Spend a day with NSW DPI research entomologist | Video

IDENTIFICATION: Dr Jo Holloway of NSW Department of Primary Industries in Wagga identifies different insects. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
IDENTIFICATION: Dr Jo Holloway of NSW Department of Primary Industries in Wagga identifies different insects. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

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“One of the things I like about my day is that everyday can be different,” says NSW Department of Primary Industries research entomologist Dr Jo Holloway.

Dr Holloway showed The Rural through the lab while she was identifying different insects under the microscope. 

“My small team and I have just completed some field cage experiments and are currently investigating predation rates of ladybirds on aphids,” she said. 

“This means we need colonies of both ladybirds and aphids, plus aphids to feed the ladybird colony and plants to feed the aphids,” she said. 

6:15: The alarm goes off and it’s time to get dressed, feed the cat and munch down on a bowl of homemade muesli and a cup of coffee.

7:30: “I ride my bike to work … it’s a great way to start the day by combining exercise with sorting out what needs to be done,” she said. However, Dr Holloway joked that she needs to concentrate during the journey to avoid cars and any sharp objects on the road (of which there are a lot: punctured tyres ruin the whole thing). 

8:00: She starts up computer (which can take a while) and then checks through and respond to emails and requests for information. “Then I discuss activities, problems, issues with my team and then it’s off to the laboratory to sort through some insect samples.”

10:00: “It’s time for a cup of tea and a catch up with other DPI staff to discuss the major issues or what we watched on tv last night,” she laughs. 

12:30: Lunch. “If it’s nice outside I might go for a walk around the CSU campus before returning to the computer for a delightful afternoon or wrestling with administrative duties, entering/analysing data, researching issues for projects.”

4:30: Dr Holloway heads home on the bike and is greeted by the cat, who demands food, a brush and a cuddle. “Then its relaxing time … watching Hot Seat to test my knowledge.”

6:30: “I cook up a stir fry, then after demolishing it and clear away the mess, it’s time to settle back on the sofa, curl up with the cat and watch a bit of telly,” she said. 

11:00: Time for a quick read in bed before lights out.