Non-Pests > Other > Pacific islands plant pathologists

Non-Pests Other Pacific islands plant pathologists

Pacific Plant Pathologists – a stocktake

June 2013. A question was put to Pestnet: How many people are involved in plant pathology. I comparison with 2000 was required.

There were a number of responses:

  • In 2011, 11 individuals from Samoa were trained by experts from PHEL on pest & disease diagnostics. These included 6 quarantine officers, 4 staff members from research, 1 from USP Alafua & 1 from Women In Business Development. The project on the Enhancement of biosecurity and quarantine services in the Pacific is a collaboration between MAFBNZ PHEL, Landcare Research and Pacific agencies.

Following a series of Pest Diagnostic Training in 2011, 3 participants were selected to undergo a two weeks attachment with PHEL in Auckland, New Zealand last year. During this advanced plant health diagnostic training programme, the trainees were given the opportunity to further develop their diagnostic capabilities by working with scientists from the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory in New Zealand. This attachment aimed at developing and strengthening the capability of officers in the quarantine service. It also enabled officers to improve skills to conduct crop plant health surveys to collect information for the development of pest lists in accordance with International Standards for Phytosanitary measures (IPPC).

  • In Micronesia, we have seen a reduction in our capacity to practice plant pathology over the past 10 years. There used to be 4 practicing PhD level plant pathologists in the region (Diane Greenough, Dilip Nandwani, Bob Schlub, and George Wall). With George Wall’s recent retirement, we are down to only one PhD plant pathologist in the region (Bob Schlub). The decline in practicing PhD level entomologists in Micronesia is similar: down from 9 to 3.
  • At the University of Goroka, teaching general plant protection to undergraduates and plant diseases takes a small portion in this course. There is some research as well.