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Invasive Species

Biological Invasions: Confronting a Crisis Workshop

Biological invasions by non-native organisms are one of the five elements of global change that cost the global economy >$1 trillion annually. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment projected the rate and impact of biological invasions will increase with global trade, the rise in economic prosperity, and climate change. Additionally, invasive species are associated with disrupting ecosystem processes, reducing food production and threatening human health. The recent Ebola and Zika epidemics highlighted the devastating impacts of biological invasions, as well as how such invasions can be mitigated with strategic and coordinated action. Developing solutions for such critical problems requires moving beyond the boundaries of traditional biological approaches to develop a nimble transdisciplinary strategy, that leverages technological breakthroughs in the science of biological invasions and advances in health and social sciences to address this global grand challenge. This workshop aims to bring together diverse stakeholders, form a multi-stakeholder coalition to affect positive change, unify the message and narrative around invasive species, and provide a domain for continued engagement.

When: April 23, 8:30-5pm (come and go as your schedule dictates)

Where: Lane Stadium Box at the South end zone

Format: 2 keynote lectures mixed with breakout sessions and working groups focused on policy and research

Lunch: Provided (please indicate diet restrictions in RSVP)

Outcomes: Identify research and policy gaps, build partnerships, make new connections.

Hotels: We have arranged a block of discounted hotel room for Sunday and Monday. Please use the link below to make arrangement.

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

Residence Inn Blacksburg-University  for 108.00 USD  per night

Book your group rate for VT Entomology

Parking: We are working on getting parking passes so everyone can park at the football stadium. More info soon.



Transport to stadium, Registration


Distribution of ‘takeaway questions’ and ‘puzzle’ exercise as people arrive


Introduction and opening remarks -- meeting organizers


Dr. Heather Reynolds -- keynote address






Dr. Jamie Reaser -- keynote address




Role-based breakout groups

Small groups composed of those with similar roles (e.g., farmers, scientists, state officials) 




Integrative breakout groups

New small groups composed of one or more reps from each of the role areas


Break - snacks and bar opens


Report out


Wrap up



Please RSVP ( by April 9 even if you can only attend part of the workshop.

There will be a second event held Tuesday April 24 9-12am at the Hahn just for VT faculty to further develop a plan around the outcomes of the Monday workshop. Build new research teams and projects, and identify areas of internal strengths and positions we need to fill.


Direct questions to Jacob Barney (