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Biological control: the risks, benefits and challenges

March 24, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Professor Barbara Barratt, AgResearch and University of Otago

Biological control is a natural phenomenon, but pest management using natural enemies has been manipulated by man for over 3000 years, with Chinese farmers recognising they could reduce the impact of orchard pests by transferring predatory ant nests to their trees. In her talk, Barbara will describe the recent history of biological control and, in particular, the rise in interest in biosafety aspects. This followed a groundswell of concerns about potential harmful ecological impacts. After a period of intense controversy, it was generally accepted that pre-release risk assessment for biocontrol agents should be a requirement, and many regulatory agencies throughout the world have legislated accordingly. Barbara’s work in the multi-agency research collaboration ‘Better Border Biosecurity’ focuses on risk assessment for intentional introduction of biological control agents. She will describe research by the team to support decisions of the Environmental Protection Authority and DOC who evaluate the risk to the conservation estate.


March 24, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Presbyterian Community Centre
94 Tenby Street
Wanaka, New Zealand
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