Introducing new staff

There are a number of new staff across the department.

Joy Sherlock

Senior extension agronomist, Katherine Research Station.

Phone: 8973 9724; email:

Joy has worked in the agricultural industry in various enterprises from working in her family market garden, working as a farm hand on livestock/cropping properties, driving tractors for seeding and harvest, to entering the agricultural research field as a skilled technician many years ago.

She has an agriculture degree and has worked as a facilitator with the Western Australian Government’s pilot drought reform/farm business resilience project, in environmental management and as an agronomist. Joy was involved with pastoral cattle production for the last 14 years running Droughtmaster/shorthorn crosses for both the domestic and export markets.

She is really passionate about agricultural diversification, and building capacity and resilience within individual businesses to provide options for the highs and lows in production. Expect to see Joy working with regional grower groups, assisting agricultural industry development and guiding diversification and working with NT pastoralists. Please feel free to drop into the Katherine Research Station to see her, or meet her at the Katherine Field Day in April.

Samantha Cullen

Molecular Diagnostician, Biosecurity and Animal Welfare, Darwin

Phone: 8999 2018


Coming from a botany background, Sam has spent the last few years working on the Banana Fusarium (Tropical Race 4) research project in Darwin. Her new role is to identify vegetable viruses and phytoplasmas through molecular diagnostics as part of an  area wide management project funded by Hort Innovation.

Dr Maxine Piggott

Principal Molecular Scientist, Biosecurity and Animal Welfare, Darwin

Phone: 8999 2120


Maxine has over 12 years of research experience in molecular ecology, including being awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Award and an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Aaward Research Fellowship. Her research has included species monitoring and whole community biodiversity assessments from aquatic samples using environmental DNA, population genetics of mammals, marine invertebrates and fish and development of new molecular techniques. Maxine heads the molecular biology section and associated projects. This branch provides research and diagnosis for plant pests and diseases via DNA analysis. The projects include work on Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus, fusarium wilt of bananas and the new Horticulture Innovation project:  'area wide management in vegetables'.

Simone (Min) Andrews

Min Andrews is the newest edition to the Livestock Biosecurity team in Katherine.

You may know Min from her role as a Biosecurity Officer in the Kununurra/Kimberley region of Western Australia. Min has spent the majority of her life in the Kimberley region and has more than 20 years’ experience in the Northern Beef Industry. Her experience and interest in this industry began when she started working in stock camps at a young age on Auvergne station and Newry Station. In 2009, Simone graduated with a Bachelor of Agribusiness from the University of New England. Over the years, Min followed her passion into a number of roles including managing the Charles Darwin University Katherine Campus Brahman stud, Technical Officer at Victoria River Research Station and for last four and a half years as a Biosecurity Officer for Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in Kununurra Western Australia. As a Biosecurity officer in Kununurra Simone has acquired extensive knowledge in disease surveillance, protocols for cattle travelling across the Western Australia and Northern Territory border and livestock inspections.

Min looks forward to learning new tasks and expanding her knowledge in the beef industry

Last updated: 19 September 2019

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