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Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network Webinar Series

Series of eight webinars delivered 20 May to 26 August 2020 by the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network to explore plant biosecurity and surveillance in botanic gardens.

About the network

The Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network was established in 2019 to bring together botanic garden staff, friends, guides, and volunteers to protect botanic gardens from plant pests and diseases. The website provides practical information and advice to staff of botanic gardens, community interest groups and members of the public to develop awareness, knowledge and skills to contribute to general biosecurity surveillance activities.

Through building this capacity the network aims to contribute to Australia’s national plant health surveillance system and to post-border, plant pest preparedness, early detection and response capability.

Keep up to date with the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network through the Facebook page  and the website.

Webinar series

The Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network is providing a series of eight webinars exploring plant biosecurity and surveillance in botanic gardens.  The 30-minute webinars will be delivered every second Wednesday at 2 pm AEST from 20 May to 26 August 2020.

Each webinar will focus on a different topic of relevance the network. They will be presented by experts and include a 20 minutes presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions. Presenters include experts in biosecurity and surveillance, representatives from several Australian botanic gardens, and members of other biosecurity networks.

The webinar schedule below provides details of each session. Click on the webinar title to watch past webinars or register on Eventbrite for upcoming webinars.

Webinar schedule

Webinar 1 – An introduction to biosecurity

Delivered 20 May 2020 (watch now)

Presenters: Stephen Dibley (Agriculture Victoria) and Daniela Carnovale (Plant Health Australia)

Abstract: Ever wondered how we stop exotic pests from entering Australia? Listen in to explore what plant biosecurity is and why it is important to you and botanic gardens. This talk will also introduce you to the Botanic Gardens Biosecurity Network and the webinar series.

Webinar 2 – Surveillance 101

Delivered 3 June 2020 (watch now)

Presenter: Louise Rossiter (NSW Department of Primary Industries)

Abstract: The only way we know for sure that we don’t have certain pests or to find them early is to go out looking for them where they are likely to be found. In this talk, Louise will walk us through what plant pest surveillance is and why it is important.

Webinar 3 – Keeping the garden green: Biosecurity in the botanic gardens of Sydney

Delivered 17 June 2020 (watch now)

Presenter: Brett Summerell (Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands in Sydney)

Abstract: Join Brett to hear about some of the major pests and diseases that impact the gardens, methods to prevent their introduction and spread and what is involved in diagnosing diseases. Across three botanic gardens, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Blues Mountains Botanic Garden, Mt Tomah and the Australian Botanic Garden, Mt Annan over 17,000 different species of plants from all over the world are grown in environmental conditions ranging from pleasant coastal conditions, chilly winter conditions in the mountains and fierce heat in the western parts of Sydney. The potential for diseases and pests in all these combinations of conditions is enormous and creates a need for monitoring and surveillance to ensure the health of the collections. Added to this the gardens attract (in normal times!) over 5 million visitors annually, many of which are overseas tourists, all with the potential to introduce exotic pests and diseases. The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is fortunate to be one of the few botanic gardens worldwide to have an in–house plant pathology team that also operates a diagnostic service for the gardens and for the general community.

Webinar 4 – Looking out for pests in an urban garden

Delivered 1 July 2020 (watch now)

Presenters: Urban Plant Health Network (UPHN)

Abstract: Join the UPHN for a webinar on biosecurity in urban gardens featuring the following presentations:

  • The urban food bowl and biosecurity: exploring the link – Dr Jess Lye (cesar)
  • Urban biosecurity case studies: Tomato potato psyllid and brown marmorated stink bug – Madeline Quirk (AUSVEG)
  • Looking out for and reporting pests – Lana Russell (Agriculture Victoria)

About: The Urban Plant Health Network connects urban and community gardeners across Greater Melbourne with industry and government experts. The UPHN shares information and knowledge about exotic pest plants and diseases including:

  • where to find them
  • how to manage them
  • who to contact if you see them.

Through their website, Facebook page and Twitter account they publish seasonally relevant articles and posts about garden pests and diseases as well as tips for managing them.

Webinar 5 – When will we have another world first? Surveillance and partnerships for plant biosecurity in Melbourne Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria 

Delivered 15 July 2020 (watch now)

Presenter: Peter Symes, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Abstract: The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria comprises of two sites: Cranbourne Gardens and Melbourne Gardens. Cranbourne Gardens protects significant areas of remnant natural bushland and is home to the award-winning and world-renowned Australian Garden. Melbourne Gardens is famed for its stunning landscape and historic plantings. As a ‘Garden of the World’, Melbourne Gardens contains 8,000 taxa representing geographic origins from about 191 countries (98%) of the world. Safeguarding these living assets and preventing biosecurity threats to natural heritage and other industries requires early warning of exotic pest incursions. This presentation will highlight the risk context for botanic gardens, and case studies of surveillance techniques and effective partnerships as key components of a well-developed biosecurity program.

Webinar 6 – Watch out for environmental pests

Delivered 29 July 2020 (watch now)

Presenters: Peri-urban Environmental Biosecurity Network (PEBN)

Abstract: Join the PEBN to explore environmental pests such as cane toads, brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), red-eared slider turtle, invasive ants and exotic bees within peri-urban communities in NSW. Learn how you can get involved in looking out for these pests and what to do if they show up on your farm or local native patch.

About: The Peri-urban Environmental Biosecurity Network connects NSW communities with experts who can help develop knowledge and skills in identifying and reporting exotic pests and disease that if left to establish will have a negative impact on our natural landscapes. By building capacity, improving community awareness and increasing participation in general surveillance of environmental biosecurity risks – that is, keeping an eye out for unusual animals, insects or new signs of pests and diseases and reporting them – the network will help protect natural landscapes from the impacts of exotic pests and diseases.

Webinar 7 – Living with Armillaria – a botanic gardens perspective

Delivered 12 August 2020 (watch now)

Presenter: Phil Hurle (Australian National Botanic Gardens)

Abstract: The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) specialises in Australian native plants. It has the largest collection of native Australian plants in the world, containing about 83,000 individual plants. The garden staff are now dealing with a big problem, Armillaria luteobubalina, a major pathogen at the ANBG and it’s endemic to Black Mountain. A. luteobubalina is a root disease fungus, a pathogen and a decayer of wood, both living and dead. The ANBG has used a range of strategies to control the fungal disease such as removing the honey-coloured mushrooms it grows, using root barriers, applying biological controls and changing the use of badly affected areas. From a botanic gardens perspective that’s what you’ve got to watch out for because what we’re doing is looking after quite a valuable scientific collection.

Webinar 8 – Myrtle rust

Delivered 26 August 2020 (watch now)

Presenter: Angus Carnegie (NSW DPI)

Abstract: Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii, eucalyptus rust or guava rust), is a fungal disease detected for the first time in Australia on the Central Coast of New South Wales in 2010. Join us to learn more about myrtle rust in Australia and how to keep an eye out for it.