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Forest Invertebrates: Challenges and Solutions

Virtual Event Virtual Event

2 May @ 10:00 16:00

Thursday 2 May, 10:00 – 16:00 (BST)

Join our Forest Invertebrates Special Interest Group (SIG) at their next meeting, taking place online. The Forest Invertebrate group encourages students of all ages, practitioners, amateurs and academics, and anyone with an interest in trees, forests and the invertebrates within them, to add to our conversations.

This online meeting aims to highlight a range of topical issues facing forest invertebrates in Britain and beyond, providing an opportunity to share knowledge, research and observations, and to generate discussion and engagement. The meeting will include a series of short presentations (15 mins) as well as informal ‘invertebrate updates’ (5 minutes), and an opportunity for ‘open to all’ topical discussion. 

The meeting will take a challenges vs solutions approach. Broken into two halves, the morning will discuss the challenges we are facing and the afternoon will focus on solutions, with a conservation focus. Topics are drawn from the RES grand challenges themes and include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing pest threats
  • Climate change impacts
  • Conservation options and outlook
  • Drivers and consequences of change
  • Monitoring techniques
  • Problems facing forest invertebrates, such as declines in abundance or diversity, habitat loss, or management issues
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Keynote speakers

We are delighted to welcome the following keynote speakers.

Ruth Mitchell, The James Hutton Institute

Dr Ruth Mitchell is leader of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems group at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen. She also leads the Biodiversity Topic for the Scottish Government Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Strategic Research Programme. She is a plant and soil ecologist with 20 years experience of working on a wide range of applied ecological research projects. Recently her work has focused on trees and the impact of declines in trees, such as oak and ash, on wider biodiversity. Her work also looks at mitigation and which tree species are the most suitable ecological replacements for UK tree species currently impacted by non-native pests and pathogens. She is currently leading the Treescapes project DiversiTree.

Fiona Plenderleith, Forest Research

Fiona is an ecologist with an interest in woodland connectivity. She is particularly interested in exploring how species disperse through different features of the landscape (e.g. dispersal through newly created woodlands). Her research uses data on species movement (obtained through tracking or landscape genetics) and spatial modelling tools to assess functional connectivity.

Fiona and Ruth will present jointly on: Ash dieback – consequences for invertebrates and mitigation strategies.

Nigel Straw

Dr Nigel Straw worked in the Tree Health Division of Forest Research for over 30 years on a wide range of forest insects, and since 2020 he has continued research as an Emeritus Research Fellow, focussing on invertebrate predators of aphids in the tree canopy, the management of oak processionary moth, and long-term effects of horse-chestnut leaf-miner and pathogens on urban and rural horse-chestnut trees.

The problem with trees: they’re big, they’re slow, and they live a long time

Studying insects on trees faces particular challenges, not least in how to access the canopy and in devising suitable sampling programmes. But trees also change over time, in size, structure and physiology, and these changes can have a major influence how insects and trees interact. Some of these issues become apparent when comparing the response of young and mature trees to insect attack, and how events earlier in the life of a tree can influence the response to insects, and pathogens, many years later.

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Registration is now open at the bottom of this page. Please note there are discounted rates for members of the RES, so if you are not a member already, consider joining today!

To access discounted member rates, you must be logged into your account before registering.

Registration deadline: 17:00 (BST), Monday 29 April

Ticket typeCost
RES Student Member£10
RES Member£20
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SIG convenors

  • Daegan Inward, Forest Research
  • Kirsty Godsman, Caledonian Conservation Ltd
  • Abi Enston, Forest Research
  • Brenden Beckett, Forest Research
  • Talor Whitham, Forest Research & University of Reading


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