Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research Centre, Canada
Dr. Karen Bailey, Emeritus Research Scientist from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, trained as a plant pathologist and applied this expertise to improve plant health by finding solutions to reduce the impact of soil-borne plant diseases and by using fungi for biological control of Canada thistle and other broadleaved weeds. She has more than 300 publications, inventions disclosures and patents, and has received recognition from her peers with awards such as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, CPS Outstanding Research Award, and CPS Award for Achievements in Plant Pathology. Although having retired from AAFC, she continues to support commercialization activities related to her bioherbicide discoveries.
Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Tom Dudley is a research biologist with the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his research involves the ecology and control of invasive plants and animals in riparian and aquatic ecosystems. His particular focus is on the application of biological control of riparian weeds, such as Tamarix and Arundo donax in desert and semi-arid rivers of western North America. As a community ecologist he and collaborators apply an ecohydrological approach to the design and implementation of riparian restoration as a follow-up to weed control, and multi-trophic level assessment of native species and ecosystem responses to restoration efforts.
Centre for Functional Ecology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Elizabete Marchante is a research fellow in the Centre for Functional Ecology, from University of Coimbra, Portugal. Her research focuses on plant invasions, namely impacts, restoration and management. Currently she is especially interested in biological control of invasive plants, namely on research of ecological networks as a tool for planning and monitoring biocontrol programs. In this context, she has been involved in the process of release of one of the first biocontrol agents against an invasive plant in Europe. Along with research she is actively involved in public awareness and science communication on invasive plants and also on the management of invasive plants and nature conservation.
Peter G. Mason
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Ottawa, Canada
Peter G. Mason is a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Ottawa, Canada. The focus of his research is invasive species and classical biological control with particular emphasis on host-range assessment and non-target impacts of parasitoids. This research has been central to formulating a science-based response to a changing regulatory environment for biocontrol agents worldwide. He is a member and current chair of the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) Biological Expert Group, a member and current chair of the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) Commission on Access and Benefit Sharing, and an Honorary Member of IOBC Global.
Health and Biosecurity, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia
Dr Louise Morin joined CSIRO in Australia in 1996, following research positions in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Landcare Research in New Zealand. For most of her career, she has applied her plant pathology skills to develop new approaches for the classical biological control of weeds using plant pathogens, especially rust fungi. She has been involved across all stages of biological control programs, including prioritisation of targets, has embraced latest molecular technologies to streamline her research and most of her projects have comprised major components of technology transfer and community involvement. She has been a strong advocate for evaluating biological control within an ecological framework to maintain strong support for the discipline.
Rangaswamy (Muni) Muniappan
Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED), Virginia Tech, U.S.A.
Muni Muniappan worked in the Pacific on biological control of insect pests and weeds, and integrated pest management for over three decades. In 2006, he joined Virginia Tech as the Director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this position he manages projects on developing and implementing IPM packages for vegetable, fruit, cereal, and legume crops in developing countries; monitoring, forecasting, and management of invasive species in the tropics; and biological control of Parthenium in Eastern Africa.
Department of Biology, Unit Ecology & Evolution, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Heinz Müller-Schärer’s long-standing research interests are ecological and evolutionary aspects of plant-insect and plant-pathogen interactions, especially in the context of plant invasion and biological control. This led to the study of several plant-antagonist model systems, with focus on research questions related to population genetics and dynamics, species spread and distribution, as well as ecosystem and socio-economic impacts of plant invaders.
In this general frame, most recent studies focus on the evolvability, i.e. the potential for rapid evolution in both a plant invader and its biological control insects in view of rendering biological control more predictive and sustainable.
He initiated, lead and participated in various national, European and international research programmes in invasion science, most recently the European research programme on the sustainable management of common ragweed involving more than 250 researchers from 32 countries.
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand
Quentin Paynter is an ecologist with 25 years of experience conducting weed biocontrol. He began his career investigating the ecology and natural enemies of Cytisus scoparius, based at the CSIRO European Laboratory in Montpellier, France. He then studied the integration of biocontrol with mechanical control, herbicides and fire to manage Mimosa pigra in Northern Australia before joining Landcare Research in 2003. Dr Paynter currently divides his time as a practitioner developing biocontrol agents for a variety of weed targets in New Zealand and the tropical Pacific and, as a research scientist, focussing on improving the environmental safety and success rate of weed biocontrol. He is particularly interested in the ecological interactions between biocontrol agents and the local biota in the introduced range.
Brian van Wilgen
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Brian van Wilgen is professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and he has four decades of experience as an applied ecologist in southern Africa and beyond. His research has focussed on two fields – fire ecology, and invasion ecology. He has conducted work in southern and eastern Africa, and collaborated with others in Australia, Europe, North and South America, and island ecosystems. He has served on numerous editorial boards, the most recent including the journals Conservation Biology, Fire Ecology, International Journal of Wildland Fire, and South African Journal of Science. He has received numerous awards, most recently the South African Academy of Science Gold Medal for excellence in the application of outstanding scientific thinking in the service of society. He is author of over 200 publications, including three books and 125 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
USDA/ARS Invasive Plant Research Lab, Ft Lauderdale, FL, USA
Greg Wheeler is a research entomologist who has conducted biological control research of invasive natural area weeds for more than 20 years. Most recent projects include Brazilian peppertree and Chinese tallowtree where he has conducted overseas surveys, host range testing and chemical ecology of the agents and weeds. He is especially interested in the phylogenetic and biochemical factors that influence host range of specialized herbivores. Additional research topics include the role of natural enemies in limiting agent densities and agent impact on weed populations.