Over 11-15 November 2019, the Thailand Pest Management Association (TPMA) co-organized the 12th ANeT Meeting, 2019 with the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University. ANeT is the International Network for the Study of Asian Ants and is a network of myrmecologists (ant specialists). Their first meeting was held at the faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Thailand, in 1999. The network is now 20 years on and no longer a teenager, but will continue to grow.
The Faculty of Forestry in Kasetsart University, as the representative of Thailand, was the host of “The 12th ANeT International Conference, 2019”. This year’s theme was “ANeT 4.0 - Technology and Innovation for Developing Ant Researches and Utilizations”. In the past, the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, hosted ANeT in 1999 and 2004. This year, Kasetsart University and TPMA worked together to bring many myrmecologists and researchers to participate in this meeting. However, they also brought together representatives from the pest control industry in order to initiate collaboration between the various groups. Key goals of the event including the encouragement of myrmecologists and researchers to exchange information in the field of entomology, to provide myrmecologists and researchers with the opportunity to foster friendships and to encourage networking opportunities, to develop a strong, stable, and sustainable ANeT for the ANeT 4.0, and to move the whole industry forward to the future.
The event was held across three venues. The first two days were held at the Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand Field study. During these two days, all participates had the opportunity to join full day lectures from ant researchers from around Asia. The talks focused on a broad range of topics related to ants especially from Asia that encompassed taxonomy, evolution, ecology, utilization, pest management, native and tramp species, conservation and invading species. All participates were trained by the experts with real ant samples.
As this ANet event was co-organized by TPMA for the first time, there was also an exhibition from world leading chemical companies, which supported this event. Moreover, our event chairman, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Decha Wiwattwitaya Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, also showcased real ant colonies from his lab.
On the last day of the lectures, all participates had a wonderful opportunity to join the festival known as ‘Loi Krathong’. The name could be translated as “to float a basket,” and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. This is one of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand.
For the third day, all participates had the special chance to visit RAMA 9 Museum, the new museum of Thailand. This was the first VIP group to visit Rama 9 Museum, the largest ecologogical museum in Southeast Asia before the formal grand opening. In this museum, some researchers had the chance to see insect specimens from the museum library. Some experts borrowed some specimens to assistant the museum to identify unknown specimens.
The last two days, some participates went to Sakaerat Environmental Research Station in Nakorn Ratchasima Province. Here attendees had a wonderful opportunity to learn about Monsoon forest ecosystems. There are activities that visitors can learn such as insect taxonomy, bird habitats, and astronomy from experts in this research center.
Lastly, we would like to thank Assoc. Prof. Dr. Decha Wiwattwitaya, Chairman of the event. Without him, this meeting could not come true. Also, we have to thank our sponsors, and the TPMA teams for the great collaboration.
Article provided by Mr. Surath Aebtarm, Thailand Pest Management Association Committee, Public Relations.