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Unit Overview


Integrated pest management (IPM) is a decision system used to limit the damage caused by pests (weeds, diseases and insects). Underpinning all successful IPM decisions, development and implementation, is having a sound understanding of ecological aspects of the target pest. Without such knowledge, few IPM strategies are ever successful. This unit explores the ecological basis and strategic approach to develop and deploy IPM for long term (5-10 years or more) and over large geographic scale (within farms or area-wide), highlighting examples of successful and failed pest control approaches, and how their success or failure relate to ecological aspects of pests. This unit also highlights the underlying economic implications as well as short- and long-term consequences of pest management decisions. The unit also covers different ecological approaches to IPM to decrease the risk and magnitude of pest outbreaks over time, and details pest epidemiology and the critical factors driving pest challenges across arable cropping, animal (feed-base), and horticultural industries. The main ecological strategies cover landscapes, lifecycle analyses, natural enemies of pests and their requirements, cultural controls and agronomy, host plant and animal resistance to pests, GMOs, and other more specific methods. It will also explore the role of environmental and agronomic factors, including climate change, crop rotations, etc. in altering the ecological basis and successful application of IPM. This unit aims to provide a clear understanding of the ecological knowledge required to understand, predict and secure successful IPM outcomes, and will demonstrate the consequences of not having this foundational ecological understanding. In particular, this unit will highlight the complexity and challenges affecting IPM outcomes due to interacting multiple environmental and agronomic factors. The unit is critical to students with interests in applied crop protection and also highly relevant to students with broader interests in crop, animal (i.e., feed-base) or horticultural production systems in particular, but also food security in general.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the diverse ecological bases for developing and deploying successful pest control methods along with their varying advantages and disadvantages in different production systems; (2) explain the role and influence of changes in environmental factors and of differing farming practices, and particularly their interactions, on pest ecology and subsequent success or failure of IPM applications; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the major ecological bases and understanding needed for predicting pest outbreaks and epidemics; and (4) identify, compare and evaluate the ecological bases for developing and deploying effective and long-term pest management tactics.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written report; (2) oral presentation; and (3) online quiz. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Martin Barbetti
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72510 Master of Agricultural Science
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.