Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Building capacity for biological control in Asian agriculture

Professor Geoff Gurr in ChinaGraham Centre member Professor Geoff Gurr helped deliver an innovative training program focusing on biodiversity and biological control of pests in Asia’s intensified agricultural systems.

The week-long workshop in September was run by the International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC) was targeted at students and young professionals.

It was delivered simultaneously in Beijing and Hanoi with Skyped video lectures and forums interspersing field visits and practical exercises in both locations.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in arthropod pest management, Dr Jian Liu took part in the workshop along with 60 other participants from more than a dozen nations.

Professor Gurr, a Professor of applied ecology at Charles Sturt University’s School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences also visited collaborators in China at Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences.The training program on biodiversity and biological control of pests featured practical exercises.

“The aim of the visit was to promote conservation biological control, which is becoming more popular since it has been embraced in Chinese Government policies and guidelines.

Professor Gurr and Dr Liu also presented aspects of their research at the International Symposium for Biological Control of Arthropods, held in Malaysia in late September.

Contact: Professor Geoff Gurr T: (02) 6365 7551 E: ggurr@csu.edu.au

Managing Grasslands sustainably

Graham Centre member, Professor David Kemp gave the primary plenary address ‘Managing Grasslands Sustainably’ to the annual conference of the Chinese Grassland Society, in Guangzhou in early November.

Professor Kemp said, “The Grasslands Society in China, based at China Agricultural University in Beijing, is supported by the Chinese Government.

“It has several branches within the Society, working from the arid zones and high mountains to intensive tropical forages and turf.”

The three-day meeting was attended by 800 delegates and included many students, academics and international speakers.

In north Asia the next big event will be the joint Japan-China-Korea grasslands biennial meeting to be held in Sapporo, Japan from 8-10 July, 2018.

Contact: Professor David Kemp T: (02) 6365 7526   E: dkemp@csu.edu.au

Pest and disease management in PNG

Improving pest and disease management in crops in Papua New Guinea is the focus of Graham Centre member, Dr Jian Liu’s current research.

Dr Jian Liu visited PNG recently as part of her research into improved strategies for pest and disease managementDr Liu, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in arthropod pest management, recently travelled to Goroka in the PNG Highlands as part of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded project.

Dr Liu and her research collaborators Dr Gunar Kirchhof and Dr Ryo Fujinuma, from the University of Queensland, visited the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) station in Aiyura and the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) in Goroka.

“I worked with local staff on field samples and planning further on-station field work,” Dr Liu said.”A highlight was visiting farms in the Asaro valley where novel pest and disease management strategies are being trialled.”

Contact: Dr Jian Liu T: (02) 6365 7767 E: jialiu@csu.edu.au