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ModSim 2011

Dr Eelke Jongejans, from Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, attended ModSim 2011 in Perth, Western Australia, as an international session chair in December 2011.

As part of ModSim, Dr Jongejans also presented a paper - Spatial dynamics of invasive Carduus thistles - which included research on plant invasion research and on biological control, with Carduus thistles as a case study.

Dr Jongejans explained in detail new modelling tools for analysing plant invasions and led discussions on plant dispersal and invasion biology and modelling.

Dr Jongejans found it insightful to listen to the various novel approaches for studying spatially-explicit population modelling, presented during the conference. Much discussion focused on the relative merits of different dispersal modelling approaches, given particular research questions or hypotheses.

Specific methods with which to simulate dispersal, such as the application of dispersal kernels versus individual-based approaches, was also discussed. From this several ideas emerged to collaborate, both within the CRC and more widely. One example is to develop a proposal for a thematic issue of Environmental Modelling and Software journal on the subject of Spatial Population Modelling.

The session fostered collaboration amongst existing CRCNPB participants interested in dispersal modelling for invasion ecology, both with one another and with others not involved in the CRC. The discussions during and after the session and the planned thematic issue should lead to joint research and publications, further building the cross-pollination of ideas among researchers working on plant dispersal and invasion.