International forestry geneticists head to Rotorua

14 July 2015

Registrations have opened for a forest genetics conference in Rotorua next March that is expected to attract around 200 delegates from all over the world.

Scion is hosting the Forest Genetics for Productivity Conference (FGFC 2016) on 14-18 March 2016 as part of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) calendar of events.

The programme is led by a scientific committee of tree genetics experts from the USA, Brazil, France, Canada and New Zealand. Conference Convenor Heidi Dungey says she is very excited to be bringing a conference of this calibre to Rotorua.

“The conference has already attracted keynote speakers who are internationally renowned, and it will be very exciting having them here in Rotorua, the heart of forest science in New Zealand,” said Dr Dungey, Science Leader for Forest Genetics at Scion.

“Our theme is “The next generation” and we are putting together a stimulating programme that will include open dialogue on how to maximise productivity as well as the application of new technologies, such as genomics and remote sensing.”

Conference research topics include breeding productive and resilient forests, finding the synergies in genotype, environment and silviculture, and genomics and phenomics.  

Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor Brian Cullis (Australia), Professor Dario Grattapaglia (Brazil), Dr Antoine Kremer (France), Professor Dr Ulrich Schurr (Germany), Dr Jerry Tuskan (USA) and John McEwan, (New Zealand).

“While very much a genetics-focused conference, it is designed to appeal to academics, scientists, molecular and quantitative geneticists, silvicultural scientists interested in genetics, government organisations and industry stakeholders. Geneticists from sectors outside forestry will also find topics of interest.

“This is also a great opportunity for sponsors to promote their products and services, and we are delighted to have the Radiata Pine Breeding Company as our Platinum Sponsor,” said Dr Dungey.

The five-day conference will be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre and includes a field trip on 16 March to commercial forests in the Bay of Plenty. A post-conference tour to the South Island finishing in Queenstown is also available.

Anyone wanting to attend, sponsor or exhibit can find details at the conference website