Join Global Leaders in Wood Protection at IRG Meeting in Cairns, Australia

Experience Five Days of Keynotes, Site Visits, and Great Barrier Reef Tours.

Fri 17 Feb 23


Australia will host the International Research Group on Wood Protection (IRG) in Cairns in far north Queensland from May 28 to June 2.

The IRG is the peak world body related to timber durability research and each conference brings together more than 250 researchers from 30-40 countries to discuss new developments in the field. 

This will be the third time that IRG’s annual meeting has been held in Australia, with the first two in Surfer’s Paradise (1983) and Brisbane (2003). 

The meeting will take place over five days and involve posters, oral presentations of written papers and keynotes from leading global researchers including Professor Phil Evans, department of wood science at the University of British Columbia. 

This will be an excellent chance to learn about the latest innovations in wood protection, and the organising committee is looking forward to welcoming the world to our door.

A pre-meeting field trip (or Terminatour) will visit test sites at the South Johnstone Research Station and the Mareeba area to see termite mounds of both Coptotermes and Mastotermes. Mastotermes darwiniensis or the Giant Northern Termite, is the single remaining species in the genus and it is only found in northern Australia. It is, by far, the most aggressive termite on the continent and appears to be moving southward.

Keynote speaker for the IRG meeting in Cairns… Professor Phil Evans, Department of Wood Science, University of British Columbia (right) with fellow researcher Sadegh Mazloomi.

A mid-week excursion is planned for delegates and companions to Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Attendees will be free to spend time in and around the island, including the tropical island forest, in and under the water with the snorkel gear provided, or a relaxing walk on the beach or just enjoying themselves at the facilities on Green Island. This is a great chance for further discussions in a more casual setting.

The meeting will welcome some 200 overseas participants to enjoy Cairns and its tropical environment.

This year’s meeting is a wonderful and unique opportunity for the Australian and New Zealand timber and wood treatment industries to attend and learn about research and innovations in the wood durability and performance field. The topics covered in presentations will also provide the necessary information for educating specifiers, designers, and users of timber about effective protection and durable performance of all wood products, including the increasing use of engineered wood products/

The IRG provides an excellent forum for identifying new treatment/protection technologies for the region. There will be many opportunities for informal discussions with like-minded people as well as scientists and technologists in the field.

Information about the meeting and registration is available at

The IRG has about 330 members from some 50-plus countries around the world and the Cairns meeting will mark the 54th event.

While the IRG has its beginnings in Europe, it is global in nature with increasing involvement from the Asia region.

In the past 50 years there have been profound changes in the wood protection industry, wood protection values and in the wood protection scientific community. IRG seeks to respond to and/or participate in the ever-changing global landscape.

It is a fact that much wood protection science is driven by global currents in the environment, forestry and climate impacts.

The IRG provides an active forum for the development of a wide variety of responses and viewpoints in this time of continuous change in the world’s approach to the use of wood-based materials across a broad spectrum of applications as well as political and environmental situations.


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