[ASC-media] Plant Pathologists Invade Australia

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Mon Apr 25 09:21:22 CEST 2011


Asian and Australasian Plant Pathology Societies 

MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed: 26 April 2011

Plant Pathologists INVADE AUSTRALIA

Darwin will host 400 plant pathologists from around the world from 26 to 29
April at a joint international conference of Asian and Australasian Plant
Pathology Societies. Delegates are coming from Australia, China, India,
Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan,
Philippines, PNG, Thailand, America, UK, Canada and Southern Africa.

The theme for the conference is New Frontiers in Plant Pathology for Asia
and Oceania and experts will discuss the key international and Australian
issues, threats and developments in plant diseases and crop protection of
field and horticultural crops, forests and natural ecosystems.

"There is close collaboration and cooperation by plant pathologists around
the world, and especially in our region, as our countries all face or likely
to face the same plant diseases. It just makes sense," said Dr Caroline
Mohammed, President of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society.

"There are lessons to be learned in biosecurity and surveillance of existing
diseases and diseases of concern such as eucalypt rust of our trees; citrus
greening of our fruit; phytophthora cinnamon in our native vegetation, and
rust, barley yellow dwarf virus and fusarium in our cereal crops." 

"Over the week, there will be workshops including visits to Darwin farms and
laboratories, and addresses by leading international and Australian plant
pathologists."

"What we do isn't that different to what you see on TV's forensic
pathologist programs, except we're chasing the 'criminals' threatening our
sources of food," she noted.

International and Australian experts include:  

-       Professor Jim Stack, Professor of Plant Pathology at Kansas State
University. Jim is a biosecurity specialist who coordinates a nine-state
project for the detection and diagnosis of serious plant diseases and pests
and is the principal investigator of a plant biosecurity project at the
National Agriculture Biosecurity Center.

-       Dr Francisco Ochoa Corona, a forensic plant pathologist whose
particular interests are the prediction and monitoring of biosecurity
threats, tracking their global dispersal routes and limiting their spread. 

-       Honorary Professor Lester Burgess, who has had a love affair with
Fusarium since 1970's. What has moved him to a life's work in plant
pathology?


-       Dr Caroline Mohammed, Theme Leader in Climate Change Adaptation at
University of Tasmania and the current president of the Australasian Plant
Pathology Society, who is a senior forest health expert and is engaged in
drafting pest risk analyses and a national audit of forest biosecurity
preparedness. 


-       Dr Les Baxter, Research Program Manager in Horticulture at the
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, a part of
Australia's aid program. He can address the significant biosecurity and
biocontrol successes and current work of interest with our neighbours in the
Asia Pacific.

Photo/Footage Opportunities:

Workshops on Tuesday, Saturday:


26 April: Lab work related to bacterial diseases of bananas 


26 April: Nematology in the Asia-Pacific with tour of vegetable farms in the
Darwin area 


30 April: Visit to farms, highlighting  tropical horticultural industries in
Darwin, particularly mangos 

 

For further information and to arrange interviews contact: Cathy Reade,
Public Awareness Coordinator, Crawford Fund 0413 575 934 Program and sponsor
details are at http://www.appc2011.org/

 

 





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