Introduction: Australian-origin pests of eucalypts have been moving around the world almost as long as the trees themselves. Up until the 1990’s there was a steady linear increase in the numbers of these pests establishing overseas, with relatively slow subsequent movement. Under this scenario, traditional approaches to classical biological control - where individual countries or regions funded natural enemy searches in Australia, carried out required specificity testing and released the agents - were effective. However, since the 1990’s, the establishment rate of new pests has increased almost exponentially (correlated with enormously increased trade and people movement) with rapid subsequent invasion of these pests into new countries and across continents exacerbating the problem. This has necessitated new approaches to developing biological control programs, with individual countries less able to cope with multiple pests arriving almost simultaneously. A globally collaborative approach to biological control is therefore required, where funds and expertise can be effectively and cost-efficiently pooled and shared to develop biological control for these eucalypt pests. Methods: A collaborative framework has been developed by industry and researchers worldwide to solve this problem through the formation of the BiCEP (Biological Control of Insect Pests) Alliance. BiCEP is targeting research in Australia and overseas on major pests (e.g. Gonipterus scutellatus complex, Glycaspis brimblecombei) prioritised by its industry partners. Results/Conclusion: Early conclusions from this approach, practical outcomes from current research, and future directions and improvements will be discussed.
XXV International Congress of Entomology (ICE), Orlando, United States 25-30 September 2016