For the first time in 20 years the
NSSA symposium travelled to KZN. And what a special symposium it was!
From ocean views, to photo booth silliness and a touch of luxury, it
was definitely a symposium full of great memories.
As in the past, the MAIN sponsors were Bayer CropScience. Syngenta was
a PLATINUM sponsor and Villa Crop Protection and Laeveld Agrochem were
GOLD sponsors. Other sponsors included Arysta, ADAMA, Dow/Du Pont, Philagro,
Nulandis, NexusAg and Nemconsult. We would like to thank our sponsors
from the bottom of our heart for their continuous generosity. Without
them this would not be possible.
It was held at the Fairmont Zimbali Resort in the seaside town of Ballito.
Beautiful ocean views and luxurious rooms is the best way to describe
the venue. It was pure luxury and we all felt very spoiled.
“New Beginnings: Adapting to a changing environment” both
in the literal sense of climate change and the figurative sense of the
changing research landscape in Nematology. The large number of students
in attendance also signalled new beginnings for the science of Nematology.
There were 96 full delegates including 4 invited international guest
speakers, 10 additional international delegates and 26 students. A total
of 87 presentations, of which 32 were for posters, were given.
The welcome function was a great ice breaker with the perfect ocean
view. It was an evening of delicious food, great music and silliness
in the photo booth. Everybody really enjoyed chatting and catching up
with their long lost friends.
A hard day’s work! We began with the opening speaker Prof. Roland
Schulze from UKZN, who took us for a meal, in the context of climate
change of course. The many talks on EPNs and FLNs was preceded by the
keynote speaker Dr Raquel Campos Hererra from Portugal. Finally the
day ended with an evening workshop held to discuss a risk assessment
procedure for the introduction of exotic EPN species into South Africa.
A very practical workshop session requested by Bayer that focused on
the economic impact of nematodes on various crops was held. Also speaking
in the Bayer session was Dr Brigitte Slaats, from Syngenta Switzerland.
The two keynote speakers on this day were Dr Patricia Timper from the
USA and Dr. Roland Perry from the UK.
The symposium photo was taken at tea time and the day ended with a craft
beer tasting from a local brewery and some pampering massages.
The keynote speaker on this day was Prof. Willie van Aardt from North
West University. The poster session was also held on Day 3 and the symposium
ended with a very enthusiastic presentation from Adoration Shubane on
the carrot cyst nematode.
The gala dinner…
The symposium highlight: the gala dinner at the Oyster Box Hotel, an
iconic Durban venue. Sheer elegance is the only way to describe this
venue and we saw that from all our delegates as well. This night was
not only the culmination of a great symposium but years of hard work
on the book titled “Nematology in Southern Africa: A view from
the 21st century” which was launched at the gala dinner. The jazz
band provided the perfect background music for the occasion. Loads of
fun was had by all and the symposium ended on a high note.
The best word used to describe
the symposium was by far EXTRAVAGANCE and that is the parting shot I
would like to leave you with!
Until next time......
2017 Symposium chairperson