Organised by

Institute for agricultural and fisheries research



Marine Biology - Ghent University

Science for the new regulation - Preliminary programme one day BENELUX conference on invasive species

Date: April 2nd 2014
Location: Ghent University, Academieraadzaal, Volderstraat 9, Ghent, Belgium

Organising committee: Tim Adriaens (INBO), Pieter Boets (UGent), Etienne Branquart (DEMNA), Jim Casaer (INBO), Peter Goethals (UGent), Olivier Honnay (KULeuven), Gregory Mahy (Ulg), Ben Somers (KULeuven), Sonia Vanderhoeven (BBP), Hugo Verreycken (INBO)

Schedule of the day:

  • 8.00-9.00: Registration
  • 9.00-9.10: Introduction by organising committee
  • 9.10-9.40: Keynote 1
  • 9.40-10.40: Session 1: Pathway analysis and spread of invasive species
  • 10.40-11.00: Coffee break
  • 11.00-12.00: Pitching oral presentations
  • 12.00-13.15: Sandwich lunch and poster session
  • 13.15-13.45: Keynote 2
  • 13.45-14.45: Session 2: Impact and risk assessment of invasive species
  • 14.45-15.10: Coffee break
  • 15.10-15.40: Keynote 3
  • 15.40-16.40: Session 3: Control, management and mitigation of invasive species
  • 16.40-17.00: Summary and closing of the day
  • 17.00-18.00: Reception

Session 1

Pathway analysis and spread of invasive species

session 1Due to increased worldwide trade and human activities, species are transported around the globe. Deliberate and accidental introductions of alien invasive species via shipping, pet trade, stockings and escapes are considered the most important causes of the observed exponential increase in alien species worldwide. Once alien species are introduced it is very hard and costly to eradicate them. Therefore, it is important to determine a priori which species can establish and what impact they have on the ecosystem via for example horizon scanning.
In this session we welcome talks addressing the following questions: What are the main vectors of species introductions outside their native geographic area and what are the mechanisms behind successful introductions? Are the initial environmental and biological conditions determining the success of the species? How do these species spread once they are introduced and what facilitates or hampers their dispersal? Can we develop an early detection system that helps us to prevent new introductions or to avoid the further dispersal of already established ones?

KEYNOTE 1: Prof. Rob Leuven (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Disentangling the spread and mechanisms of alien invasive species

Session 2

Impact and risk assessment of invasive species

session 2Several alien invasive species are known to have an effect on ecosystem structure and functioning. Although there is often an impact observed, the mechanisms behind the impact are often not quantified or fully understood.
Assessing and predicting the impact and risk of potential alien invasive species is essential since it can help to determine which species might cause problems once they are introduced into the new environment. In this way, targeted actions can be undertaken to prevent further environmental degradation due to species introductions. Talks on experiments, field data analyses as well as conceptual work related to impact and risk assessment of alien invasive species are welcomed in this session.

KEYNOTE 2: Prof. Jamie Dick (Queens University, Belfast, Ireland)
Advancing impact prediction in invasion ecology with a functional response approach

Session 3

Control, management and mitigation of invasive species

session 3Due to the increasing number of alien invasive species established worldwide, control, management and mitigation are recently put forward on the agenda of policy and decision makers in Europe as well as in the rest of the world. Several measures have been taken such as ballast water control to prevent new introductions or to avoid the spread of already introduced ones. Management actions are, however, complicated because many different stakeholders are involved and the suggested measures and legalisation are not always that effective. Successful eradication actions of invasive species or public awareness campaigns have shown that management of invasive species is necessary. In this session we welcome talks that elaborate on how science can help to contribute to a good policy regarding invasive species management. Besides a good policy it is important to investigate how we can make our ecosystems more resilient to invasions or how restoration actions can contribute to combat invasive species.

KEYNOTE 3: Dr. Joe Caffrey (Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ireland)
Control and management of freshwater invasive species in Ireland

Practical details and deadlines

The conference is open to anyone active in the field of invasion ecology (students, academics, decision makers, managers, stakeholders, policy makers). Registration is free for students, for other participants the registration fee is 15 euros. Please send an email to to register before March 14, 2014.

There will be the opportunity to submit abstracts for:

  1. Oral presentations (15 min presentation + 5 min questions)
  2. Pitching oral presentations (5 min to introduce a poster)
  3. Posters without oral presentation

Please indicate which type of presentation you would like to give and in which session.
Abstracts should be no longer than 1 page (font size 12) with indication of:

  1. Title
  2. Contact details and email
  3. Abstract
  4. Preferred session and presentation type

The deadline for abstract submission is January 31, 2014.
All abstracts will be reviewed by a scientific committee. Notification of abstract submission will be done before February 20, 2014.
Abstracts can be sent to


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