- Video Blog (Apr 29th): The Global Food Security website releases a video blog made by Ken and the BBSRC. To read the blog or leave a comment, click here. The work also features on DFID's website here. The research was also highlighted in the BBSRC Business Spring 2013 magazine - click on the magazine below to view the article.
Hunting the African armyworm (c) bbsrcmedia.
- Conference season (BSP: Apr 8th - 14th): British Society for Parasitology holds its Spring meeting in Bristol, with one of the highlights being a series of sessions on the ecology of wildlife diseases. Ken talks about the armyworm work.
- Quiet month: As Spring approaches, iPEG settles down to preparing for the coming field seasons and writing up papers and grant applications....and Ken goes skiing.
- Fieldwork in Tanzania (Feb 20th - Mar 9th): Ken visits fourth African country in 8 weeks by going to Tanzania to conduct SpexNPV 'harvesting trial' and to train technicians at Crop Biosciences Ltd, in methods for culturing African armyworms.
Mt Kilimanjaro, as viewed from the Precision Air flight from Nairobi (left); Crop Biosciences laboratory in Arusha (centre); and Ken training CB technicians in armyworm culturing methods (right). Photos (c) Ken Wilson.
- BBSRC release video diary from Ken's trip to Zambia (Jan 28th): The video footage was recorded just prior to Christmas as Ken jetted out for a whirlwind trip to the country as it was being hit by armyworms. See news story on BBSRC website here. The video was also covered by DFID (Department for International Development) here. And by a science blog here.
- ADAPPT 1st International Conference on Pesticidal Plants - ICPP (Jan 21st - 24th): Ken and Saskia Vermeylen present some of their findings from their ESPA project "Bridging Knowledge Systems" on using pesticidal plants to combat storage and field pests in Zambia.
- Ken meets with the Vice-President of Zambia (Dec 23rd): In a brief trip to Zambia to assess the armyworm situation, Ken visits Dr Guy Scott, Zambia's Vice-President, to discuss armyworm biology and the mitigation of armyworm infestations. They also discussed the future development of SpexNPV against the devastating crop pest. See news story on Lancaster University website here.
Ken (left) and Dr Guy Scott, Zambian Vice-President (right). Photo (c) Ken Wilson.
- BES conference, Birmingham (Dec 17th - 20th): Yet again iPEG puts on a good showing at this year's British Ecological Society annual meeting, together with other staff and students from the BGC research theme. This year, the meeting was hosted by the University of Birmingham and was held just before Christmas for the first time for over a decade. Much presenting, networking and dancing was had by everyone!
- Graduation (Dec 12th): Congratulations to Dr Anja Carlsson and Dr Annabel Rice who graduated today.
A thorn between two roses: Anja (left) and Annabel (right) graduate. Photo (c) Annabel Rice.
- BGC Christmas Party (Dec 7th): iPEG staff and students enjoy a very merry time at the Biodiversity & Gobal Change Christmas Party at the Borough, followed by dancin' at Hustle.
Top - formal photo is gate-crashed by the Soil Lab! Middle - politely waiting for the fun to begin. Bottom - the nearly formal photo spoiled by Philip and Ken (boys!). Photos (c) Jo Randall.
- Thesis successes:
Congratulations to Dr Anja Carlsson (Nov 7th) and Dr Annabel Rice (Nov
20th) who both passed their PhD vivas!
- What have the Romans ever done for us: Ken visits the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation) in Rome to discuss locust and armyworm forecasting. An impressive set up and plnety of lessons to be learned about effective forecasting and management of migratory pests.
Local Roman (left) and local Stone Pine trees in Rome. Photos (c) Ken Wilson.
- Welcome to the new PhD students:
A warm welcome to iPEG for two new phD students, Stephanie Bryan
(co-supervised with Mike Roberts, LEC) and Aislinn Pearson
(co-supervised by Jason Chapman, Rothamsted). For further details,
click on the People tab).
Stephanie Bryan and Aislinn Pearson join the group.
- New iPEG logo unveiled: Thanks to Philip for creating our new iPEG logo, designed with the help of current iPEG members and some clever software.
