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Andy Dobson

Head of the Disease Ecology and Conservation Lab, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

Andy Dobson is a Professor of Conservation Biology and the Ecology of Infectious Diseases at Princeton University. He has been on the faculty there since 1990 and his research focuses on wildlife diseases and conservation problems in Serengeti, Yellowstone, the Arctic and in the eyes of House Finches in most backyards in the US. He is External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute where he writes and works on problems related to Complex Systems. He is also A.D.White visiting Professor at Cornell University and visiting Professor of Sustainability at IMeRA at Marseilles, France. He has published over 200 papers and at least 4 books; "Unsolved Problems in Ecology" will be published by Princeton University Press later this year.


Julie Etterson

Head of the Ecological Genetics Lab, Department of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth and Campus Lead of the Institute on the Environment – Duluth, Duluth, MN USA

Julie Etterson has a BA in International Studies, a BS in Biology, and received her PhD in Ecology in 2000. Her lab group studies evolution in native plant populations in response to anthropogenic factors, such as climate change and habitat restoration using the toolkit of ecological genetics. One of the most powerful methods for understanding contemporary evolution is the "resurrection approach" where ancestral populations are revived (e.g. using old seed) and grown side-by-side with descendant populations for direct comparison of changes that have occurred over time. Although such antecedent-successor comparisons are powerful, the ancestral seed necessary to do the experiments is rarely available. To solve this problem, Etterson led a team to establish a new research seed bank, Project Baseline (http://www.baselineseedbank.org/) , that will provide old seed for resurrection ecology research for the next 50 years. At present, I am applying the resurrection approach to understand evolutionary change in restoration materials due to sampling and unconscious selection during the process of commercial seed increase and how evolutionary changes in plant material affects restoration success. I have applied other ecological genetic tools to predict and test the rates of evolution in response to climate change. Etterson’s lab group also tests efficacy of management practices that are designed to ameliorate negative impacts of rapid environmental change, such as assisted migration and genetic augmentation.


David Kleijn

Chair of the Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

David Kleijn studied plant breeding at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and did his PhD on the ecology of arable field boundary vegetation at the same university. He subsequently had a range of postdoctoral positions at Wageningen University, Fribourg University (CH) and Nijmegen University before obtaining a tenured track position at his alma mater. He is currently chair of the plant ecology and nature conservation group. Throughout his career his research has focused on understanding the causes of biodiversity decline in agricultural landscapes and finding conservation strategies that maintain diverse ecosystems and sustainable populations of plants, invertebrates and birds. He does this through applied cause-effects studies as well as more fundamental research examining underlying mechanisms and processes. Because effective conservation is as much about people as it is about wild species of plants and animals, lately, much of his research examines the pros and cons of using ecosystem services as the justification for biodiversity conservation and by using more participatory action research approaches.


Nancy Schellhorn

Co-funder and CEO of RapidAIM Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia; Principal research scientist with CSIRO, Canberra Australia

Dr Schellhorn is currently co-founder and CEO of RapidAIM Insect Sensing Technologies. RapidAIM provides a service of real-time pest monitoring for targeted insect pest control. RapidAIM removes the barriers to sustainable pest management by taking the guesswork out of pest detection, targeted management, and validation of control.

Prior to co-founding RapidAIM, Nancy was a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO in Brisbane Australia where she developed and lead concepts to achieve pest-suppressive landscapes; a way of measuring, designing and managing agricultural landscape mosaics for productivity and biodiversity. By combining large-scale experimentation with ecological modelling Dr Schellhorn, her team, and her colleagues were able to inform landscape design and recommend management options for the capture of ecosystem services of pest control. However, one of the greatest barrier to implementing sustainable pest management practices was knowing where and when pest are in the region, farm and field. This problem lead to the development of real-time automated insect monitoring. Nancy has lead several national projects associated with area-wide management of pests, area-wide management of natural enemies, and the delivery and deployment of pest control technologies (e.g. sterile insect techniques and GM crop technologies). Nancy has worked across cotton, grains, vegetable and fruit systems in temperate, tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean climates.

Dr Schellhorn received her BS in Agriculture from the University of Missouri–Columbia, a MS in Ecology from the University of Missouri-St Louis, and PhD in Entomology from University of Minnesota. In 1999, she joined CSIRO in Australia. Nancy has served on many national and international committees and advisory panels including the Federal Office of Gene Technology Regulator Technical Advisory Committee, the GRDC National Grains Pest Advisory Committee, the Cotton Industry Technical Advisory Committee, and the OECD Integrated Pest Management Advisory Committee.


Carly Stevens

Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK

Dr Carly Stevens is a senior lecturer at Lancaster University where she has been working since 2012. Her research is related to impacts of global change on plant communities and soils. In particular she is interested in how atmospheric nitrogen deposition has impacted on ecosystems and the services they provide, across the world. This has included demonstrating the relationship between nitrogen deposition and plant species richness in the UK, western-Europe and the USA. Her research group work on a range of topics focussed around plant ecology, soils and global change, including some interdisciplinary projects working with sociologists, historians and linguists.

Dr Stevens received her BSc in 2000 from Nottingham University and her PhD from The Open University in 2004. At Lancaster University she currently teaches Ecology and field courses in Ecological Skills and Vegetation Classification. Carly is Director of Postgraduate Research students within her department and leads a research council PhD training programme. She currently edits for Oecologia, Functional Ecology and Scientific Reports.


Kris Verheyen

Head of the Forest & Nature Lab, Department of Environment, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium

Kris Verheyen (born 1974) obtained a MSc (1997) and PhD (2002) degree in Forest and Nature Management at KU Leuven, Belgium. In 2004 he moved to Ghent University and became head of the Forest & Nature Lab. Since 2018 he is also head of the UGent Department of Environment, with 160+ researchers. At the start of this research career he focused on understanding the effects of land-use legacies on temperate forest (understorey) vegetation. This is a continued interest, but his research on this topic has broadened to studying the effects of multiple global change drivers on forest composition and functioning in temperate forest in Europe and elsewhere (see www.fleur.ugent.be and www.forestreplot.ugent.be). A second research line is the study of biodiversity – ecosystem functioning relationships in forests. This is done both in an observational way in existing, mature forest stands and in experimental tree diversity plantations within the scope of TreeDivNet (www.treedivnet.ugent.be). A third, more applied research line focuses on effective and efficient ecological restoration of forests and species-rich grasslands on former agricultural land. Fourth, and finally, he is very interested in applying the ecosystem service framework to a better management of (socio-)ecological systems. He sees his further career developing at this interface between science and society. Kris has (co-)authored more than 350 peer-reviewed journal papers, has written and edited several books, and (co-)promoted 45 PhD students. Until recently, he was associated editor of Applied Vegetation Science and section editor of Current Forestry Reports. At present he is handling editor of Journal of Environmental Management and of Forest Ecosystems. In 2013 he received an ERC Consolidator Grant to further his work on global change effects on forests.