FABIans were treated to a special seminar by renowned forest pathologist, Prof. Everett Hansen, on May 12. A professor emeritus from Oregon State University, Prof. Hansen is a guest at FABI on his first visit to South Africa. He served as external examiner on Elsie Cruywagen’s PhD thesis and attended her oral defence on 13 May. He is also one of several forest scientists scheduled to speak at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme, a flagship event on the FABI calendar. 

Drawing on years of research in the areas of forest pathology and the management of forest tree diseases, Prof. Hansen delivered a presentation titled: ‘Two “new” needle cast diseases of Douglas-fir in Oregon: On the watch for the next “big” thing’. He highlighted the challenges in identifying diseases in the trees, partly because of similarities in the manifestation of disease symptoms caused by different pathogens.  

Following his seminar he was hosted on a visit to the FABI biocontrol facility where Prof. Wilhelm de Beer, Samantha Bush and Zandile Mngade briefed him on the biocontrol programme’s challenges and successes over the past 12 years.