- Thesis submissions (Sep 25th):
Congratulations to Annabel and Anja who have submitted their PhD
Annabel Rice and Anja Carlsson on thesis submission day. Photos (c) Anja Carlsson.
- International Congress of
Entomology 2012 in Daegu, South Korea (Aug 19th-25th):
Rob and Ken present their armyworm research at ICE2012.
A chance to meet up with colleagues old and new, including iPEG alumus
Dr Kwang Pum Lee, now an associate professor at Seoul National
University in South Korea.
Kwang Pum Lee and Ken. Photo (c) Ken Wilson.
- Bridging Knowledge Systems (ESPA) website goes live (Jul 20th): click here to view new website.
Congratulations to Ken for being awarded a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship.
This will pay for a teaching fellow to cover his teaching and administration duties for one year. The Fellowship also comes with £2,500 in research expenses.
- Zambia research (Jun 17th - 23rd): As part of the ESPA-funded project, Ken visits Zambia to set up a botanical pesticide field trial in Lusaka and to discuss biological pesticide with farmers in Serenje.
- New papers: Congratulations to Anja, who has two papers from her PhD accepted for publication in leading parasitological journals. The first paper, Carlsson, A.M., Wilson, K. & Irvine, R.J. (2012) Development and application of a delayed-release anthelmintic intra-rumenal bolus system for experimental manipulation of nematode work burdens. In press Parasitology, describes the development of a new tool for manipulating parasitic worm burdens in large mammals. In the second, Carlsson, A.M., Irvine, R.J.,Wilson, K., Piertney, S., Halvorsen, O., Coulson, S. & Albon, S.A. (2012) Disease transmission in an extreme environment: nematode parasites infect reindeer during the Arctic winter. In press International Journal of Parasitology, this method is put to the test using free-living reindeer on the island of Svalbard.
- iPEG Social - Wray Scarecrow Festival Bank Holiday Monday (May 7th): iPEG pay a visit to the Wray Scarecrow Festival. One of the themes for this year's festival is London 2012 Olympics and iPEG exhibit 3 scarecrows - a 9 ft tall Usain Bolt-Together Scarecrow and two Olympic tellytubbies - Dipsy and Po. For more scarecrow photos see here
Photo 1 - Left to right: Po, Yamini and Dipsy. Photo 2 - Usain Bolt-Together Scarecrow.
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- ESPA research highlighted (Apr 30th): Research by Ken and other staff within the Lancaster Environment Centre is highlighted in the April ESPA newsletter. The project - "Bridging Knowledge Systems for Pro-poor Management of Ecosystem Services" is led by Dr Saskia Vermeylen and is funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation scheme and is exploring the interactions between farmers and scientists around a project on Jatropha in Zambia (see here). To view full ESPA Newsletter report, visit here
photo (c) Ken Wilson
- Wray Festival (Apr 28th): Ken runs the Wray Festival 10 km Road Race around the beautiful village of Wray. To view a video of the event, visit here
photo (c) Ken Wilson
- Armyworm business meeting (Mar 27th - Apr 3rd): Ken travels to Tanzania to discuss armyworm forecasting and control - no armyworm outbreaks; long rains start in the north on the last day!
- What a Relief (Mar 25nd): Ken and Annabel both successfully complete the 10km run for Sport Relief, raising over £1,000 between them for UK and overseas charities.
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- Lab news (Mar 2nd): New real-time PCR machine arrives and is demo'd. Much excitement all round - sad but true!
- Sport Relief 10km run:
Ken signs up to run the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile at Kirkby
Lonsdale. This will be the furthest he has run for over 20 years, so it
will be tough! He is doing it to help people living
tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world's poorest
countries. If you would like to encourage him in this pursuit, you can
do so by sponsoring him at the following website: http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/kenwilson007
- Conservation and Biodiversity Partners Workshop (Feb 21st): Ken, Rosa and Andy attended a Biodiversity & Global Change workshop with local conservation stakeholders to discuss networking, teaching and research opportunities with Lancaster University and the BGC research theme. The workshop was attended by over 30 delegates, including representatives from ADAS, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Watchtree Nature Reserve, BTCV, Green Lancaster, United Utilities and several environmental consultancies.
