Insects are the most diverse group of living organisms on Earth and entomology has long been recognized as a vital scientific discipline that touches upon food security, human and animal health, and biodiversity conservation. The Entomology Society of Southern Africa (ESSA) is the only dedicated entomology conference in southern Africa and the ESSA 2019 Congress, Innovative Entomology, will focus on new and novel approaches to research and problem-solving. This four-day conference in Durban will include a session on biodiversity informatics that covers data management, data applications, and uses of data for spatial planning. A session including the biological interactions of plant pollinators is also planned. Networking opportunities and student exposure to research in southern Africa will contribute to the growing and innovative field of entomological science on the African continent.
Key Objectives and Activities
The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is proud to be a “Longhorn Beetle sponsor,” the highest level of sponsorship for the 21st Congress of the ESSA. This conference includes three plenary talks, three parallel sessions each day, and multiple poster sessions. Sponsorship will be used to cover several aspects of the conference and support student participation. Funding will go towards student registration fees, the hiring of the venue, and the printing of the program.
Registration fees subsidized for 100 students.
Conference venue expenses partially covered.
Conference programs printed for an expected 250 attendees.
Researchers and collection organizations in southern Africa will share and discuss different ways of handling data and novel methods of providing access to biodiversity data throughout the conference. The networking opportunities provided by this event are expected to contribute to new research ideas, collaborations, and funding opportunities. The focus on student participation will provide students with a chance to meet with specialists in their field and exposure to a wide variety of topics within entomology, including the generation and use of biodiversity information.
The KwaZulu-Natal Museum is dedicated to serving the people of South Africa by interpreting material evidence of the natural and cultural world in order to increase knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the nation’s wealth of history and biodiversity. The ESSA promotes entomology in Africa and communication between entomologists through the publication of its journal, African Entomology, and its biennial Congresses.
Note from JRS
JRS aims to support the development of capacity in Africa for sharing and utilizing biodiversity data and knowledge for the benefit of conservation and humanity. Conference support is one of the ways in which we strengthen the networks of those who advance and use biodiversity informatics. We’ve learned that connections at conferences lead to collaborations and innovations. We provide direct support to conferences focused upon biodiversity informatics and we also aim to bring biodiversity informatics to topical conferences where new audiences might appreciate the power of information science to accelerate ecological research and its applications. ESSA’s conference is the major gathering of entomologists in South Africa and includes JRS grantees and partners relating to freshwater biodiversity and pollinators biodiversity. The Kwa Zulu Natal Museum has been a valued partner to many JRS-supported projects in the region and we are grateful for their partnership as the conference host.