By Minette Karsten
The 23rd Congress of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) took place in Stellenbosch between 12 and 14 July 2023. The congress was organised by a team of entomologists at Stellenbosch University (Profs. Pia Addison, John Terblanche, Francois Roets and James Pryke) at the Stellenbosch University Conservatory. Keynote addresses were given by Klaus Birkhofer (Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany), Casper Nyamukondiwa (Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and Fleur Ponton (Macquarie University, Australia). Several topics were covered at the congress including Agricultural entomology, Invasive insects, Biodiversity and Conservation, Systematics and Taxonomy, and Agroecology. Of particular interest was research presented on the development of a trapping system for monitoring fruit piercing moth, potential repellents for false codling moth, the development of CRISPR technologies for agricultural and forest pests, as well as results of the search for natural enemies for polyphagous shot-hole borer in its native range (Vietnam). Information on a Division for Biosecurity recently established by Citrus Research International was also presented.
The next ESSA will be hosted by the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein in 2025.
Delegation of Hortgro Entomologists that participated in ESSA. From the left: Renate Smit, Shelley Johnson, Minette Karsten, Nanike Esterhuizen and Matthew Addison.
Students at ESSA working on projects funded by Hortgro. From the left: Andriko Fourie (MSc Student), Liana de Araujo (PhD student), Francois du Preez (PhD student).