- iPEG social (Feb 22nd):
Dinner at the Waterwitch Hotel in Lancaster. Nice food and a few beers!
- Tropical Festival (Feb 24th - Mar 9th): This year saw the launch of the first ever Lancaster Tropical Festival, organised mainly by students in the Tropical Ecology Research Group within the Biodiversity & Global Change Theme, the festival provides a dynamic interface between the university and the wider Lancaster community. The two week long festival includes tropical-themed concerts, workshops, films, exhibitions and talks. Ken talked about his work in Zambia and Tanzania.
- LU - Beekeepers Research Workshop (Jan 28th): Emily and Philip host a successful workshop at LEC for local beekeepers to discuss their research on honey bees and beekeeping. Attendees included beekeepers from the local beekeepers associations and Ken and Rebecca (PhD supervisors).
Left to right: Emily, Philip and Workshop attendees.
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- Congratulations to Dr Randall (Jan 27th): Jo successfully defends her thesis in Cardiff - minor corrections only!
- Ken visits farmers in Zambia (Jan 13th - 23rd): As part of their ESPA peoject, Ken, Saskia Vermeylen (LEC) and Dan van der Horst (University of Birmingham) visit a number of villages in central Zambia where farmers are practicing different types of farming, including conservation farming, organic farming, agroforestry, slash-and-burn, and conventional farming. Amongst the topics for discussion are pest problems, botanical control of pests, fertilisers and soap making.
Some of the characters we met.
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- Welcome to Jo (Jan 3rd): Joanna Randall joins iPEG to work on Ken's new BBSRC grant - Host-pathogen interactions as a resource competition problem (details here). Joanna recently completed her PhD in Jo Lello's group at the University of Cardiff, looking at the effects of parasitic co-infections on host population dynamics, using cockroaches and their parasites as a model system.
photo (c) Joanna Randall
- BGC Christmas Party (Dec 9th): iPEG staff and students join other members of the Biodiversity and Global Change research theme for Christmas meal at The Borough. A good time is had by all... and a late night by some!
photo (c) Georgina Key
- Re-launch of the Norman Borlaug Institute for Global Food Security (Nov 24th): Ken is invited to talk about the armyworm biocontrol work at the re-launch of the Institute, which is named in honour of Norman Borlaug (1914-2009), who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply. Other speakers at the event included Prof John Pickett FRS, Prof Ted Cocking FRS, Prof Maurice Molony (Director of Rothamsted Research) and Prof Tim Benton (UK Food Security Champion). For further information about Norman Borlaug and the Institute, visit here.
- Amyworm presentation at Royal Entomological Society meeting (Nov 10th): Ken gives keynote address at the "Biology of Lepidoptera" meeting at Rothamsted. Other speakers included Prof Jane Hill, Prof Chris Thomas, DrJames Bell, Dr Richard Fox, Dr Melanie Gibbs and Dr Jason Chapman.
- Welcome back Yamini (Nov 5th): Yamini returns from visiting family in India to start work on a new BBSRC-funded project (see here).
- Success at the LEC PhD poster day (Oct 27th): Congratulations to all of the iPEG PhD students who gave posters at the LEC poster day, especially Rachel Hope who won the best poster prize in her cohort, for a poster entitled "Enteric bacteria of blue tits : the environmental epidemiology of an avian gut microbial community", and to Anja Carlsson and Ali Birkett who were runners-up.
- iPEG visits Lavras University in Brazil (Sep 25th - Oct 3rd): As part of a joint agreement between LEC and the UFLA in Brazil, Ken Wilson and Rosa Menendez visited the University to discuss joint projects with Brazilian staff. Andy Wilby will also visit Lavras in November. For story, see here and here
Left to right: Lancaster ecologists at UFLA (© 2011 ASCOM UFLA); Ken, Jos and Julio on a field visit; a burrowing owl looks on!
