CBC represented at the 45th Annual Invasive Species Management Symposium

CBC staff and students at the Symposium
CBC staff and students at the Symposium

The Centre for Biological Control (CBC) was represented at the 45th Annual Invasive Species Management Symposium by a contingent of 10 students and 2 staff members. It took place at the University of Venda, in Limpopo from the 3 – 6 July. The journey to the symposium took the team across to one of the north-most reaches of the country, Thohoyandou, where they met a number of delegates from different backgrounds. The symposium was attended by government departments like the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), municipalities and institutes such as SANBI, who organized the event. Researchers and students from a number of academic and research institutions such as the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), Stellenbosch University, University of the Witswatersrand, and the University of Venda were also in attendance.

The theme of the conference this year was “Invasions trans-boundary” where most of the keynote talks addressed the problem of the spread and movement of invasive species across regional and international boundaries. It was identified that there is a need for stronger biosecurity measures, as well as to enforce them once they are in place. Furthermore, it was highlighted that there is still a knowledge a gap between research and implementation. This is a recurring problem that has been discussed over the years during this conference. A round table discussion allowed implementation managers and officers to voice out the disjoint between research and implementation,  the input from the round table discussion will be used to write a chapter in the a book by van Wilgen and colleagues.  It is hoped that this will help contribute to bridging the gap that exists, and therefore lead to better management of all invasive flora and fauna in South Africa and the region at large. The team from the CBC did well in representing Rhodes University, where one of the speakers got recognition for having delivered the best speed talk at the conference - well done Nompumelelo Baso! We are very proud of her. The team also had the opportunity to visit  Kruger National Park during on their way home.

CBC Symposium Presentations:

  • The effects of elevated CO2 on the biological control of four invasive macrophytes that are currently under control in South Africa: Nompumelelo Baso (3 minutes, Best speed talk award)
  • Surveys and host specificity testing of potential biological control agents for Nymphaea mexicana Zuccarini: Megan Reid (3 minutes)
  • Invasion ecology of Pontederia cordata L. in South Africa: Sage Winsell (3 minutes)
  • The invasion of Sagittaria platyphylla (Engelm.) J.G.Sm. (Alismataceae) in South Africa over the past ten years: Mpilonhle Ndlovu (3 minutes)
  • Steps towards biological control programme of African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum Miers: Solanaceae) an invasive shrub in Australia: Evans Mauda (15 minutes)
  • Evaluating the establishment of Megamelus scutellaris (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) on water hyacinth in South Africa: Benjamin Miller (15 minutes)
  • The distribution and impacts of two species of Eccritotarsus, on Eichhornia crassipes in South Africa: Zolile Maseko (3 minutes)
  • The invasion ecology of Nymphaea mexicana (Mexican waterlily) in South Africa: Prinavin Naidu (15 minutes)
  • Augmentative releases of the cochineal insect, Dactylopius austrinus De Lotto in the management of jointed cactus, Opuntia aurantiaca Lindley: Thifhelimbilu Mulateli (3 minutes)
  • Egeria densa and its biological control in South Africa: Rosali Smith (3 minutes)
  • A new invasive alien cactus in South Africa: Ekhona Zozo (3 minutes)
  • The thermal physiology of Stenopelmus rufinasus and Neohydronomus affinis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), biological control agents for the invasive alien aquatic weeds Azolla filiculoides and Pistia stratiotes respectively: Candice Owen (3 minutes)


Source:  Zolile Maseko

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