Invasive wasp control

Invasive wasp control

Add to your calendar

9 September 2019 from 5.30 pm - 7.00 pm 9 Sep 2019 5:30 pm 9 Sep 2019 7:00 pm

The Arborist, 166 Willis Street

Hear about the potential of new gene editing techniques to combat the common and German wasps exerting a major toll on New Zealand’s biodiversity.

Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington’s Centre for Science in Society and supported by the Wellington branch of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Café Scientifique presents Professor of Ecology and Entomology Phil Lester talking about He raweke ira, he here wāpi/Genetic modification and gene editing for invasive wasp control.

New Zealand has a major wasp problem. Over the last century, common and German wasps invaded and established throughout the country. We have a million hectares of honeydew beech forest where wasps reach the highest densities known anywhere in the world.These wasps exert a major toll on our biodiversity. What should we do about them?

In this presentation, Professor Lester will discuss the potential of new gene editing technologies for wasp and pest control. What are the barriers to its use and how safe is gene editing? How far along the track are we towards using it? And would it effectively control wasps if we did genetically modify these pests?

Café Scientifique is a place where anyone can come along and enjoy a range of science speakers in a relaxed, friendly environment. The evening consists of a short talk followed by a Q&A.

This is a free event.

For more information about the talk contact Victoria University of Wellington's Centre for Science in Society, scienceinsociety@vuw.ac.nz.

Speaker bios:

Phil Lester is a Professor of Ecology and Entomology in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, where his research is in population dynamics and ecology of social insects, with invasive ants and social wasps in the Pacific region a particular focus.