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Researchers share knowledge to protect plant biosecurity

Researchers from the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity have met in the Swan Valley, Western Australia, to exchange ideas about how to further protect Australia's plant biosecurity from the ongoing threats from pests and diseases.

The CRCNPB Science Exchange - which has been a regular event for the past six years - brings together the CRCNPB Board, staff, researchers, industry and participants to share plant biosecurity expertise.

Over two and a half days the Science Exchange provided project teams with the opportunity to present the research they have conducted to their peers, in what is a mass ‘knowledge sharing' forum.

The Science Exchange doubled as a celebration, highlighting the outstanding achievements of the CRCNPB over its seven year term, while also looking forward to what may lay ahead in the six year term for the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC), which begins operations on 1 July 2012.

The Exchange included an Awards Dinner on Thursday 24 May, with a number of research teams recognised for their outstanding research.

Awards included:

  • Science Committee Award for Science Impact: Biosensor-based Detection of Grain Pests (CRC Project 20081 led by Alisha Anderson)
  • Science Committee Award for Biosecurity Impact: Post Entry Quarantine (CRC Project 40050 led by Brendan Rodoni)
  • Science Committee Award for Collaboration: Ensuring Effective Phosphine Application (CRC Project 50091 led by Greg Hopkins)
  • Science Committee Award for Contribution to the CRC: Jo Luck
  • Science Committee Award for Best Presentation: Mark Schutze
  • Board Directors Award for Best Poster: Phillip Burrill
  • People's Choice Award for Best Poster: Anna Rathe

CRCNPB CEO Dr Simon McKirdy was thrilled to see so many researchers present for the final Science Exchange of the CRCNPB.

"Plant biosecurity is vital in protecting Australia's native flora and fauna and export markets, so it is fantastic to have nearly 200 delegates here to share ideas about how we can further improve research in these areas," Dr McKirdy said.

"To have international partners present from the USA, China, New Zealand and Indonesia provided opportunities to develop collaborative research further afield than Australian shores, which will have a positive impact for plant biosecurity worldwide and indicates biosecurity is a global issue."

Dr McKirdy also acknowledged the researchers recognised at the Awards Dinner.

"I would like to congratulate the project teams recognised at the Science Exchange Awards Dinner, the nominations were of a very high standard, so the awards highlight the outstanding results our researchers have achieved in helping to safeguard Australia against the ongoing threat of plant pests and diseases."

More information:
Dr Simon McKirdy, Chief Executive Officer, CRCNPB, 02 6201 2412
Max Knobel, Communications Manager, CRCNPB, 0402 327 087

A printable version of the media release is available here.