As the world’s population grows and food shortage increases, the successful management of plant diseases is becoming increasingly vital.
Underscoring the importance of plant pathology today was the inaugural joint conference of the Asian Association of Societies for Plant Pathology (AASPP) and the Australasian Plant Pathology Society (APPS) held recently in Darwin, Australia. The multifaceted international conference driven by the theme “New Frontiers in Plant Pathology for Asia and Oceania” was held 26-29 April at the Darwin Convention Centre.
The event attracted over 600 scientists, researchers, and specialists from all over the world as well as an impressive line-up of keynote speakers from Australia, US, Thailand, China, and Indonesia. Presentations from the international experts and emerging researchers covered topics such as bio security, leading edge bioinformatics, tropical horticultural and agricultural issues, education and extension.
“We were delighted by the number of people who attended,“ says Elaine Davison, President of the AASPP.
Australia was unanimously chosen as the destination for the conference due to its proximity to South East Asia, multicultural diversity visitor appeal and safety, and shared issues in plant diseases.
“Darwin is a bit exotic too. The conference also gave delegates from developing countries the chance to use Australian laboratories and enhance their diagnostic skills, ” adds Professor Davison.
Two meetings of the International Society for Plant Pathology (ISSP) were also held to coincide with the conference, including a virtual conference on global food security.
“Darwin Convention Centre was really good, a lot of people commented on its seamless operation,” says Professor Davison.
Satellite workshops followed the main conference at the Charles Darwin University, a world-leading research and education institution.
But it was not all work for delegates of the action-packed conference program. A social dinner with a difference was held at a unique offsite venue – Crocosaurus Cove – which boasts the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles.
Darwin has a proven track record at boosting delegate attendance due to its destination appeal. It is the gateway to the Australian Outback as well as the country’s premier natural and cultural attractions.