International forest science experts in Rotorua focus on new technologies to boost sector

For immediate release
14 March 2016

World leading experts in tree genetics are in Rotorua this week for a  conference focused on how new technologies, such as genomics and remote  sensing, have the potential to boost productivity in the forestry  sector.

The Forest Genetics for Productivity Conference March  14-18 2016 – The next generation- brings together forest industry  leaders, scientists and innovators from around the world, setting the  scene for the future of the industry.

Conference Convenor Heidi  Dungey says, “Boosting forest productivity is priority not only for the  New Zealand forest industry but also globally to meet increasing demand  for timber and non-timber products and services.

“We have  secured a range of international speakers who are considered experts in  their fields.  They will talk us through the latest science and  technologies that could have a big impact on forestry production in the  future.

“Genomics - the science of understanding genetic patterns  - has the potential to allow us to breed trees with desired features  more quickly and accurately.  While measuring trees using remote sensing lasers (LiDAR), multi-spectral and 3-D cameras could give us a better  picture of tree health, growth and the landscape at a much faster rate  than ever before.”  

The conference will also cover the synergies between tree genetics and the environment.  

It’s the first international conference on tree genetics held in New Zealand for more than a decade.

Dr Dungey, Science Leader for Forest Genetics at Scion says, “This is an  exciting time for the forestry sector and we’re looking forward to  hosting such a high calibre of international experts here in Rotorua,  the heart of forest science in New Zealand.”

Conference details can be found at [link no longer valid] including speaker profiles.