Anyone with an interest in the natural world will want to attend our upcoming free public lecture titled Sex and Drugs and Pest Control, at the Orange campus on Monday December 9 at 6pm.
This is rare opportunity to hear from the two of the world's leading experts on plant and insect interactions - one a Fellow of The Royal Society, and the other from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
Professor John Pickett from Cardiff University and Professor Phil Stevenson from the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich will visit the Orange campus during their lecturing tour in Australia to discuss the world of plants, insects and how ecology can be used to control pests.
Both academics are experts in the chemical language that is used when insects communicate with each other and interact with plants and will explore this topic further during their lecture.
"People tend to think that insects are just a nuisance, but most insects don't cause problems and quietly go about the business of making the world fit to live in," Professor Gurr said.
"They pollinate our crops, decompose organic matter to enrich the soil, prevent pests getting out of control, and serve as food for all sorts of birds and other wildlife.
"Both of the visiting academics are experts in the chemical 'language' that is used when insects communicate with each other and interact with plants.
"These chemical signals drive the sex life of insects and the plants they pollinate, and can even lead to plants recruiting insects as 'bodyguards' to protect them from pests."
Professor Gurr said the visiting academics will discuss how scientists can use the natural chemicals produced by plants and insects for many benefits, including pest control and protection of agricultural crops.
Australia is working hard to make its agricultural systems more productive and more resilient.Professor of Applied Ecology Geoff Gurr
"Australia is working hard to make its agricultural systems more productive and more resilient, so the incentive to understand how to better harness the power of insects has never been greater," he said.
"Having Professor Pickett and Professor Stevenson visit Charles Sturt University in Orange from the United Kingdom is a real honour, and we look forward to learning more from them on this topic during their lecture."
Professor Pickett, who is an expert in biological chemistry, will present his latest research on the future of pest management.
He will discuss how the natural chemicals produced by plants and insects to communicate can be used by scientists to control insects' behaviour and stop insects from mating and damaging agricultural crops.
Professor Stevenson's lecture will focus on how scientists can use and manipulate beneficial insects or crop plants to control insect pests.
Professor Stevenson is an expert in natural pest resistance in plants and his work has focused on the biological and ecological role of plant chemicals and understanding how to use plant chemicals to support agriculture.
The lecture is on Monday 9 December from 6pm to 8pm in building 1001, room 149 at Charles Sturt in Orange.
To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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