Lachlan studied horticulture and entomology at the University of Queensland. He carried out his honours project in the Queensland strawberry industry looking at predatory mite releases for the control of two spotted mite. After several seasons of IPM crop monitoring in strawberries, Lachlan started his own company – Manchil IPM Services in Western Australia. This business operated for 11 years before merging with Biological Services in July 2014.
Lachlan initially produced Phytoseiulus persimilis to control two spotted mite in strawberries and greenhouse crops. He has been instrumental in commercialising mass production of Orius armatus, and then Orius tantillus for control of western flower thrips, especially for strawberries grown under cover, and virus prone capsicum crops.
In the field Lachlan has worked extensively building robust IPM programs for berry and greenhouse crops that a decade ago were all extensively sprayed with pesticides where very little (if any) biocontrol existed. Over the past 10 Years Lachlan has worked with James Altmann in delivering IPM programs for berry growers across all major production areas in Australia. With the recent expansion of Greenhouse Strawberries a special focus has been placed on biocontrol of Western Flower Thrips as this pest has become resistant to nearly all registered pesticides, and poses a major threat to berry grower’s yields if not properly managed. At present Biological Services produces 18 different biocontrols used for controlling pests across Australia, and has 9 specialized IPM consultants monitoring crops for growers in Australia.
Lachlan is a registered consultant with the Australian Institute of Agricultural Scientists, and a member of the Australasian Biological Control Association.