Mahbub Rahman

Dr Mahbub Rahman

Adjunct Lecturer

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

I offer over 26 years of international and national experience in diverse areas of Agriculture Science, including over 17 years of post-Ph.D. experience in Pest Management (Bacillus thurngiensis (Bt) resistant management and IPM) and Biosecurity RD&E project inclusion and management experience in Australia. I managed and delivered multiple research projects and co-led multidisciplinary teams of Australia’s states and national interest in research to operations context at Adelaide University and PIRSA (Primary Industries and Regions, Government of South Australia). The personal initiative I took working in various capacities at Adelaide University and PIRSA demonstrates my successful stakeholder engagement skills and my ability to influence key decision-makers with my evidence-based, passionate and professional communication style. My respect and passion for Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) biopesticides, and Biosafety and Biosecurity RD&E grew from my international childhood upbringing in Bangladesh where I would see my community suffer from a lack of proper knowledge to control insect vectors of dengue and other vector-borne diseases, therefore, have devoted my academic and personal pursuits to help support practical improvement in broad areas of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of insect pests and vector mosquito species including building skills, knowledge and capacities of sustainable use of Bt-biopesticide and its resistant management strategies. Currently, I am actively pursuing building a global network of collaboration to support the scientists and policymakers in Bangladesh towards sustainable comprehensive management strategies for the use of Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti) to control vector mosquito species and other insect pests.

I am an extremely quick learner, and this has been proven consistently and on multiple occasions, one accomplishment to note was my completion of my Ph.D. in just two years. In summary, I am an optimistic, adaptable, supportive, true go-getter with a highly regarded and respected amongst my network of industry professionals and peers.


  • Open for the University of Adelaide’s role in current and future international collaborations for the areawide management of insect vectors of diseases through sustainable use of insecticidal proteins Bacillus thuringiensis svar. israelensis (Bti) biopesticides.

Inducible tolerance to Bt-toxin: significance, mechanism, and new management strategies.

  • Our understanding of the diverse biological pathways leading to insect resistance against Bt-toxins outside mutations in major Bt-receptor genes (type I resistance) is still limited. Further, one of the unintended outcomes of intensive selection pressures has been the emergence of new Bt-resistance mechanisms in pest insects. For example, in addition to genetic resistance based on target site mutations (which produces individuals resistant to high toxin concentrations), we have shown that exposure of insect larvae to low to medium levels of Bt crystal toxins causes the induction of immune and metabolic responses, resulting low level resistance (which we refer to here as inducible tolerance) in insect population that can be transmitted to offspring by epigenetic inheritance mechanisms (caused by gene and protein regulatory mechanisms) (Rahman et al., 2004).

Managing Bt resistance and induced tolerance with effective refuge crops in preparation for Bollgard III. 

  • The overall aim of this project is to improve the ability of refuges to counter both the threat of resistance developing via genetic mutation, and the potential threat of crop failure via inducible tolerance. By accessing and countering these threats while concurrently developing better refuge management and benchmarking techniques to improve refuge governance, the ultimate aim is to avoid the cost of losing Bt cotton efficacy.

Mechanisms and management of inducible tolerance to synthetic insecticides and Bt-toxins in Australian populations of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

  • Resistance in Australian populations of diamondback moth (DBM) to older insecticide classes was widespread in both canola and Brassica vegetable crops. As a result, the choice of insecticides for the effective control of DBM was increasingly limited to newer synthetic pesticides, such as emamectin benzoate (Proclaim®), spinosad (Success®), indoxacarb (Avatar®), and commercial Bt-formulations.
  • To monitor potential resistance evolution and ensure that resistance, if there was any, was being managed efficiently, we investigated diamondback moth field populations collected from QLD, NSW, and SA for resistance to these newer pesticides and Bt formulations.
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Adjunct Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2022 - 2004 Visiting Research Student University of Adelaide
    2020 - 2021 Supervisor, Fruit Fly Emergency Response Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
    2017 - 2020 Research Office - Fruit Fly Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
    2017 - 2022 Interim Manager and Technical Manager at SITplus Facility Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
    2015 - 2016 Research Office - Diamondback Moth Primary Industries and Resources South Australia
    2008 - 2015 CRDC Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2006 - 2007 GRDC Post Doctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2000 - 2000 Entomologist and Field Supervisor - Dengue Vector Mosquitoes Outbreak Project Dhaka City Corporation
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Bengali -
    English -
    Hindi -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2023 - 2023 The Australian Centre for Financial and Environmental Compliance (ACFEC) Australia PSP40416 Certificate IV in Government Investigations
    2023 - 2023 TAFESA Australia TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
    2004 - 2006 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Insect Ecology and Molecular Biology (Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt)biopesticides)
    1996 - 1998 University of Dhaka Bangladesh Master of Science in Zoology with specialization in Entomology (1st Class)
    1991 - 1995 University of Dhaka Bangladesh Bachelor of Science (1st Class Honours) in Zoology (Botany and Biochemistry as additional subjects)
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2011 - 2015 CRDC Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide Australia
    2008 - 2010 CRDC Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Adelaide Australia
    2006 - 2007 GRDC Postdoctoral Fellow Primary Industries and Resources South Australia Australia
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management Systems (AIIMS) National Council for Fire and Emergency Services, Australia Australia
    Quarantine Awareness and Quarantine Approved Premises Acc. Persons Australian Industry Training Group on Biosecurity (AITGB) -
    Public Information in a Biosecurity Response Animal Health Australia -
    Biosecurity Emergency Response WHS Induction Animal Health Australia Australia
    Plant Biosecurity in Australia Animal Health Australia Australia
    Plant Surveillance Plant Health Australia -
    National EPP Response Management Animal Health Australia -
    Hitchhiker Pests Animal Health Australia -
    First Aid St John Ambulance -
  • Research Interests

  • Australian Government Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)
  • Australian Government Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
  • Horticulture Australia (HAL)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • Supervisor for Honours, Master, and Ph.D. students.
  • Lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate courses
  • Position: Adjunct Lecturer
  • Phone: 83137270
  • Email:
  • Fax: 83137109
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite Building, floor First Floor
  • Room: S111B
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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