Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 4077–4083 | Cite as

Initiating dialogue between scientists and managers of biological invasions

  • Justine D. Shaw
  • John R. U. Wilson
  • David M. Richardson
Original Paper


We describe an initiative to improve the flow of information between researchers and managers as part of two international scientific symposia on biological invasions held in South Africa in 2008 and 2009. Formal workshops and information sessions for land managers were run during the symposia. At the end of each symposium, the managers ran dedicated question-and-answer sessions on the research they felt was needed to improve their work. We discuss the potential of such interventions to increase interaction and awareness between researchers and managers of biological invasions. The symposia certainly provided the managers with opportunities to think about broader issues and develop contacts, but problems with terminology use and the lack of solutions specific to their context tempered the value of their experience. Conversely, researchers at times under-estimated the managers perceived relevance of their presentations to management. The structured and facilitated attendance of managers of invasive plants at international conferences on invasion biology is one mechanism for at least narrowing “the gap” between science and management.


Biological invasions Invasion science Science and society Management Science communication Working for Water 

Supplementary material

10530_2010_9821_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
Supplementary material (DOC 56 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justine D. Shaw
    • 1
  • John R. U. Wilson
    • 1
    • 2
  • David M. Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and ZoologyStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.South African National Biodiversity InstituteKirstenbosch National Botanical GardensClaremontSouth Africa

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