To effectively cover such a broad field of research, the workshop will be centred on three main topics that contribute to understanding of invasive insects and biological invasions in general. The workshop themes will encompass drivers including introduction pathways, dispersal and propagule pressure through factors such as range expansions or human-assisted transport. The mechanisms investigated will include the various hypotheses surrounding functional traits and life histories that assist in successful invasion. This will also be expanded to examine where adaptations that facilitate successful invasion and range expansion are likely to occur during the invasion process. We also aim to determine how life history traits such as reproduction mode, social or solitary living and larval development influence successful invasions. For impacts we will look broadly at areas of agricultural, human health and ecosystem function, and also finer scale examination of biotic interactions including biotic resistance and displacement of native species. These topics are themselves broad, though overlapping, so we aim to investigate them concurrently and through representation of expertise in each of them.

Through these themes we will explore current techniques for detecting each (eg. ENMs, characterising traits, monitoring spread etc.), and how the different fields of research can be integrated as multidisciplinary approaches to abet both understanding of patterns and processes as well as informing management regimes.

Leading international invasion biologists have been invited to participate in this workshop as plenary and keynote speakers.

Please check the Speakers section for further details.

Target Audience

We aim to attract a diverse group of participants, from both academic and industry institutions, with representation from senior academics through to early career researchers and students. Numbers will be restricted to 35 participants in order to better facilitate discussion, with expertise spread evenly over the workshop themes.

If you wish to apply please see the Apply section of this webpage.


This workshop will bring world-class researchers together and provide opportunities for students and researchers at Stellenbosch University to engage with scientists under broad themes of conservation biology, ecology and entomology. Through such avenues, valuable discussion on existing invasive insect projects can be undertaken and further collaboration opportunities likely to arise.

We aim to produce at least one bench-mark review paper and a special issue in a high quality journal (e.g. Biological Invasions) to include subsequent papers on targeted areas within this field. This then presents a great opportunity for participants to bring ongoing research to the workshop for valuable contributions from a wide range of expertise.

Organising committee

  • Dr Matt Hill (contact: hillmp@sun.ac.za)
  • Prof John Terblanche
  • Dr Susana Clusella-Trullas
  • Prof Dave Richardson

Panel Members

  • Prof Steve Johnson
  • Dr Stefan Foord
  • Prof Mark Robertson
  • Prof Theresa Wossler
  • Dr Cang Hui
  • Ms Sarah Davies

Picture credits: (1) Harmonia axyridis image from flickr/Ombrosoparacloucycle used under Creative Commons license "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)". (2) Bactrocera invadens image from flickr/IAEA Imagebank used under Creative Commons license "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)". (3) Vespula germanica image from flickr/bramblejungle used under Creative Commons license "Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)".