University of Minnesota. Peter has worked with ectoparasites and nuisance insects associated with production systems across most of Australia’s major livestock industries and regularly provides consultancy services to the animal industries and veterinary pharmaceutical companies.

Research Interests

  • Use of Wolbachia for area-wide control and to arrest the southward spread of buffalo flies, (Haematobia [irritans] exigua), a major tropical cattle pest.
  • Diagnosis of insecticide resistance in sheep lice (Bovicola ovis) and sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina)
  • Use of fungal biopesticides for control of nuisance flies (house flies, Musca domestica and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans) in cattle feedlots
  • Formulation of plant extracts for livestock pest control
  • Black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) for waste recycling and a new protein source for intensive livestock production and aquaculture.

Research Impacts

Parasites of livestock cause diseases of major socioeconomic and animal welfare importance worldwide. The annual cost of parasitic disease is >$1b annually to the Australian sheep and beef cattle industries, and >$10b worldwide. Insects associated with animals and livestock waste also vector a range of diseases of zoonotic and food safety concern. The efficiency of control programs is often compromised by the development of resistance to pest treatments and global warming is expected to increase the impacts of parasites and arthropod borne diseases

Consumers increasingly demand that food and fibre products are safe and produced by ethical and environmentally acceptable methods and market access frequently depends on meeting these criteria. Consequently there is demand for safe, environmentally benign and low residue methods of pest and parasite control. The research in my lab studies the biology and dynamics of ectoparasites and disease vectors with a view to improved detection, the development of ‘softer’ control technologies, design of integrated programs and maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of chemical pesticide use


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota
  • Diploma in Education, The University of Adelaide
  • Master of Pest Management, Simon Fraser University
  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science, The University of Adelaide


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