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Director Attends the 50TH anniversary Australian Entomological Society Conference

Biomonitoring International’s Director has just returned from the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Australian Entomological Society, which took place in Canberra.

Several sessions considered the description and identification of Australia’s diverse and still partly unknown insect fauna, highlighting the various molecular or genomic procedures that are becoming available to assist with this.

Biosecurity featured prominently at the conference. The world loses about 39 percent of food production due to animal pests, so any improvement in our biosecurity procedures is essential for food security. One session considered how the landscape can be managed to capitalize on the ability of natural enemies to naturally limit damage by pests. The value of remnant vegetation was clearly evident, which is in marked contrast with our current politicians interest in relaxing clearing bans.

Other sessions considered the chemical communication between plants and insects, information processing by insects, insects as tools in forensic investigations, and the ecosystem services provided by these animals.

A key take-home message is that a fully functional entomological research effort is essential for the well-being of humans and our planet. Sadly, the funding and political interest in our universities and research institutions does not seem to be reflecting the urgency of this need.

Posted: Oct 05, 2014