The first virtual National Symposium on Biological Invasions done and dusted

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For the first time since its inception, the annual National Symposium on Biological invasions, was held as a virtual online event last week. It took place over three days, from 5 – 7 May and saw over 404 delegates register from 21 countries across the globe, including seven African countries.

An average of 217 people signed up each day to watch and engage with the presentations and posters. The theme of the event was “Africa acting together against biological invasions” and the session themes aligned with the Blackburn et al. (2011) unified framework for biological invasions (transport, establishment, impact and management). The symposium was co-hosted by the Centre for Biological Control (CBC) and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI). The symposium was intended for invasion experts, students, managers, and policy makers that are interested in biological invasions and their management in the region. A link to the website and programme is available here.

The Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Minster Creecy opened the event and reassured us that the government takes invasion seriously and she urged us to apply our minds to prevent future invasions, to understand invasions and to mitigate invasions. The three keynote addresses gave encouraging talks in their fields and shared their insights with us. There were 60 oral presentations and 21 posters presented over the three days, the discussions were full of interesting questions and dialogue. These are all available on YouTube if you would like to revisit them (see links below). Wednesday and Thursday ended with workshops which were well attended.

We would like to thank all the delegates who participated with sending in an abstract and to all those that attended. We have had some incredible feedback as the organising committee and are relieved that it went so well. And lastly a huge thank you to our sponsor, Husqvarna for the continued support. 

All sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube:

Session 1:

Session 2:

Session 3:

Session 4:

Session 5: