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Christchurch hit by swarm of Australasian entomologists

In August 2011, the earthquake ravaged city of Christchurch, New Zealand, was the aggregation point for hundreds of entomologists, mostly from Australia and New Zealand.  The attractant was the third combined conference of the Australian and New Zealand Entomological Societies (the 60th conference for the New Zealanders and the 42nd conference for the Australians), held at Lincoln University.  Among the delegates was Dr Francisco Tovar, from the CRC for Forestry/ Integrated Pest Management Group (IPMG) in Western Australia.  He had gone to NZ to discuss the status of Australasian entomology.

The conference was divided into five broad theme areas: Systematics and Biodiversity; Biosecurity; Conservation; Pest Biocontrol; and Climate Change and Insects.  Each theme area was opened by an internationally recognised expert in the field, including speakers from the USA and South Africa.

The program and abstracts can be viewed here.

At the conference Francisco presented a poster outlining the IPMG's work towards developing a collaborative plantation health monitoring system for the entire Western Australian plantation estate. Some highlighted projects included:

  • development of standardised rapid surveillance methods
  • development of mobile-device software to easily record pests and diseases in the field
  • development of a web-based database of pest and disease records in Western Australia.

A copy of the poster is available here.