Murdoch to host conference on managing dieback

July 13, 2011

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The latest techniques developed to manage Phytophthora dieback, an introduced pathogen which has laid waste to large areas of wilderness in south west Western Australia, will be presented at a major conference at Murdoch University on Friday, July 22.

Scientists, land managers, industry stakeholders, government representatives and community members will be sharing information about the issue at the Dieback Information Group (DIG) conference, which is celebrating its 10th year.

Topics to be presented and discussed at the conference will include the latest scientific research into dieback, the launch of an online management tool for community groups and land managers and an update of the new Phytophthora species and hybrids, and their implications. Speakers have also been lined up to present on the proposed walk trail through the Fitzgerald River National Park.

Conference organiser Dr Nari Williams said: “The conference will also give interested groups and individuals the chance to discuss the latest dieback management projects and implications, including the role of Phytophthora species in the current widespread collapse of canopy species throughout the Northern Jarrah Forest.

“We’d like to thank all of the speakers who have volunteered their time to present their findings and innovations.”

Professor Giles Hardy, Director of the Centre of Phytophthora Science and Management at Murdoch University, said dieback was one of the biggest threats to biodiversity in the south west.

“This pathogen is a biological bulldozer, and a number of rare native plants and animals are being driven to the brink of extinction due to its impact,” he said.

“Currently hundreds of thousands of hectares in the south west of the state are affected by the disease at a significant cost to industries like mining, forestry, horticulture, nurseries, construction and eco tourism.

“Only if we all come together and share our expertise and experience do we stand a decent chance in fighting back against this pathogen so I would urge anyone interested in our state’s natural heritage to attend the conference.”

The DIG conference is open to all and registrations can be completed on the conference website.

The conference will take place in the Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre from 9am until around 4.40pm, with registrations opening at 8.30am.

Media contact: Jo Manning
Tel: (08) 9360 2474  |  Mobile: 0408 201 309  |  Email: j.manning@murdoch.edu.au
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Comments (One response)

Graeme July 15, 2011

Scientists, land managers, industry stakeholders, government representatives and community members will be sharing information about the issue at the Dieback Information Group (DIG) conference, which is celebrating its 10th year.

Celebrate might not be the right choice of words.

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