Two European brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) experts will share the success story of a BMSB tracking mobile app and experience in trying to gain sustainable control of the invasive pest with New Zealand biosecurity experts and stakeholders working on the threat, seen as imminent here.
Professor Gianfranco Anfora and Dr Anna Eriksson from Fondazione Edmund Mach in Italy will begin their 10-day New Zealand tour on 4 December 2019. Their research group has developed a citizen science biosecurity mapping app called “BugMap” to track the spread and densities of the pest. The success of “BugMap” in Italy has led to the adoption of the app by chocolatier Ferrero Rocher in Georgia, a country where these bugs are now affecting hazel nut supply.
Professor Anfora and Dr Eriksson will present their experience at a Better Border Biosecurity (B3) app workshop in Lincoln to share the latest trends of app use in biosecurity. They will also give seminars across the North Island and meet with scientists and stakeholders at Plant & Food Research and the Ministry for Primary industries to update them on their research achievements and experience in trying to gain control of BMSB, including biological control.
Professor Anfora has a joint appointment at the University of Trento and the Research and Innovation Center at Fondazione Edmund Mach. He specialises in chemical ecology and biological control, BMSB in particular. Dr Eriksson leads the science outreach project E-STaR with the aim to engage the general public in the monitoring activities of the BMSB and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) at the Research and Innovation Center, Fondazione Edmund Mach. They are both close collaborators of Professor Claudio Ioriatti, who visited New Zealand earlier in May 2019.