By Better Border Biosecurity.

Science Partnership Forum

B3 hosted a successful and productive virtual Science Partnership Forum on 15 October, with over 80 participants taking part in the day-long event.  Despite this being a virtual meeting the feedback was very encouraging and affirming of current research happening in the plant biosecurity space.

The forum is held twice a year and brings together researchers from across B3, PhD students currently working on biosecurity related topics, international scientists and connections, representatives from partner organisations, Biological Heritage NSC, stakeholders and end users.  A new biosecurity focussed proposal funded through Genomics Aotearoa was also presented. 

Director David Teulon said the event highlighted once again the value of the biosecurity community coming together to share updates, ideas and research as well as launching the latest call for B3 research concepts to be funded in the 2021-22 year.

Dr Teulon also presented updates on directions outlined in the draft 2020-2025 B3 Strategic Plan and said it was encouraging to hear from a number of PhD students about their work in biosecurity research.

Additionally, University of Canterbury engineering students highlighted their work on a project funded through the B3 project Biosecurity Excellence in Port Communities. Their research looks at detection methods for potentially contaminated containers that do not impact port operations. They did this through automated image capturing and processing.

“It is good to see such enthusiasm in our next generation of biosecurity researchers,” he said.

Also presenting was entomologist Dr Helen Spafford from Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development team based in Kununurra. Dr Spafford presented on Fall Army Worm and how this is being managed in Australia.   

The next Science Partnership Forum is scheduled to be held as part of the B3 Conference May 17-18 2021.

Biosecurity Trail at Auckland Botanic Gardens Named as Biosecurity Awards Finalist

The Biosecurity Trail at the Auckland Botanic Gardens has been selected as a finalist in the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. The trail is one of three finalists in the Department of Conservation Community Pihinga Award for new projects/initiatives.
Although the Biosecurity Trail project was led by PFR, it had a ‘whole of B3 approach’ with organisms selected to represent all plant systems, after discussion with many B3 parties. B3 researchers were also involved to some degree in the Fruit Fly Council – Fruit Fly Response 2019 team, and the Pea Weevil Response Group (both finalists in the GIA Industry Award).

The winners will be announced in November.

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