Feb 152020

Speaker: Dr Graham Stirling – Fungi and Nematodes: Where Science Fiction can seek inspiration

PLEASE NOTE the NEW TIME: 4.00-6.00 pm
Location: FM Bailey room, Queensland Herbarium, Mt Coot-tha.

Dr. Graham Stirling completed his B.Sc. (Honours) and M.Sc. degrees at the University of Adelaide, where he was introduced to the fascinating world of nematodes. Graham began his professional career as a Nematologist with the South Australian Department of Agriculture working on a nematode pest of grapevine before heading to the University of California, Riverside to undertake doctoral studies and begin a lifelong interest in the biological control of nematodes. After returning to Australia Graham worked for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries before he and his wife Marcelle set up their own company, Biological Crop Protection Pty. Ltd., to focus on research, diagnostic services and helping growers improve their disease management. Graham has had a long and distinguished career improving agricultural productivity through introducing sustainable management practices for soil-borne diseases, including developing economic thresholds for root-knot nematode, establishing monitoring procedures for key pathogens and providing predictive services for consultants and growers. Graham has published “Biological Control of Plant Parasitic Nematodes” and developed several commercially-acceptable formulations of nematode-trapping and egg parasitic fungi and demonstrated their potential in the field.

Most people would not be aware that nematodes are the most numerically abundant animal on Earth. Most animal species host at least one parasitic nematode species; plant-parasitic nematodes reduce crop yields by 14% worldwide; humans are affected by hookworms and several other parasitic nematodes; roundworms are major parasites of cats and dogs; and free-living nematodes sustain life on the planet by mineralising the nutrients required by plants. Come to this talk and you will learn a little about this fascinating group of animals. More importantly, you will hear about their fungal predators: the fungi that use a variety of trapping devices to capture nematodes; the fungi that parasitise nematode females and eggs; and the fungi that produce zoospores that actively pursue, catch and kill their victims. Graham will also bring a few microscopes so you will be able to look at some of these fungi and see how they capture their prey. He will also bring some books that will give you an idea of the diverse range of nematophagous fungi that occur in soil.

We look forward to seeing all those who can attend. All are welcome! We also hope to enjoy some afternoon tea, so feel free to bring a plate or a gold coin for our piggy bank.

Queensland Herbarium

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