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Media Release

‘Predatory, destructive and useful’ pests and diseases draw a crowd to Adelaide

Publication date: 4 May 2022

A pest that can fly 100 kilometres in one night, produce more than 1000 eggs in its one-month lifespan and decimate more than 350 species of plants will be one topic of discussion at the Plant Biosecurity Research Symposium in Adelaide next week.

Held at the National Wine Centre, and hosted by the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative, the two-day event will attract hundreds of pest and disease experts from around the country and overseas, keen to share new information on the fast-travelling Fall Army Worm, among a host of other issues.

PBRI program director Dr Jo Luck said attendees would hear the latest research on combatting threats to Australian plants with scientific experts, growers and others set to share valuable information at the bi-annual event.

“Research that addresses major biosecurity threats to our plant industries will be centre stage at this event,” she said. “All pests and diseases will be in the spotlight, including the predatory, the destructive and the useful. There will also be plenty of lessons to be learnt from our overseas counterparts who are presenting along with local researchers who have made valuable breakthroughs.”

Dr Luck said pests and diseases put Australia’s more than $29 billion of plant and broadacre industry at risk. “Industries working together through platforms such as the Plant Biosecurity Research Symposium is vital,” she said. “What this event will do is give attendees an insight into the latest innovations to help limit the destruction of our crops and support the longevity of Australian plant industries.“ 

The event will include:

  • The latest technology advances in biosecurity risk detection, Department of Agriculture and Water
  • Incentivising biosecurity for growers, University of Melbourne
  • Elevating and recognising knowledge of indigenous peoples to improve biosecurity in the Pacific, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research
  • DNA-based gut contents analysis for investigating insect diet and movement, CSIRO
  • Bees as Biosecurity Biomonitors: exotic plant detection and identification to monitor plant invasions, Scion
  • Lessons learnt managing Fall Army Worm, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • An update on Plant Health Clinics in the Pacific Islands, University of QLD
  • What we can learn from biosecurity organisations in overseas jurisdictions and collaboration opportunities, panel session featuring speakers from Europe, New Zealand and Australia
  • Awarding of four Ritman Scholarships to post-graduate students.
  • And lots more.

The National Wine Centre is located on the corner of Hackney Rd and Botanic St in Adelaide.

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is a major sponsor of this event

Gareth Finch
Head of Communications
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