Biosketch: Maria Rosa Paiva has a PhD from Imperial College (UK) and is a Professor of Ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at NOVA University Lisbon. In addition, she is a Board member of the CENSE Research Centre. She works on economically relevant insects of Mediterranean forest crops, mainly by decoding semiochemical-mediated intra- and interspecific interactions, aiming at the implementation of sustainable management strategies. In Portugal, she discovered and initiated studies of a pine processionary moth population which is undergoing a very rare case of sympatric speciation. Maria Rosa also surveyed ants extensively, particularly the establishment and role of the invasive Argentine ant as a predator of forest insects. She also studied ambrosia beetles at the University of Freiburg (Germany) in recipiency of an A. v. Humboldt Fellowship. Other assignments included ecological impact assessment studies of large infrastructures and a prolonged collaboration as an expert with the EU Commission. She co-founded the European Ecological Federation (EEF) and served as 1st Vice-President.
Biosketch: Mike Wingfield, founding director of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) in South Africa, is a research Professor in FABI and serves as an advisor to the University of Pretoria Executive. His research focuses on the health of forest trees in plantations and natural forest ecosystems globally with a particular focus on diseases caused by insect-associated pathogens. He has published widely on this topic together with more than 100 PhD students and colleagues from many different countries of the world. He served a five-year term as President of the International Union of Forestry Research Organisations (IUFRO) and has been widely recognized for his research and academic leadership, both in South Africa and globally.
Biosketch: Ana Pérez-Sierra is the Head of the Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service at Forest Research in England (UK), the research agency of the Forestry Commission, a world leader in applied forest science. Over the past 25 years, Ana has worked in plant pathology (agriculture, horticulture and forestry) and has undertaken and led tree health research, with a focus on a wide range of quarantine and regulated pests and new emerging diseases of forests. She has initiated a range of innovative research and diagnostic methods, significantly enhancing the knowledge of plant pathology to support the development of tree health policy and practice. She is actively involved in the development of an early warning system for the detection of tree pests and diseases at a UK-wide scale and is working in several citizen science projects. Previously, Ana worked at the Spanish Reference Laboratory for the Identification of Plant Pathogenic Fungi under the authority of Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Environment in Spain and at the Plant Pathology Department at the Royal Horticultural Society Wisley in England (UK).
Biosketch: Peter Biedermann is the Professor of Forest Entomology and Forest Protection at the University of Freiburg (Germany). Peter and his team are working towards a better understanding of the evolutionary and ecological drivers that shape intra- and interspecific interactions in insects. More specifically, he studies sociality in insects as well as symbioses between insects and microbial organisms. A major focus of his research lies on unravelling the ultimate and proximate mechanisms that shape the social life of bark beetles and their farmed fungal symbionts. This research not only aims for a basic understanding of bark beetle biology, but also for applied management of these forest insects. To this end, his lab applies methods from chemical and evolutionary ecology, entomology, microbiology, and a wide range of state-of-the-art techniques in molecular biology.