Blog

Teaching entomology in Papua New Guinea: part two

By: Dr Chris Reid, Category: AMRI, Date: 20 Aug 2015

Teaching a group of dedicated entomologists in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

The botany lab, Binatang Research Centre

The botany lab, Binatang Research Centre
Photographer: Celia Symonds © University of New South Wales

My engagement with the wonderful people of Papua New Guinea has continued (see part one). To recap: I'm a beetle expert involved with a team from University of New South Wales in a project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to develop a new generation of entomologists in Papua New Guinea.

A few weeks ago in June, five of us (myself from Australian Museum Research Institute, Gerry Cassis, Wendy Shaw & Celia Symonds from UNSW, and Grahame Jackson, a consultant) trekked off to the north coast of New Guinea in Madang Province, where a Czech entomologist, Vojtech Novotny, has been researching rainforest diversity for the last 20 years. His base, the Binatang Research Centre, perched on the edge of a pristine sea, became our classroom for a week. How can you beat sitting on a verandah watching dolphins sail past?

But I wanted to see some rainforest! Before the course began, Celia and I managed to escape to the local forest reserve, where we photographed cool weevils and met a flock of hornbills.

For the course, our partners in PNG, the National Agricultural Research Institute, yet again provided a great mix of 17 ‘students’, from many different organisations, including Agriculture, Forestry, Quarantine, particular Crop concerns and the host facility itself.

We taught collecting methods, insect anatomy, collection curation, making a herbarium, insect identification, pest recognition and macrophotography of specimens, using the material collected by the participants. Once again there was a great deal of enthusiasm and once again we all felt we weren’t there long enough.

Dr Chris Reid
Principal Research Scientist
 

Acknowledgements:
On behalf of my colleagues, Id like to thank all the participants and the staff at Binatang for a most enjoyable week’s teaching and I thank Bradley and the people of Baitabag for letting me visit their forest.

Tags teachning, entomology, scientific capacity building, PNG, Australian Museum Research Institute, AMRI,