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- British Ecological Society Conference - Sheffield (Sep 12th - 14th): It's a full house at the BES aagain as most of iPEG attend and present talks or posters!
- Rob flies to Oz (Sep 20th): One iPEG member not at the BES conference this year is Rob Graham, who jets off to Australia to start his Marie Curie Fellowship (see Juy 2011) - bon voyage!
WDA meeting in Quebec City, Canada (Aug 14th - 19th): Anja attends the Wildlife Disease Association annual international conference and talks about her work on over-winter nematode transmission in Svalbaard reindeer.
SIP meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Aug 7th - 11th): Rob attends the Society for Invertebrate Pathology meeting to talk about the armyworm virus work.
ESA meeting in Austin, Texas (Aug 7th - 12th): Ken attends the Ecological Society of America annual meeting and talks about the armyworm-SpexNPV work as a session entitled Infectious disease dynamics in migratory species.
- More grant success: Rob Graham has been awarded a prestigious Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship worth €268,824 (£233,683). The project, entitled “LOCDIS—Safety in Numbers or Beware Thy Neighbour: Collective Motion and Disease Transmission in a Migratory Pest”, will focus on understanding the effects of population dynamics and behaviour on disease transmission and immune function in an important crop pest, the Australian Plague Locust. Rob will spend two years based at the University of Sydney, Australia, working in the lab of Professor Stephen Simpson FAA, and will then return to Lancaster to work again in iPEG with Ken.
- BBSRC grant success: Ken has has been awarded a £570,379 BBSRC research grant for a project that will examine the importance of host nutrition for the dynamics of bacterial infections. The study, “Host-Pathogen Interactions as a Resource Competition Problem” will employ a new PDRA (see OPPORTUNITIES) and a research technician (Yamini Tummala) for 3 years. It will use the Geometric Framework for Nutritional Ecology to tease apart the role of macro- and micro-nutrients in determining the outcome of bacterial infections, using Lepidopteran larvae and Bacillus subtilis as a model system. Project partners on the grant include Professor Stephen Simpson FAA (University of Sydney), Dr Judith Smith (University of Central Lancashire) and Dr Sheena Cotter (Queen's University Belfast).
- Armyworm workshop in Arusha (8th June): Ken organises a workshop in Tanzania to coincide with the end of the SARID project. Rob, Ken and David Grzywacz (NRI) present their findings to officials from the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives, including Dr Francisca Katagira (Plant Health Services Section). Others present included Wilfred Mushobozi (EcoAgriConsult Ltd), who showed the delegates around the new baculovirus production facility in Arusha, which is nearing completion, as well academic staff from Sokoine University of Agriculture, and armyworm specialists from Pest Control Services in Tengeru. For further details on the SARID scheme, see here.
Opening of the workshop Workshop delegates at new NPV facility Rob presents his findings
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- ESPA grant visit to Zambia (1st - 9th May): Ken visits Zambia with other members of LEC (Saskia Vermeylen, Bill Davies and Richard Bardgett, plus Dan van der Horst from Birmingham University) to conduct research into relationships between the biofuel crop, Jatropha curcas, and ecosystem services (e.g. soil quality, water availaibility, pesticidal properties). The grant is led by Saskia Vermeylen in collaboration with the University of Zambia and is exploring ecosystem services for poverty alleviation (ESPA) using a novel framework that bridges local and global science. For further details see here.
Richard with village children Elias with village elders Jatropha infested with yellow flea beetles (Aphtona sp., Chrysomelidae)
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- The Bee-Team: Rebecca, Philip, Emily and Ken (below, left to right) take part in the Lancaster Beekeepers Basic Beekeeping course at the club's apiary in Yealand Conyers
Rebecca,, Philip, Emily and Ken (left to right) get suited up! Inspecting the colony Philip sampling bee bread
photos (c) Emiy Adams and Philip Donkersley
- Fieldwork season takes off: Anja successfully completes her final season chasing reindeer on Svalbard and gets back in the lab; Rachel prepares for a busy field season with the blue tits; Emily and Philip begin their first field season working with honey bees and beekeepers; Annabel starts her final season with the parasitoids; Chris and George continue with their experiments; and armyworm continue to wreak havoc in Tanzania (see ARMYWEB pages).....
- Congratulations to Professor
Wilson (18th March): Ken is awarded a personal chair in
photo (c) Judith Smith
- Congratulations to Philip (17th March): Philip Donkersley gets a paper accepted for publication from his Masters project. The paper, entitled "A meta analysis of spray drift sampling" will be published in the journal Crop Protection.
- Busy bees (12th March): The honeybee season is about to start and Emily, Philip, Rebecca & Ken attend an introductory beekeeping course run by the Lancaster Beekeepers Association at Forest Hills.
- Ken visits armyworm outbreaks in Tanzania (23rd February - 9th March): Ken travels to outbreaks in Korogwe, Mvromero and Morogoro - some natural NPV infections observed (see photo):
photos (c) Ken Wilson
- LEC beekeepers workshop (19th February): The honeybee team (Philip, Emily, Rebecca and Ken) host a workshop on beekeeping and beekeepers at LEC.
- Anja travels to Svalbard to chase reindeer (6th February - April): Anja's last trip to Svalbard includes two intensive field visits catching reindeer and laboratory studies on parasite transmission at UNIS.
- Rob visits African armyworm
outbreaks in Tanzania (18th - 31st January): Rob
visits outbreaks in Kilosa and Morogoro regions - no sign of natural
Large outbreaks (400 ha.) also reported in Mtwara and Lindi regions.
Work on the NPV processing plant progressing well (see photo).
photo (c) Wilfred Mushobozi
- Lancaster University Global Food Security Event at the Royal Society (January 26th): Ken attended an event at the Royal Society organised by Lancaster University to promote global food security issues. A DVD on food security was premiered at the event featuring many current LU staff (including Ken) and a number of alumni who work in this field, including Professor Jianhua Zhang (fifth from right in photo below), who featured in Nature magazine in December 2008 as one of the "Five Crop Scientists Who Could Change the World".
photo (c) Lancaster University
- Journal of Animal Ecology launches a Virtual Issue on Wildlife Disease Ecology, edited by Ken Wilson and Mike Boots: The virtual issue feature a range of papers in this field published in the journal over the last 40 years, including some classics and some published much more recently. The collection includes a paper published in 2009 by Sonia Povey (former iPEG PhD student) on the effects of nutrition on resistance to bacterial pathogens, and paper by Stein et al. (2002) on the nematode parasites of Svalbard reindeer, co-authored by two of Anja Carlsson's external PhD supervisors, Justin Irvine and Steve Albon. To view all of the paper in this virtual issue of Wildlife Disease Ecology, click here
photo (c) British Ecological Society
- Snow arrives early in Lancaster (28th November): Early snow over much of England this weekend causes havoc, again.
- Biodiversity workshop in the Lake District (22nd - 23rd November): LEC staff with an interest in biodiversity issues meet at the Storrs Hall Hotel close to Windermere for a two-day meeting to discuss potential areas of overlap. Delegates included Andy, Rosa and Ken, from iPEG and both natural and social scientists from other research groupings. The meeting included a site visit to Langdale:
- ZSL meeting on Disease Invasions
(18th - 19th November): Rachel
and Anja present posters at a key meeting on wildlife diseases, with
invited speakers including Robert May FRS, Roy Anderson FRS,
Hudson FRS, Mike Begon, Kevin Lafferty, Hamish McCallum and Andy Dobson.
details click here.
- Ken's sabbatical ends October 1st: back to the day job :(
- New PhD students arrive: welcome to Philip, Emily and the rest
- BES Annual Symposium in Leeds (7th-9th September): A large turnout of iPEG and Biodiversity postgrads attend...and are a big hit at the ceilidh!
photo: copyright British Ecological Society
- International Food Security and Safety Symposium in Lancaster (13th-15th September): Ken presents a talk on the armyworm work (click here)
- International Society for Behavioural Ecology meeting in Perth (26th September - October 2nd): Ken returns to Australia for the 3rd time in 5 months - this time it is to present his work on nutrition and immunity at the ISBE meeting
- Building work progressing well on the new armyworm bio-pesticide production facility in Arusha (September 2010): For the full story visit the RIUtv webpage here
- Ken returns to Sydney for 3 weeks to visit Steve Simpson and Greg Sword: weather much better this time!
