Since 1987, James has been a director and manager of Biological Services, commercially producing beneficial organisms for biological pest control programs in horticultural systems, particularly citrus and greenhouse crops.
James was also a founding director of Fruit Doctors Pty Ltd in 1993, providing a wide range of horticultural production advice to growers of citrus, wine/table grapes, almonds, pomefruit, stone fruit and avocados. Regular consultancy was confined to the Riverland/Sunraysia districts, but projects in citrus have been undertaken in all Southern growing districts of Australia.
James is joint owner of Belair Orchards, a 40 hectare fruit property growing several citrus varieties, avocados, wine grapes and some vegetables and greenhouse crops. This property is regularly used to demonstrate sustainable production techniques to clients.
In 1992 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study mass rearing of bio-control agents in USA/Canada, and in 1997 was presented the Les Baker Citrus Industry Award from Australian Citrus Growers Inc., for valuable service and extension advice to citrus growers of Australia.
James is a member of Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (AIAST) and is accredited as a Certified Practising Agriculturalist (CPAg) by the Australian register of Agricultural consultants since its inception in 1998.
Lachlan studied horticulture and entomology at UQ Gatton and carried out his honours project in the Queensland strawberry industry looking at predatory mite releases for the control of two spotted mite. Following a few 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 started producing Phytoseiulus persimilis to control two spotted mite in strawberries and greenhouse crops, then was instrumental in commercialising the rearing 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 strawberries and greenhouse crops that a decade ago were all sprayed extensively with pesticides and very little if any biocontrol existed. Lachlan is a member of both the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, and Australasian Biological Control Association (ABC).
More recently, in collaboration with James Altmann, Lachlan has developed a commercial rearing system for the whitefly predator Nesidiocoris tenuis for use in whitefly sensitive crops such as tomato and eggplants.
Between 2008-14 James and Lachlan have been working together to develop and implement complete IPM programs for virus sensitive greenhouse capsicums throughout Australia, and successful adoption of IPM in strawberries throughout WA, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania to combat insecticide resistant western flower thrips and two spotted mite. Together they have also been instrumental in developing successful biologically driven IPM programs for tomato, eggplant, cucumber, melons, raspberry, blackberry, nursery and some flower crops. This collaboration has culminated in the merging of their previous businesses into the new Biological Services from July 1st, 2014.