INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF PLANT PATHOLOGY
Solving problems in the real world
Christchurch Convention Centre
Sunday 2 - Friday 7 February 2003Incorporating
14th Biennial Australasian Plant Pathology Society Conference
The eighth International Congress of Plant Pathology (ICPP2003)
was held in Christchurch New Zealand from the 2nd to the 8th
of February 2003. This Congress incorporated the 14th Biennial
Conference of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society.
From the numerous letters and Emails that have been received
since the event from around the world, we can confidently conclude that the
Congress was a huge success. The event attracted almost 1300 delegates from over
70 countries from around the world, plus 600 accompanying persons. There were
150 invited speakers at keynote and concurrent sessions and 1200 offered poster
papers, some of which were presented at 29 poster discussion sessions during the
afternoons of 4 & 6 February. There were 22 evening sessions including a
public forum on global food security, with invited speakers from the
Philippines, Malaysia, China, India and the United Kingdom.
The congress began with a traditional Maori challenge and
delegates being welcomed by Dr Peter Scott the Chairman of ISPP and by Dr Ian
Harvey the Chairman of ICPP2003. The official opening was made by the Hon. Pete
Hodgson, Minister for Research, Science and Technology in the New Zealand
government. The Congress then proceeded to offer a busy and exciting range of
presentations, which covered all disciplines within the field of plant
pathology. Stimulating discussions occurred in all sessions. This congress was
well supported by sponsors (please see our official website for details http://events.lincoln.ac.nz/icpp2003/).
Associated with the Congress were 13 satellite workshops. The
opening event of the congress was the first workshop held at Sydney University
on Fusarium, 27 Jan. to 30 Jan 2003. The second workshop was on Plant Virus
Epidemiology at the University of Canterbury on 31 January. Over the weekend of
the 1 & 2 February there were three workshops at Canterbury University, with
a further six at Lincoln University and three of those were of two day duration.
After the Congress there were two workshops in Christchurch on Saturday 8
February, and a four day Seed Health workshop, 10 to 13 February at Lincoln
The ICPP2003 Bursary Assistance Scheme was administered by Dr
Pim Sanderson. ICPP2003 is grateful for donated funds from several sources
overseas and from within New Zealand. The funds were to assist post-graduates
and plant pathologist from developing countries and emerging nations to attend
the congress. Seventy-nine applicants received a total of NZ$150,000 in bursary
fund assistance. Overseas contributors to the fund were The International
Society for Plant Pathology, The Canadian Plant Pathology Society and The
British Plant Pathology Society. Funds from New Zealand were from the new
Zeaalnd Plant Protection Society, The Canterbury Community Trust, and the Brian
Mason Science & Technical Trust.
The theme of the congress was "Solving problems in the real
world" The five keynote sessions were from 0900 to 1030 each day with each
contained three speakers.
The topics were from Monday to Friday:
Plant pathology in the Asia/Pacific region;
Towards integrated control of soil-borne diseases;
Host/pathogen interactions and molecular plant pathology;
Towards integrated control of air-borne diseases;
Knowledge transfer for plant pathology.
During the week, there were 32 concurrent sessions, mostly with
four speakers in each session. In addition there was the Presidential address by
Professor Lester Burgess on "Biosecurity, trade and plant pathology",
and the McAlpine address by Professor Mike Wingfield "Exotic plantation
forests in the Southern Hemisphere: Increasingly threatened by disease".
The two afternoon poster-viewing sessions were vibrant, well
attended and informative. The subsequent formal oral presentations of selected
posters gave delegates the opportunity to discuss the research in some more
detail. In total, there were more than 1200 poster presentations over the two
display sessions during the week.
Newsletter and Social Programme
A daily newsletter was produced to background delegates on the
keynote themes for the day. It also provided information on various attractions
around Christchurch, photographs of delegates and any general notices.
Lunchtime entertainment was mainly provided by local school
bands. These included an Irish band, a jazz band and two musical quartets. The
internationally recognised Sweet Adelines woman's choral group also entertained.
This entertainment was much appreciated by delegates, who remained on the
convention site with packaged lunches that were provided every day.
Many comments were received during and after the Congress on the
helpfulness and openness of the staff running the event. A uniform of bright
green tee or polo shirts made these people instantly recognisable, with little
confusion as to who needed to be asked for advice or directions.
Delegates were treated to a range of social events during the
conference. The welcome reception on the Sunday night provided an opportunity
for over 800 delegates to meet, talk and taste some exciting food. On the
Wednesday night food and local wine tasting was enjoyed at six wineries around
Christchurch. The Congress dinner on the Friday night provided a range of New
Zealand foods, non-stop entertainment and a great dance band.
The final session was on "Challenges for Plant Pathology in
the 21st Century", with stimulating addresses from Prof. Mike
Jeger, Prof. Ian Crute (both from the United Kingdom), and Marilou Infante from
the Philippines. Then a number of prizes were presented. On behalf of the
Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Jacob Eriksson Prize for 2003 was presented to
Dr Jaacov Katan. This was in recognition of Dr. Katan's original and innovative
research in the fields of soil solarization and soil-borne pathogens, his
outstanding and broad international co-operation, and his dedication to the
education of younger plant pathologists.
Prizes awarded by the Australasian Plant Pathology Society were:
The Alan Kerr Postgraduate Prize to Jillian Smith-White; Fellowships of the
Australasian Plant Pathology Society to Dr Roger Jones and Dr Graham Stirling;
and Honorary Membership of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society to Dr Ron
Close and Dr Helen Ogle. Finally, the ISPP congress flag was handed on to
delegates from Turin in Italy who are to arrange the ninth congress in 2008.
Ron Close, Mark Braithwaite, Ian Harvey and other ICPP2003 members.