BES Forest Ecology Group

A British Ecological Society Special Interest Group

Forest Pests and Pathogens feature in upcoming Symposium

A series of talks on the ecology and evolution of forest pests and pathogens will feature in the British Ecological Society Symposium “The Ecology and Evolution of Emerging Plant Pests and Pathogens”, being held at Penryn Campus, Exeter University, Cornwall on 12-14 July.

Registration is open now at


All talks will take place in Lecture Theatre 4, Peter Lanyon Building, Penryn Campus, Penryn Cornwall.


Theme I: Threats to Agriculture

08:30    Keynote: Charles Godfray (University of Oxford): Challenges for global food security
09:10    Sarah Gurr (University of Exeter): Fungi, food and famine – the past, present and future of fungal pathogens in agriculture
09:35    Michael  Shaw (University of Reading):    Impacts of emerging disease on agricultural cropping systems
10:00    Sean Murphy (CABI): The dispersal and spread of Liriomyza leafminers: the perpetuation and generation of new threats to global horticulture
10:15    COFFEE

Theme II: Novel Detection Methods

10:45    Anne-Katrin Mahlein (University of Bonn): Remote and proximal sensing for the detection of plant diseases – concepts, sensors and applications
11:10    Diane Saunders (The Genome Analysis Centre and John Innes Centre): Field pathogenomics reveals rapid evolution of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in the UK

Theme III: Threats to Forests

11:25    Joan Webber (Forest Research): Emerging pathogens – current distributions and impacts on forests
11:50    Katy Reed (Forest Research and Harper Adams University): What is the role of Agrilus biguttatus in Acute Oak Decline?
12:05    April Armstrong (Forest Research): The epidemiology and distribution of Phytophthora austrocedri in Britain
12:20    LUNCH
13:40    Benoit Marçais (INRA-Nancy): Long term impact of Phytophthora x alni on an alder riparian stand
13:55    Sean Meaden (University of Exeter): Compositional shifts in the microbiome during bacterial infection in horse chestnut tree hosts

Theme IV: Plant Biosecurity Policy

14:10    Marco Pautasso (Animal & Plant Health Unit, EFSA): Can media monitoring help identify emerging plant health threats?
14:25    Glyn Jones (FERA): Press portrayal of P. ramorum and Chalara and the social amplification of risk
14:40    Julie Flood (CABI): Emerging plant pests and pathogens in tropical agriculture
15:05    CREAM TEA
15:50    Julian Smith (FERA): Promoting a global ambition for crop and plant biosecurity
16:15    Nicola Spence (DEFRA): The Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain
16:40    DISCUSSION: Is plant biosecurity research addressing the needs of policy? Chair: Melanie Tuffen (DEFRA)       
19:00    DINNER


Theme V: Evolution of Emerging Pests and Pathogens

08:30    Keynote: Nick Talbot (University of Exeter): How to evolve a fungal pathogen
09:10    Eva Stukenbrock (University of Marburg): Adaptive evolution of fungal plant pathogens in managed and natural ecosystems
09:35    Andrea Campisano (Fondazione Edmund Mach): Tales from the vineyard: of plants, endophytes and insects, and how they can help us understanding complex interactions
10:00    Ville-Petri Friman (University of York): Applying eco-evolutionary theory to increase soil rhizosphere resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum plant pathogen invasion
10:15    David J. Studholme (University of Exeter): What has genome sequencing told us about emerging Xanthomonas pathogens?
10:30    COFFEE

Theme VI: Mathematical Modelling and Epidemiology

11:00    Chris Gilligan (University of Cambridge): Roles of biological and environmental factors in dispersal
11:25    Nina Alphey (University of Oxford): Modelling genetics-based methods of crop pest control
11:50    Stephen Parnell (University of Salford): Determining optimal disease surveillance programmes using epidemiological models
12:05    Nik J. Cunniffe (University of Cambridge): Optimizing control of an established plant disease epidemic using a landscape-scale mathematical model: sudden oak death in California
12:20    Marc Delêtre (National University of Ireland Galway): Tracking down the pandemics: a graph theoretical approach for exploring the social dynamics of the Cassava Mosaic Virus pandemics in Central Africa
12:35    LUNCH

Theme VII: Host Selection and Virulence

13:55    Santiago Elena (IBMCP-CSIC): Trade-off between virulence and host specificity in experimental potyvirus-plant pathosystems
14:20    Agathe Jouet (The Sainsbury Laboratory): Host immunosuppression, hybridization and clonal reproduction enable the broad host range of the plant pathogen Albugo candida
14:45    Ivana Gudelj (University of Exeter): Harbouring low virulence cheats within a pathogen population increases both fitness and virulence
15:00    Talia Karasov (University of Chicago): Natural selection for genetic variation in plant host resistance
15:15    Jean Beagle Ristaino (North Carolina State University): Evolutionary origins of US and famine-era lineages of Phytophthora infestans, a reemerging threat to global food security
15:40    CREAM TEA

Theme VIII: Climate Change

16:25    Andreas von Tiedemann (Georg-August-University Göttingen): Climate change impacts on agricultural pests and pathogens
16:50    Vivian Blok (The James Hutton Institute): Future environmental and geographic risks of key crop pests and pathogens in Scotland


Posters will be displayed in the Photo Gallery throughout the Symposium, with a poster session on Monday evening.

  • Clare Trivedi (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew): Seed Bank Collections: Facilitating Research into Emerging Plant Pests and Pathogens
  • Anna Platoni (The Royal Horticultural Society): Emerging pests and diseases detected in UK gardens
  • Ellie Barham (Botanic Gardens Conservation International): The International Plant Sentinel Network
  • Benjamin Watkinson-Powell (Imperial College): Modelling the effect of spatial dynamics on the evolution of resistance to genetic insect population control
  • Stewart Jennings (University of Leeds): Crops and climate change: the combined impact of biotic and abiotic stresses
  • Greig Cahill (Scottish Government): Are new Pectobacterium atrosepticum strains responsible for the growing incidence of blackleg of potato?
  • Julien P. Ponchart (Université Laval): Defining the baseline of the diversity of the balsam fir endomycobiome
  • Jessica Needham (University of Oxford): The effect of ash dieback on forest dynamics
  • Louise Hill (University of Oxford): Mapping the resilience of UK forests to potential loss of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
  • Barbara Tigar (Liverpool Hope University): It’s elementary. Using biogeochemical markers to track insect pests
  • Dominic Henri (University of Hull): Managing habitat elements to enhance pest control ecosystem services in South Africa
  • Matthew Elliot (Forest Research): Detecting and identifying Phytophthora species in soil using Illumina next generation sequencing techniques
  • Melanie Tuffen (DEFRA): The UK Plant Health Risk Register: a tool to rate risks and prioritise actions against emerging plant pests and pathogens
  • Angela Delgado Castillo (University of Exeter): Did weather trigger the recent outbreak of coffee leaf rust in Latin America?
  • Jennifer Sjölund (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture): Developing an RT-PCR assay for the identification of morphologically similar psyllid species

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This entry was posted on June 17, 2015 by in Meeting and tagged , , , , .

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