Talk: biological control of alien plants

2013-08-20 00:00

THE threats posed by invasive alien plants will be discussed by Dr Terry Olckers at this week’s Royal Society of South Africa lecture in the John Bews lecture theatre on the Life Sciences campus of the University of Kwa­Zulu-Natal in Carbis Road, Pietermaritzburg, at 5.45 pm tomorrow.

His lecture is titled: “Celebrating a century of weed biological control in South Africa — the struggle continues”.

Dr Olckers will provide a brief overview of biological weed control activities in South Africa over the past 100 years, highlighting novel aspects of the South African approach and considering the way forward.

Biological control using host-specific natural enemies, mostly insects, but also pathogens, offers a safe and sustainable remedy that has been implemented in South Africa since 1913.

While several successes have been achieved on a number of priority species, the rate of invasions by “new” species provides a continual challenge.

South Africa is one of the world’s most active countries in this field and has undertaken several novel approaches in recent years to combat the escalating problem of alien plant invasions.

These include significant state intervention, notably substantial funding for research and the building of human capacity in biological control.

Olckers is an applied entomologist, with a particular interest in the biological control of invasive alien plants.

Following the completion of his PhD at Rhodes University in 1989, he joined the Weeds Research Division of the Agricultural Research Council — Plant Protection Research Institute. During his 16 years there, he worked on several projects that included studies in South America. In 2004, he was appointed as a senior lecturer at UKZN, where, together with his team of post-graduate students, he has continued his work on invasive plants.

Light refreshments will be supplied. Inquiries: Professor Mike Perrin at 033 260 5118 or 033 260 5435.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.