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Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference

Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference

Recordings of all Conference presentations are now available on the ANPC YouTube channel!

 

Myrtle Rust threatens an estimated 350 Australian plants, killing new growth, buds and flowers, meaning severely impacted species can no longer reproduce. Worst affected species will disappear from the wild. Myrtle Rust is having such a devastating impact on some native plants, that scientists, community groups and First Nations groups in Australia and New Zealand are working together to devise an Australasian response. In June 2023 over 100 experts from around the globe met in Sydney to share knowledge in the inaugural Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference, supported by the Australian Network for Plant Conservation.

Attendees were buoyed by the breadth of work and dedication to preventing Myrtle Rust extinctions. They were simultaneously unanimous in the sentiment that stronger leadership, greater coordination, and long-term funding were the crucial missing elements. Priority next steps include improved sharing of resources and of research and its outcomes, and refining priority species and actions for conservation efforts to maximise the involvement of researchers, communities and land managers.

Several key themes emerged from the 50 presentations given during the conference, giving rise to potential simultaneous directions to tackle Myrtle Rust incursions and extinctions:

International guest speaker Dr Richard Sniezko from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, presenting on developing disease resistance tree populations for restoration. Credit: Dan Turner

       

 

Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference an outstanding success!

Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference an outstanding success!

More than 90 people, including many from New Zealand, gathered to discuss developments across the rapidly expanding field of Myrtle Rust research and conservation action. Indigenous representation and voice, from both Australia and New Zealand, was the highest of any Australian-based Myrtle Rust conference so far. The conference was followed by a two-day workshop on the screening potential for rust-tolerant genotypes in some of the most severely affected species, as a basis for reinforcing the declining populations. Conference attendee and guest speaker Dr Richard Sniezko (US Department of Agriculture Forest Service), who has a long history in breeding North American trees for disease resistance, has helped take this management option to a firmer level. Recordings from the conference will be available soon!

The next step is to produce a report on the outcomes and achievements of the Conference and workshop. This will help transfer awareness of current research and conservation practice between the countries and Australian states, and will feed into the Commonwealth’s development of a Threat Abatement Plan and parallel work in various states.

Image: Bob Makinson, ANPC Outreach Delegate and Myrtle Rust champion (left), with fellow rust warriors Peri Tobias from University of Sydney and Geoff Pegg from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, at the Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference last week in Sydney. Credit: Chantelle Doyle

Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference

Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference

Weds 21 – Fri 23 June 2023 (field trip 24 June)
Holme Building, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW
https://eee.eventsair.com/myrtle-rust-conference/We would like to invite you to the Australasian Myrtle Rust Conference. This event will bring together researchers and experts from across Australia to discuss future Myrtle Rust management options and research priorities. Join us in Sydney from 21-23 June to discuss and learn about the latest research and management approaches. Be part of the conversation as we ask, “where to from here?”This event will include a poster session and optional field trip to view Myrtle Rust where it is heavily impacting Australian native plants.  The program outline with session themes is now available on the website with more details coming soon. Early bird registrations are open until Friday 31 March and abstract submissions will open soon.

Head to the website to find out more.