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Exploiting invasive species for future gain

Posted 16 June 2011

Conference organisers Dr Nicola Randall (Harper Adams), Dr Rob Francis (King's College London) and Helen Bayliss (Harper Adams).

Conference organisers Dr Nicola Randall (Harper Adams), Dr Rob Francis (King's College London) and Helen Bayliss (Harper Adams).

UNIVERSITIES WEEK 2011: Big Ideas for the Future

Harper Adams University College, in conjunction with the British Ecological Society is today hosting a conference to discuss ways in which invasive species can be managed to secure future food supplies and increase profit for farmers.

Members of the society’s Invasive Species Group and guest delegates can benefit from a range of invited and contributed talks, a networking lunch, poster displays, and a workshop on “exploiting invasives in Great Britain”.

Harper Adams Postgraduate research student Helen Bayliss is currently conducting a systematic review of invasive species research with Dr Nicola Randall. She explained that invasive species are those that have been introduced into a new area and then cause economic and environmental problems. High profile examples in the UK include grey squirrels and Japanese knotweed.

Helen is keen to facilitate the transfer of knowledge on this key area of concern for farmers. She said: “Hopefully by improving the way in which research is communicated and the accessibility of findings and information, we can make it more accessible to the people that really need the information.

“This in-turn will have a knock-on effect by improving food security, reducing costs to industry and also reducing the threat to human welfare and wellbeing.”

Topics at today’s conference include the potential for a UK rabbit meat market, managing the risks of vertebrate pest incursions and “Making Invaders pay: the potential for economic exploitation of invasive species in Great Britain”.

For more information on Helen’s research see her profile page or feature video.

Visit the British Ecological Society Invasive Species Group website

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