New facility helps further biosecurity research

Cecilia Romo Our entomologists use live insects in their biosecurity research. Examples of projects include rearing populations of pests in containment like the eucalyptus tortoise beetle and the parasitoid wasps that prey on them, and studying insect behaviour.

Other work involves studying common wood and bark eating forest insects to gain a better understanding of their biology. This knowledge can then be used to develop models that predict insect development and behaviour in the forest to help us assess the risk of export logs being infested by unwanted insects.

Until recently, our scientists had no designated facilities for this purpose. The construction of two insect-friendly facilities at our Rotorua campus will now make it easier to breed and maintain a collection of healthy insects on site for experimental purposes such as these.

One of the facilities is a six roomed ambient temperature insect rearing space, or insectary, which provides a dedicated, secure environment for scientists to both rear and work with multiple insect species in one location. The second facility supports our on-going research into forest insect pests by providing six additional temperature controlled rooms.

Our new insect rearing capabilities will also be used to meet the needs of other research partners and stakeholders.

For further information
Contact Dr Cecilia Romo at Show email