Dr Simon Lawson | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Simon Lawson

D Agr (For. Sci) Tokyo, M Ag. Sc. Adel., B Ag. Sc Adel.

  • Associate Professor, Forest Health
+61 7 5456 3452 / +61 7 3255 4380
Office location
BG.03B / Ecosciences Precinct
Sunshine Coast
Simon Lawson


Prior to joining USC in 2015, Simon was team leader for forest health research in the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)  from 2006, and has over 34 years’ experience in applied forest entomological research in Australia and internationally.

His research focus over the last 18 years has been in developing effective, sustainable management methods for insect pests of hardwood plantations in the subtropics of Australia and internationally, with an emphasis on the biological control and chemical ecology of forest pests. Prior to this his research focussed on the control and management of Ips species bark beetles in Australia and Japan, and on the biological control of the insect vector of pine wilt disease in Japan. He also has strong interests in forest bio-security, population modelling, and in international collaborations in forest health.

Simon is a member of both the Forest Industries Research Centre and the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre at USC.

Professional memberships

  • Entomological Society of Queensland


  • Japanese Government Ministry of Education Monbusho Scholarship 1989
  • Science and Technology Agency of Japan Postdoctoral Fellowship 1993
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Scientific Visits to Japan Awardee 2002
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Scientific Visits to Japan Awardee 2003
  • Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute of Japan, Research Fellowship for Foreign Specialists Awardee 2003

Research grants

Grant/Project name Investigators Funding body and A$ value Year(s) Focus

Biological control of galling insect pests of eucalypt plantations in the Mekong region

Lawson S, Douangboupha B, Nahrung H, Griffiths M

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A$1.3 M)


Improving eucalypt productivity through biocontrol of key Australian pests

Towards biological control of major eucalypt pests in Laos PDR and the Mekong Delta region

Lawson S, Griffiths M, Nahrung H

Birla Lao Pulp & Plantations Co., Ltd., Burapha Agroforestry Co., Ltd., Oji Lao Plantation Forest Co., Ltd., Stora Enso Lao Co., Ltd. Sun Paper holding Laos Co., Ltd., and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A$21,000)



Biological control of eucalypt pests overseas and in Australia

Lawson S, Griffiths M, Nahrung H, Noack A

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A$82,000)


Scoped the impact of Australian eucalypt pests overseas and established network of researchers

Impact of stem defect Agents in subtropical hardwood plantations

Debuse V, Lawson S, Nahrung H

Plantation Hardwoods Research Fund Queensland Government, HQPlantations, Elders Forestry (A$560,000)



Predicting and characterising attack by stem borers in eucalypt plantations and their economic impact

Protecting productivity, incomes and trade through improved health surveillance of Vietnam’s plantations

Lawson S, Griffiths M,Pegg G, King J, Wylie R,McDonald J, Naumann I,Lee W,

AusAID/ Collaboration for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD),Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (A$200,000)


Provided training on forest health surveillance, including hazard sites, and established a reference pest and disease collection

Establishing pest detection systems in South Pacific countries and Australia

Lawson S,  Wardlaw T, Wylie R, Griffiths M, King J, Bashford R

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A$360,000)


Improving early detection ability of Fiji and Vanuatu for exotic forest pests and diseases at hazard sites and plantations

Research areas

  • biological control of forest insects and ecosystem services provided by insects in planted and native forests
  • integrated pest management in hardwood and softwood plantation forestry
  • identification and development of semiochemicals for forest insect pest management
  • forest pest risk modelling
  • forest biosecurity
  • plant–insect interactions
  • biology and ecology of bark beetles
Selection of research publications by Dr Simon Lawson:
  • Bouwer, MC., Slippers, B, Degefu, D, Wingfield, MJ, Lawson, S, Rohwer, ER. (2015). Identification of the Sex Pheromone of the Tree Infesting Cossid Moth Coryphodema tristis (Lepidoptera: Cossidae). PloS one, 10(3). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118575
  • Nahrung, HF, Smith, TE, Wiegand, AN, Lawson, SA & Debuse, VJ. (2014) Host tree influences on longicorn beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) attack in subtropical Corymbia (Myrtales: Myrtaceae). Environmental Entomology, 43, 37–46.
  • Nadel, RL, Wingfield, MJ, Scholes, MC, Lawson, SA, Slippers, B. (2012) The potential for monitoring and control of insect pests in Southern Hemisphere forestry plantations using semiochemicals. Annals of Forest Science, 69(7): 757–767
  • Paine TD, Steinbauer MJ, Lawson SA. (2011) Native and Exotic Pests of Eucalyptus: a Worldwide Perspective. Annual Review of Entomology, 56: 181–201
  • Lawson SA, McDonald JM & Pegg GS (2008) Forest health surveillance methodology in hardwood plantations in Queensland, Australia. Australian Forestry, 71, 177–181.

Dr Simon Lawson's specialist areas of knowledge include forest entomology, biological control, integrated pest management and forest biosecurity

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