CSIRO’s European Laboratory at Montpellier, France.
Montpellier, France (CSIRO European Laboratory)
CSIRO’s European Laboratory is an international collaboration site, conducting biological control research that is important to Australia's biosecurity.
In October 1994, CSIRO opened its European Laboratory (CSIRO-EL) on the Agropolis International Campus at Baillarguet, Montferrier-sur-Lez, on the outskirts of Montpellier in southern France.
The major impetus for this development has been biological control - the use of living organisms, rather than chemicals, to control pests and weeds.
The laboratory also has an increasing role in precautionary biosecurity research relating to pests not yet present in Australia.
Due to Australia’s strict quarantine and biosecurity requirements, much of this research can not be carried out in Australia.
The laboratory provides CSIRO with a facility where research relevant to Australia can be conducted outside Australia.
CSIRO-EL is managed by CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences and consists of a central administration area flanked by two research wings with entomology, plant pathology, chemical and molecular biology laboratories.
A complex of glasshouses adjoins a large service area containing a small low security quarantine facility including:
The site is set over 2.5 ha of land, the bulk of which is available for experimental plots and tunnel houses.
A small arboretum of Australian native species has also been established on-site.
Internet connections allow CSIRO-EL to form an integral part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management.
Invasive organisms are an increasing threat to world biodiversity and agriculture.
Research teams and collaborators from neighbouring laboratories such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) use CSIRO-EL facilities.
CSIRO-EL currently plays host to a team of insect systematists and arthropod biological control scientists from CIRAD providing a satisfyingly Australian-French research environment.
The laboratory and its staff are also members of Complex Internationale de Lutte Biologique Agropolis (CILBA) the largest group of biological control scientists in Europe.
CILBA regularly organises conferences and other activities to promote biological control and sustainable pest management.
CSIRO is also a member of Agropolis, a network all of the research institutes and laboratories around Montpellier involved in research in agro-ecosystems.
CSIRO-EL provides the capacity for research in:
The expertise of staff working at the laboratories includes:
plant and insect population biology
integrated weed management
insect and pathogen exploration collection and shipping
insect and plant pathogen culturing
pest and biological control agent risk assessment
electrophoresis, phylogenetics, DNA analysis
glasshouse and site management
cultivation of Australian plants.
Staff numbers at the laboratory fluctuate depending on the number of projects.
There are currently five permanent staff (research scientists and technicians) plus a variable number of contract staff, students and visitors from a range of countries.
The language of the laboratory is English, but most staff are bilingual in French and English.
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Learn more about CSIRO's research in Pest Management.