UPLB hosts int’l confab of entomologists studying leafhoppers and planthoppers

UPLB hosts int’l confab of entomologists studying leafhoppers and planthoppers
Julianne Afable

The University of the Philippines Los Baños is currently hosting the 17th International Auchenorrhyncha Congress (IAC) simultaneous with the 13th International Workshop on Leafhoppers and Planthoppers of Economic Significance this 1-5 April 2024 at the Umali Auditorium of SEAMEO-SEARCA in UPLB.

The scientific gathering of entomologists and industry players is led by the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) Institute of Weed Science, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, with the UPLB Museum of Natural History and the CAFS National Crop Protection Center as co-organizers.

The 5-day international congress include plenary talks, scientific sessions, and a field work inside the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve. The scientific sessions are divided into categories namely, Taxonomy and Systematics; Biodiversity Conservation, Management and Governance; Biology, Ethology, Ecology, and Genetics; Species Assessments, Inventories, and Databases; Pest Management; and Fossils, Evolution, and Biogeography.

On 1 April 2024, the congress was formally opened by UPLB officials, institution partners, and the congress’ keynote speaker, Dr. Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban, Director of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry.

Congress Chair Dr. Sheryl A. Yap and Dr. Thierry Bourgoin, President of the International Auchenorrhyncha Society (IAS), were joined by UPLB officials Dr. Jose V. Camacho Jr., Chancellor, and Dr. Elpidio M. Agbisit Jr., CAFS Dean; SEARCA Deputy Director for Programs Dr. Nur Azura Binti Adam, and Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, Executive Director of Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology, in welcoming the participants during the opening program.

According to Dr. Yap, the 2024 edition of the IAC in the Philippines is the first in-person congress of the IAS after the COVID-19 pandemic. “This congress stands as a testament to our dedication in studying Auchennoryncha, a diverse and fascinating insect group that plays crucial roles in ecosystems worldwide,” Dr. Yap said. After the congress opening, Dr. Jaceck Szwedo of the University of Gdansk in Poland gave a virtual plenary presentation on “The Hopper’s Evolutionary Pathways – Nodes, Boons & Bottlenecks.”

Aside from providing a venue for oral scientific presentations, the congress also enabled the international scientists to present their researches through poster papers.

After the presentations of scientific papers were done, a welcome dinner for the participants was held at the Makiling Botanic Gardens with special entertainment from the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe and the NCPC Band, “Protect the Crop.” To give the participants a chance to explore the country’s auchenorrhynchal fauna, a visit to some of the trails of the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, in cooperation with the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems, was held on 3 April 2024.


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