Author Archives: Christian Ries

2015/02/20 SMARTER Core Group meeting

The Core Group meeting took place on the 20 January 2015 at the COST Office in Brussels. The meeting commenced with an overview of the Action’s status from the Chair, Heinz Müller-Schärer, and an update from the Grant Holder, Ioanna Stavridou (COST Office). The Working Group and Task Force leaders also discussed the Objectives and Scientific Planning (past, present, and future) of their respective groups in relation to the memorandum of understanding.

The SMARTER Core Group meeting on the afternoon of January 20th 2015 at COST office in Brussels.

The SMARTER Core Group meeting on the afternoon of January 20th 2015 at the COST office in Brussels. Photo by Christian Ries.


2015-01 SMARTER Task Force Northern Countries meeting, COST Office in Brussels

The Task Force Northern Countries meeting was organised by Carsten Skjoth from the University of Worcester, and took place on the 20 January 2015 before the start of the SMARTER Core Group and Management Committee meetings that were held at the COST Office in Brussels.

The objective of the Task Force meeting was to identify sustainable, substantial and long term collaboration among the Northern countries, in particular the North Sea Region. The North Sea region was selected because it is the major geographical risk area (in relation to population exposure) that has not yet been invaded by ragweed but has the potential to be invaded.

SMARTER Brussels 20150120_01

Meeting of the “Task Force Northern Countries”. Photo by Christian Ries.


Carsten Skjoth, University of Worcester, co-ordinator of the “Task Force Northern Countries”. Photos by Christian Ries.

SMARTER@Neobiota Conference on invasive species


Prof. Heinz Müller-Schärer presenting the COST action SMARTER

A number of SMARTER members presented their work on ragweed at Neobiota 2014, the 8th International Conference on Biological Invasions: From understanding to action (3-8 November, Antalya, Turkey).

The 15 studies presented covered a range of different topics, including: distribution patterns and pathways of introduction in particular countries, understanding phenotypic variation and the invasion process, testing the effects of herbicides and biological control methods, and successful management strategies.

Poster presentations by SMARTER members about ragweed

Oral presentations by SMARTER members about ragweed

  • Uwe Starfinger (Germany): Can the invasion of common ragweed be halted? New insights from an international project
  • Baruch Rubin (Israel): Ambrosia confertiflora in Israel – weed invasion and possible management
  • Božena Mitić (Croatia): Invasive alien plants in Croatia – distributional patterns and range size
  • Hüseyin Önen (Turkey): The Black Sea highway: the route of common ragweed invasion in Turkey
  • Suzanne Lommen (Switzerland): A SMARTER approach to assess the impact of an established, exotic leaf beetle on invasive ragweed Europe
  • Heinz Müller-Schärer (Switzerland): The ragweed leaf beetle landed in Europe: fortunate introduction or threat?
  • Florencia Yannelli (Germany): Limiting similarity by functional group resemblance: Preventing plant invasion during grassland restoration