The Sixth International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, held virtually from British Columbia, Canada, continues the series of International Symposia on Biological Control of Arthropods, organized every four years. The history of the meetings is:
• First ISBCA, Hawaii, USA – January 2002
• Second ISBCA, Davos, Switzerland – September 2005
• Third ISBCA, Christchurch, New Zealand – February 2009
• Fourth ISBCA: Pucón, Chile – March 2013
• Fifth ISBCA: Langkawi, Malaysia – September 2017
The goal of these symposia is to create a forum where biological control researchers and practitioners can meet and exchange information, to promote discussions of up to date issues affecting biological control, particularly pertaining the use of parasitoids and predators as biological control agents. This includes all approaches to biological control: conservation, augmentation, and importation of natural enemy species for the control of arthropod targets, as well as other transversal issues related to its implementation.
To this end, 12 sessions have been organized in order to address the most relevant and current topics in the field of biological control of arthropods, delivered by invited speakers, contributed talks and poster presentations. To kick off ISBCA 2022, Dr. Martin Hill, Global President of the International Organization for Biological Control, presents an opening keynote talk on the current state of biological control. Some of the topics covered in ISBCA 2022 have remained as important issues since the first meeting, like the importance of biological control for managing invasive species, sustainable pest regulation in agricultural landscapes, the continuing challenges for biological control of forest pests, and the role of native vegetation in conservation biological control. But also, as new challenges and environmental concerns arise, some fresh topics have emerged. Among them are climate change and the disruption of biological control, stakeholder knowledge and perceptions of biological control, the use of native and exotic natural enemies for augmentative biological control, and functional diversity supporting biological control. For the first time, a workshop on biological control of ticks will be held. To show that biological control is a continuum linked to other disciplines, there will be a session on the science underpinning the successful use of pathogens in biological control. An important goal of the International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods is to promote early career researchers, and the first session Proceedings of ISBCA 6 – D.C. Weber, T.D. Gariepy, and W.R. Morrison III, eds. (2022) iii is organized to showcase the work of select individuals. The International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) has sponsored these presentations. Another important goal of these meetings has been to be truly international, and this is why every conference so far has been organized in a different continent. This year we are excited in having achieved this goal despite the many world crises, by having participants from over 30 countries and all continents except Antarctica. We are particularly happy for the many works and participants from South America, a region that in the past has been poorly represented in these symposia. As a result, this meeting represents an opportunity for creating and expanding networks between researchers worldwide.
Thus we expect that, despite the virtual format, the 6th International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods would be an important milestone in keep moving forward the research and practice on biological control of arthropods, thereby helping to improve the sustainability of managed systems as well as aiding in the protection of biodiversity on the planet.