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THE 21ST SYMPOSIUM OF THE NEMATOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN AFRICA WAS HELD AT THE FAIRMONT ZIMBALI RESORT, BALITO KWAZULU NATAL FROM THE 7th – 11th MAY 2017



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.


The sponsors…
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.


The venue…
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.

The theme…
“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.

The participants…
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.

Welcome function…
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.

Day 1…
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.

Day 2…
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.

Day 3…
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......
Prabashnie Ramouthar
2017 Symposium chairperson


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4 July, 2017