- ESPA Grant success: Ken is part of a Lancaster-led consortium that has been awarded an ESPA grant for a two year project. ESPA refers to Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation, a cross-Council (NERC, DFID, ESRC) research programme.The grant, entitled "Bridging Knowledge Systems for Pro-Poor Management of Ecosystem Services", is led by Saskia Vermeylen (LEC) and aims to develop a new and more equitable methodological framework for bridging local and global science. This novel framework will then be applied to a model system - the introduction of Jatropha curcas, a new agricultural crop with uncertain ecological impacts and economic values. The overarching goal of the proposal is to bring together farmers' and scientist's ethno-ecological knowledge and evidence from Jatropha as a crop that can support the development of pro-poor ecosystem services, focusing especially on soil fertility and pest management. The field research will be focussed in Zambia, working with collaborators at the University of Zambia. Other members of the consortium include Cosmas Ochieng, Richard Bardgett and Bill Davies (also from LEC), and Dan van der Horst (Birmingham University).
- New Research Into Use website for armyworm project goes live: click here to read about the new project and to view RIU armyworm videos
- Shaihla leaves: Farewell to Shaihla to departs to take up a PhD position in Wyoming
- Ken and Rob visit Prof Steve Simpson's lab at the University of Sydney in Australia: Rob stays for 2 weeks to discuss a potential Marie Curie proposal to work in Steve's lab, and Ken stays for a month writing a grant application and playing with Australian Plague Locusts - weather awful: rains for nearly the entire month!
Rob, Steve and Ken at Sydney Fish Market
Meal with the Simpson Lab
- Rachel follows Anja's lead and also breaks her leg .... opening a door: her first blue tit field season is cancelled and the cavalry are called in (Mark and Ian)!
- Then Georgina breaks her finger .... opening a gate!
remaining PhD students atart to get nervous!
Rachel's leg in a cast.
- Anja breaks her leg .... emptying the garbage: her second field trip to Svalbard in April has to be potponed
Anja's x-rays showing the break (left) and the repair job (right).
- Anja returns to Svalbard to continue her PhD research on the reindeer and their parasites
- Dan, Rob and Ken visit Tanzania: Extensive armyworm outbreaks reported across the country
African armyworm caterpillar Armyworm dying of NPV virus
High-density aggregation of armyworm caterpillars on pasture
all photos: (c) Ken Wilson
- Armyworms in the news: There have been extensive outbreaks of armyworm caterpillars in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi in the last month. For further details, click on the links below:
IRINnews (20th Jan 2010): "Kenya: worm outbreaks threaten food security" - outbreaks in central & eastern Kenya
Reuters Africa (18th Jan 2010): "Dry spell, army worms damage Malawi crops" - outbreaks in Malawi
Daily Nation (10th Jan 2010): "The army worm must be stopped " - outbreaks in Ukambani, Kenya
The Citizen (31st Dec 2009): "Armyworm scourge spreads to ten regions" - outbreak risk in Tanzania
The Citizen (30th Dec 2009): "Red alert as armyworms invade two districts" - outbreaks in Tanzania
Nature News (24th Dec 2009): "Whatever happened to ... Liberia's caterpillar plague" - click here for January 2009
photo (c) Wilfred Mushobozi
- New funding for armyworm research
announced: Further research into armyworm forecasting
and biological control is to be funded undeer DFID's Research Into Use
Programme. The Tanzanian component of the project is lead by Wilfred
Mushobozi, one of Ken's long-time collaborators, and both Ken and David
Grzywacz (University of Greenwich) are co-investigators on the project,
which will take armyworm virus production to a large-scale. DFID's
for Development website reports:
Over 100 project proposals were submitted in the response to the call for projects in East, Central and Southern Africa. From these, 8 were short-listed and the final 4 were selected at an event in Nairobi, Kenya, on 26-27 November 2009, when candidates pitched their proposals to a panel of high-powered business leaders and research experts. The winning projects [include]:
Safe and affordable armyworm control tools in East Africa (led by CABI Africa) - for establishing a system for the production, supply, distribution and marketing of safe and affordable armyworm control tools in Tanzania and Kenya over the next 18 months. This pest attacks pasture and key crops such as maize, sorghum, millet and rice. The total area of crops prone to attack in Tanzania and Kenya is estimated at 2.1 million hectares. Part of the project involves armyworm forecasting which aims to help villagers predict armyworm outbreaks and tackle the problem before it gets out of control.
