Dear colleagues and friends,
Two months are already over since we had our Xth International EMCA Conference in Vienna, but images of that highly enjoyable event are still very present in my mind. Overall, I recall this large assembly that attend the conference, offering a pleasant ambiance in the conference hall for both speakers and audience. Also, the scientific eminence and soundness of the contributions made the conference programme attractive and profitable. During breaks, all rooms looked like a ruche, with people meeting and discussing in front of posters and sponsor booths, whilst drinking and enjoying food. The registered attendance did reach almost the number of 250 attendees, representing 29 countries, and providing 91 scientific contributions! If we would have new that one year before, while struggling with covid restrictions to decide if and how to organise the conference, we would have had much less stress. But thanks to our host institution AGES and its staff, and to the local Organising Committee head Hans Jerrentrup, all went smooth and fine. In the name of all attendees, I have to thank the AGES team, in particular Christoph Unger, Georg Dutscher, Emanuela Hauer, Franz Allerberger and Dr. Bernhard Benka for their effort in making the conference straightforward.
The scientific contributions did cover a large panel of topics, of which new technologies and methods for surveillance and control of mosquitoes were first debated, together with quality control. Invasive species remain of course a major target. It was good to have a session on blackflies, and we may in the future give more focus to blackflies and other vectors that are threats to human and animal health and stress out the One Health context. Besides, we may also deepen the debate on biocide regulation in the European and international contexts. This all makes me impatient to schedule the next workshop and conference!
Other images that remain in mind are those of the excellent field trip, that was joining demonstrations of state-or-the-art aerial mosquito control tools (thanks to AgrarFly, HeliAustria and Verein Biologische Gelsenregulierung entlang Thaya & March) and a visit of the wonderful castle Schlosshof and its gardens, that everybody enjoyed despite the rainy weather. Our gala dinner was hold there, under a typical Austrian ambiance, and I’m sure all attendees highly appreciating music, food and drinks, up to late in the night for some of us…
Another pleasant image is meeting with the sponsors, who actively presented products and tools of interest for the attendees. I was a nice opportunity to exchange about available novelties and further needs. We are deeply grateful to all sponsors who, by their contribution, make possible to reduce the conference attendance fees.
A last image is about the group that was present, mixing long-standing and novel faces. I personally enjoy very much to meet new persons and discover their achievements and expectations for the future, and not only in terms of mosquito control! Have a look at the group photo and you will certainly recognise colleagues nearby new faces. You may also have interest to check some contributors’ presentations (oral or posters) and even the abstract book (JEMCA Supplement).
But looking onward, we have to start planning a workshop for 2022. That will be one of the tasks of the EMCA Board, but in the meantime and in name of the Board, the coming festive season is the opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ and to wish you all the best for the New Year.
President of EMCA
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