August 28 to September 1, 2012, Glasgow (UK) hosted the 3rd European Conference on Conservation Biology marking the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Society of Conservation Biology (SCB-Europe). The central theme of the congress was “Conservation on the Edge,” attracting participants from the conservation policy, practice and education arenas as well as academics and researchers. On Saturday the 1st of September, BiodivERsA organised a thematic session entitled “European BiodivERsA Research: joining hands across Europe and across disciplines.”
BiodivERsA’s Secretariat executive manager Frédéric Lemaître, who also presented BiodivERsA’s network in terms of its major objectives, main achievements (with particular focus on the launching of annual pan-European joint calls for biodiversity research projects), and future directions. This talk was followed by a concise presentation of three projects funded by the BiodivERsA 2008 joint call on “Biodiversity: linking scientific advancement to policy and practice:”
(i) Linking Politics and Ecology of European Beech Forests: First Findings of the BeFoFu Project (presenter: Alistair Jump, University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, United Kingdom)
(ii)RACEing ahead: A Risk Assessment of Amphibian Chytridiomycosis to European Amphibian Biodiversity(presenter : Dirk Schmeller, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Moulis, France)
(iii) VITAL: How Plant Functional Traits Cascade to Microbial Function and Ecosystem Services in Mountain Grasslands(presenter : Sandra Lavorel, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Grenoble Cedex, France)
Besides the discussion of first findings, these presentations also highlighted the project’s novelty and European added value. Finally, there was a wrap-up discussion with opportunity for some more project-related questions, as well as informative questions on the general set-up, functioning and future roadmap of the BiodivERsA consortium (i.e. questions related to the “optimum size” of a research consortium, countries involved in the BiodivERsA calls, BiodivERsA’s strategic agenda, etc.). Overall, the special session on BiodivERsA activities was very well received, and it also proved valuable to the consortium itself. More such events will be scheduled over the coming years.