Dr. Michelle Schroder, a postdoctoral fellow at FABI is spending two months collaborating with researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Forest Industries Research Centre. This visit, funded by an Australian Award Fellowship, will see Michelle undertake an extensive field survey of the Eucalyptus snout-beetle, Gonipterus spp. and search for matching wasps that parasitise this weevil’s eggs or larvae along Australia’s east coast.

This research project is part of a global collaboration that includes Brazilian, Chilean, Portuguese and South African (FABI) partners, led by USC, which is aimed at targeting Australian-origin eucalypt pests.

This native Australian weevil is a serious pest of Eucalyptus trees and weevil outbreaks have increased in South Africa in recent decades, after almost a century of seemingly acceptable biological control by a parasitoid wasp Anaphes nitens Girault.

The aim of Michelle’s work with USC is to find a parasitoid wasp species that is a better match to combat the weevil, and is also better adapted to certain South African climate conditions.

Until quite recently, Gonipterus was thought to be just one species, but it is now known that it is actually eight (or more) different species and Michelle hopes that the project will give South Africa a better matched biocontrol agent.

New Publications

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Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Heiniger U, Wingfield BD, Wingfield MJ, De Beer ZW. (2017) A new Leptographium species from the roots of declining Pinus sylvestris in Switzerland. Forest Pathology 10.1111/efp.12346
Faulkner KT, Hurley BP, Robertson MP, Rouget M, Wilson JRU. (2017) The balance of trade in alien species between South Africa and the rest of Africa. Bothalia 47 10.4102/abc.v47i2.2157
Van der Linde JA, Wingfield MJ, Crous CJ, Six DL, Roux J. (2017) Landscape degradation may contribute to large-scale die-offs of Euphorbia ingens in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 111:144-152. 10.1016/j.sajb.2017.03.022 PDF
Kenis M, Hurley BP, Hajek A, Cock MJW. (2017) Classical biological control of insect pests of trees: facts and figures. Biological Invasions 10.1007/s10530-017-1414-4
Van der Linde JA, Six DL, Wingfield MJ, Roux J. (2017) Fungi and insects associated with Euphorbia ingens die-off in South Africa. Southern Forests 10.2989/20702620.2016.1263004 PDF