Networking over Swiss cheese, weeds and international beverages

Aerial view of Engelberg from a Swiss gondola
Aerial view of Engelberg from a Swiss gondola

The latest international travels by CBC members took them to the picturesque town of Engelberg, in Switzerland, to attend the XV International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds (ISBCW), from 26-31 August 2018. Seven staff members and two students contributed to a delegation of around 30 researchers from South Africa out of just over 200 delegates.  The symposium was attended by colleagues from all over the world working on many different aspects of biological control. The CBC team gave a total of 10 oral presentations, 5 poster presentations and 3 workshops.  See a full list of CBC presentations here. The best poster award was shared between two posters both of which Prof Julie Coetzee was a co-author on. It is wonderful to hold our CBC flag high and contribute to the important work coming out of South Africa on biological control.

The symposium had a busy schedule but, encompassed a mid-week break with various activities on offer for the mid-symposium tours. These included a variety guided walks in the alpine environment of the Engelberg Valley, as well as a guided hike through the karst and caves of Schrattenfluh in the Entlebuch UNESCO biosphere (part of the worldwide biosphere reserves network). Other social events included an international beverage evening on the second night, and the final Symposium cheese fondue dinner which took place at the Mountain Lodge restaurant Ristis. An impressive view at an elevation of 1600m, reached with a ride in a Swiss Brunni Gondola.

Argentina and Brazil won a combined bid to host the the 16th ISBCW in 2022. The CBC has strong ties with Argentina – two of our researchers, Kim Weaver and Prof Julie Coetzee will be visiting Argentina in October to collaborate with waterweeds researchers focusing on public engagement and to gain better insights in understanding the problematic weed, Iris pseudacorus - so watch this space.

 CBC delegates in Engelberg, Switzerland 



 The picturesque Engleberg (Photo: Evans Mauda)

CBC PhD student Guy Sutton presenting his research (Photo: Kim Weaver)


 Workshop participants in discussion (Photo: Kim Weaver)

 Inside a glacier cave (Photo: Kim Weaver)

Source:  Kim Weaver and Esther Mostert

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