The Pest Risk Analyst introduction thread

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    • #3011
      Melanie NewfieldMelanie Newfield

      Hi all,

      It was great to meet some of you at the IPRRG meeting in Ottawa.

      I was prompted at the meeting to think that it would be useful if pest risk analysts around the world knew a bit about how different countries approached doing PRAs. As members of government organisations, I realise that we do need to show a level of caution in how we discuss our work. However we do all work under the same international standards and there is information which we can routinely share, for example linking to documents on our website.

      I suggest that we use this thread to introduce ourselves and give some basic information about our organisations. Examples of useful information would be:
      – organisational structure – does your agency focus only on plant health or are you linked with animal health and food safety for example? You could include a link to your organisation’s website.
      – the types of PRA that you and your organisation does (i.e. focused on single pest PRA or commodity-based assessments). If you have a procedures document or a methodology which is publicly available, that would be useful to link to.
      – if examples of your work (or your team’s work) is published, you could include a link to that as well.

      While I think it’s specifically useful to have a thread for risk analysts specifically working under the IPPC system, it would be useful to have a thread for all members to introduce themselves as well, and I don’t really mind if others post in here too, just make it clear how you fit into the PRA picture.

      As a starter, my name is Melanie Newfield and I manage the Plants and Pathways risk assessment team at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries. The agency I belong to covers plant health, animal health and food safety, as well as other areas considered “Primary Industries”. Here’s the organisation’s website.

      My team works on different types of risk assessment, including PRAs for single species, pathway/ commodity risk assessment and assessing emerging risks. Most of our work is qualitative PRA based on ISPM 2 and ISPM 11, but some of our terminology differs. THe following link is to our published risk assessments – note that animal health risk assessments are included here too. OUr procedures document is linked here as well, but we do a wider range of risk assessment work than is covered in these procedures.

    • #3024
      Martin DamusMartin Damus


      I am a pest risk assessor with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As one can guess from its name, this Agency (a branch of the Canadian Government) is chiefly concerned with food safety, but is also the national plant protection organization for Canada, as well as being in charge of animal health, similar to the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries as described by Melanie. I specialize in risk assessments for insect, mollusc and mite pests, and am in a team of 4 such risk assessors. Another four work on pathology risk assessments, another four on botanical (weed) risk assessments, and there is also a group that consider the risks of GMOs.

      Here’s the CFIA home page URL:

      We do not (yet) publish our risk assessments, but they can be requested.

    • #3678
      Alan MacLeodAlan MacLeod

      Hi, I am Alan MacLeod, a pest risk analyst who has been working for the UK NPPO since 1995. I especially enjoy the interdisciplinary nature of risk analysis, working with academics and supervising PhD students. I am currently the chair of the International Advisory Group for Pest Risk Analysis ( an organisation that supports the IPPC.

      Via the Defra plant health risk register you can search for UK risk analyses and see links to other pest information.

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