Prof Martin Hill and Dr Iain Paterson went over to Argentina recently to strengthen and build partnerships with fellow southern hemisphere collaborators. There were two main objectives for the trip, one was for Prof Hill to spend time with the Foundation for the Study of Invasive Species (FuEDEI) based in Buenos Aires, on a joint project on creating awareness of biological control of water hyacinth at St Vicente. Then the other objective was to attend the 10th Conference of the Argentine Entomological Society in Mendoza.
While Prof Hill was with FuEDEI, he gave talks to students at the University of Buenos Aires, the University of La Rioja and a High School in St Vicente. This visit was on the request of our Argentine biocontrol colleagues to try and promote the use of biological control within Argentina (which is not widely utilised) and to motivate to improve the process of getting new potential agents out of Argentina.
Dr Paterson then joined Prof Hill in Mendoza to attend the conference in Mendoza. Prof Hill gave a plenary address on the “The contribution of Argentine biodiversity to weed control globally and specifically South Africa through classical biological control”. Dr Paterson gave a talk on “Argentine-South African collaboration for biological control of invasive alien cactus weeds”. The main reason for being at the meeting was because South Africa has benefited in the past from using insects native to Argentina for biological control but the process of getting permits to export insects from Argentina has become very difficult recently.
Many of the Centre’s new research programmes rely on our contacts in Argentina because we need to source agents from there. A large amount of field work is planned in Argentina over the next two years so it is important to foster collaborations with Argentine scientists.Source: Kim Weaver
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