A large contingent of FABI and other South African forestry research scientists and postgraduate students attended the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations’ 125th Anniversary Congress held from 18-22 September in Freiburg, Germany.

IUFRO President and FABI Director Prof Mike Wingfield was joined by 11 fellow FABIans along with eight other South Africa representatives. The FABI delegation included Professors Brenda Wingfield, Bernard Slippers and Paxie Chirwa, Drs Irene Barnes, Brett Hurley, Sanushka Naidoo, Fahimeh Jami, Gudrun Dittrich-Schroder, Maria Vivas, PhD candidate Joey Hulbert and IUFRO President's liaison officer Morne Booij-Liewes. FABI Alumini included Dr Draginja Pavlic-Zupanc, Forestry South Africa Research Director, Dr Ronald Heath, Dr Luke Jimu, Dr Carlos Rodas and Dr Rodrigo Ahumada. Also present was ICFR Knowledge Manager, Sally Upfold and Thobile Nxumalo, along with the University of Stellenbosch’s Prof. Ben du Toit, Prof. Pierre Ackerman and Dr David Drew and Wits University postgraduate student Palesa Mgaga.

The five-day conference drew 1,348 oral and 454 poster presentations by more than 2,000 attendees to the congress. FABIans were active as participants organising or chairing sessions, presenting papers or participating in the poster sessions.


Arriagada-Cares D., J. Garnass, R. Ahumada, G. Dittrich-Schroder, B. Slippers. The introduction history of the red gum lerp psyllid Glycaspis brimblecombei.

De Vos L, M.A. van der Nest, S. van Wyk, E.T. Steenkamp, B.D. Wingfield. Molecular characterisation of chromosome 12 from members of the Fusarium fujikuroi complex.

Gevers C., G. Ditrich-Schroder, I. Germishuizen, A. Morris, S. Bush, B. Slippers, B.P. Hurley. The complex Leptocybe invasa gall community on Eucalyptus.

Granados G.M., A.R. McTaggart, C.A. Rodas, J. Roux, M.J. Wingfield. Can Melastomataceae endophytes be a threat to Eucalyptus plantations in Colombia?

Hulbert, J.M., J. Roux, T.I. Burgess, F. Roets, T. Paap, M.J. Wingfield. Cape Citizen Science: Public engagement to detect and discover Phytophthora species in South Africa.

Pham N.Q., I. Barnes, S.F. Chen, J. Roux, T.Q. Pham, M.J. Wingfield. Novel Calonectria species form plantation and nursery soils in south-east Asia.

Santana Q.C., E.T. Steenkamp, B.D. Wingfield, M.J. Wingfield, M.P.A. Coetzee. Gene gain and loss shapes the evolutionary history of the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum.

Vivas M. Environmental maternal effects on the phenotype and interactions of Eucalyptus seedlings.

Session Presentations:

Chirwa P. Measuring non-carbon benefits of bio-carbon projects and their delivery in existing projects in southern Africa. (Panel discussion)

Hurley B.P. Biological control of insects in plantation forests: Optimising an old approach for diverse and changing environments.

Jami F., S. Marincowitz, P.W. Crous, B. Slippers, J.J. Le Roux, D.M. Richardson, M.J. Wingfield. 2017. Comparison of the Botryosphaeriaceae on Acacia koa and A. heterophylla: Evidence of a long-standing separation of two genetically close, but geographically isolated, tree populations.

Naidoo S. A multi-omics approach to understand molecular mechanisms of host resistance in Eucalyptus grandis against the gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa.

Pavlic-Zupanc D. Botryosphaeriaceae species composition on native Melastomataceae (Myrtales) shrubs in South Africa and Southern China.

FABIans organised two discussion sessions:

Dr Brett Hurley. IUFRO Division 7: Responses to the increasing threat of insect pests to sustainable plantation forestry. This session was chaired by Prof. Bernard Slippers. In this session Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Gudrun Dittrich-Schroder presented a paper entitled “Gall-forming wasps threaten non-native plantation-grown Eucalyptus”.

Joey Hulbert. Early detection and monitoring of invasive forest pests and pathogens with citizen science.

Dr Irene Barnes chaired a session “Dothistroma and other needle diseases of pine”.  During this session she also presented a paper entitled: “New cryptic species and a putative centre of diversity for the pine pathogens Dothistroma and Lecanosticta”.