Studying pest management is student’s key to changing the world

Student Callum Mclean’s career change after spending a few years in the workforce – he decided he wanted to focus on a field of study that would enable him to help change the world for the better – led him to the Master of Pest Management (specialising in plant pest management) at Lincoln University.

After graduating, he plans to work in the public sector and says the degree can offer a wide range of job opportunities.

He heaps great importance on biosecurity and the protection of New Zealand’s  agricultural sector.

His ambition and the reasons for his study focus are reported on the Lincoln University website. Continue reading

Royal Society encourages participation in gene editing workshops

Royal Society Te Apārangi is running workshops on how gene editing may impact on healthcare and pest management for those involved with these sectors.

The society is convening a multi-disciplinary panel to consider the potential uses and implications of gene editing in this country.

The first two discussion papers were released late last year.

The society says a valuable part of the process is receiving critical feedback from stakeholders on the two issues.

Anyone interested in attending one or both of the workshops in either Wellington, Christchurch or Auckland, are invited to contact Marc Rands, from the society’s Expert Advice team, to register:

Participation is encouraged because of the significance of the social, ethical, cultural, legal, scientific and economic challenges of gene editing technology for New Zealand.

Wellington – Royal Society Te Apārangi, Aronui Lecture Theatre
Tuesday 13 March
9:30-11:30am: Gene Editing in Healthcare
12:30-2:30pm: Gene Editing in Pest Control

Christchurch – Tait Technology Centre, Kauri Room
Wednesday 21 March
9:30-11:30am: Gene Editing in Healthcare
12:30-2:30pm: Gene Editing in Pest Control

Auckland – NIWA Auckland, Seminar Room
Wednesday 11 April
9:30-11:30am: Gene Editing in Healthcare
12:30-2:30pm: Gene Editing in Pest Control

Royal Society of NZ says pests are costing economy and environment billions

Diseases are costing the country’s economy billions of dollars, both in terms of revenue lost and in control costs, says a report just released by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

There are substantial environmental costs, too, associated with loss of native biodiversity and New Zealand’s clean green reputation.

Titled “Challenges for pest management in New Zealand”, the report was written by a panel led by Royal Society of New Zealand fellows.

It draws on national and international research to explore and discuss the current state of pest management and the unique nature of the New Zealand situation.

The report points to research that weeds are conservatively estimated to cost the economy $1.2 billion a year in lost animal production and control costs and could potentially degrade 7% of the conservation estate within a decade, corresponding to a loss of native biodiversity equivalent to $1.3 billion.

Continue reading