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Third International Symposium on the Biological Control of Arthropods

The symposium afforded me the opportunity to meet biological control specialists who use inundative releases of Hymenoptera parasitoids for fruit fly management, including Professor Russell Messing and members of his lab. Professor Messing is a collaborator on the CRCNPB project and is based in Hawaii, where I will visit in June.


Important insights were gained from a number of discussions with Professor Messing that will be further enhanced by the planned study tour later in the year. The symposium also afforded me the opportunity to meet with and foster linkages with other entomologists, including Dr Yael Argov (Israel), an I travelled to Christchurch, New Zealand to attend the Third International Symposium on the Biological Control of Arthropods (ISBCA). I authored/co-authored three papers on various aspects of biological control including the CRCNPB PhD project (CRC600106), which looks at native parasitic wasps as a new eradication tool against fruit fly incursion management in Australia (for which I am the Principal Supervisor).


This symposium had great relevance to three objectives of the CRCNPB. In terms of technical contribution the symposium allowed the dissemination and peer discussion of results that have emanated from research that addresses:


  • Program 1 - Preparedness and Prevention by enabling an increased level of preparedness for potential emergency plant pest incursions of fruit fly through a better understanding of parasitoid ecology under Australian conditions
  • Program 4 - Impact Management by developing tools to underpin optimal and novel control strategies, and
  • Program 6 - Education and Training; this symposium allowed the presentation of research results emanating from CRCNPB PhD student, Jennifer Spinner's project on fruit fly parasitoid.


Attendance at this symposium benefited my career as it was of direct relevance to my current research program looking at the biological control of fruit fly. The symposium also exposed me to the latest developments in biological control, new approaches to ecological pest management and trends in biocontrol and climate/environmental change. This in turn has allowed me to maximise the quality of my supervision and technical input into the CRCNPB PhD project.


expert in parasitoid rearing and Dr Des Conling (South Africa), a former colleague and biological control specialist. Another significant benefit of attendance was a strengthening of the link with the New Zealand Centre for Advanced Bio-protection Technologies. I have now formed a strong link with an early career scientist who is part of the centre and discussions have commenced regarding possible future collaborative research.


I co-authored results on a new fruit fly management tool for Australia, based on inundative parasitoid releases that offer scope to markedly increase the efficacy of emergency plant pest incidents including the eradication of Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) outbreaks and incursion management for exotic fruit fly species. This symposium allowed the presentation of these results to peers, and stimulated new ideas that have assisted the projects (and the larger program) development.  In addition, this symposium was a valuable opportunity to raise the profile of CRCNPB research.


A final highlight of the conference was my opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr John Key. Although only a brief meeting, I was able to discuss topics ranging from biosecurity to bushfires and how New Zealand and Australia cooperate in these areas.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Mr John Key and Dr Olivia Kvedaras

New Zealand Prime Minister, Mr John Key and Dr Olivia Kvedaras


When: February 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Dr Olivia Kvedaras recently attended the Third International Symposium on the Biological Control of Arthropods.