For further details
- Christmas 2009: It's a white Christmas in Lancaster this year, as snow persists for several weeks!
- Rob on safari: Rob flies to Tanzania, hoping to see his first armyworm outbreaks - success!
- Biodiversity and Global Change: The new research theme is launched, and activities begin with a Christmas party at the Borough:
- The new BBSRC website on Food Security is launched and the group's BBSRC-DFID work on African armyworm and its baculovirus is featured. Read the full story here.
- Congratulations: Clare
passes PhD viva and now insists on being called Dr Benskin :)
- iPEG social: a nice walk around muddy Abbeystead, followed by a hearty pub lunch. A very pleasant day marred by Chris losing his car keys and forcing his parents to drives hundreds of miles to Lancaster with a spare set - doh!
Right to left: Ken, Shaihla, Yamini, Ali Right to left: Rachel, Chris, George, Rob, Phill, Clare
- New arrivals: Rachel, Dan, Chris and Liz start as new PhD students in iPEG.
- Ken on safari: Ken goes to Tanzania again to visit Ministry of Agriculture staff and discuss armyworm outbreak forecasting
- New arrival: Shaihla joins the group to work on a NERC-funded project examining the role of hormones in the density-dependent prophylaxis (DDP) in Lepidoptera.
- Exotic conference: Rob goes to the IOBC conference in Pamploma to talk about his work on African armyworm baculoviruses
- Journal of Animal Ecology: Ken joins Graeme Hays, Mike Boots and Tim Coulson as an Executive Editor of Journal of Animal Ecology. JAE publishes the best original research across a broad spectrum of animal ecology research. For more information about the journal, click here. To submit a mansucript to the journal via Manuscript Central, click here.
photo (c) British Ecological Society
- ESF meeting - Impact of the
Environment on Innate Immunity (4th - 9th May 2009): Ken
presents a paper examining the impact of nutrition on innate immunity,
focusing on the role macronutrients. The meeting is held at the
Universitätszentrum Obergurgl in the Ötz Valley, near Innsbruck,
Austria, at an altitude of 1940 metres, in the highest glacial village
in the Tyrol, at the end of the Ötz Valley and surrounded by numerous
three-thousand metre peaks. The wonderful setting is mirrored by an
intellectually vibrant meeting. For further details of the meeting, click
photo (c) European Science Foundation
- Fieldwork: Anja and Ken go to Svalbard to do fieldwork on reindeer and their parasites.
photo (c) Anja Carlsson
- Calendar boy: Ken appears on the April page of the UK-CDS Calendar for 2009. The calendar showcases work supported by the UK Collaboration on Development Sciences and April features the work that BBSRC and DFID have funded on African armyworm and its baculovirus. Ken is the PI on the grant, Rob is the PDRA and Yamini and Phill are technicians. Co-investiators include David Grzywacz at NRI, University of Greenwich, Jenny Cory at Simon Fraser University, Alan Shirras at Lancaster University and Seif Madoffe at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.
photo (c) BBSRC
- Arctic fieldwork: Anja goes to Svalbard to do fieldwork on the reindeer population.
- Media frenzy: Ken was in demand by the media following a crop crisis in West Africa. It turned that the 'armyworm' caterpillars that caused such havoc in Liberia had been mis-identified and was in fact Achaea catocaloides. Read the full story here.
photo: (c) FAO