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The 2024 Ronald Ross Lecture Series: Biological Invasions - Insights from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment on Invasive Alien Species and Their Control

Event Details:

  • Date:          Thursday, 15 February 2024
  • Time:          Starts 18:00
  • Venue:       John Ioannides Auditorium, Fresnel Building     |     Live streaming of the discussion will be available on The Cyprus Institute’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Channel
  • Speaker:    Professor Helen Roy MBE Hon. FRES, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and University of Exeter

The 2024 Ronald Ross Lecture Series

Biological Invasions: Insights from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment on Invasive Alien Species and Their Control

Professor Helen Roy MBE Hon. FRES
Professor, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and University of Exeter

Thursday, 15 February 2024, 18:00
John Ioannides Auditorium, Fresnel Building, The Cyprus institute, Athalassa Campus



The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment’s message is stark: biodiversity – the diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems – is declining faster than at any time in human history. Alongside climate change, land and sea-use change, invasive alien species were identified as one of the five top direct causes of biodiversity change. Biological invasions can threaten biodiversity and ecosystems but also human health and economies, particularly through their interactions with other drivers such as climate change. The number of alien species arriving in new regions is increasing globally and there is no sign of slowing.

It is widely recognised that the most effective action against biological invasions is preventing the arrival of invasive alien species. Therefore, there has been increasing focus on horizon scanning to predict which invasive alien species pose an imminent emerging threat. Prioritising invasive alien species in the context of the pathways by which they might arrive can be informative for decision-making. Horizon scanning for invasive alien species that could arrive and pose a threat to biodiversity and ecosystems across Europe has underpinned prioritisation of invasive alien species for risk assessment and subsequently consideration for inclusion within lists of invasive alien species of concern. Invasive alien species can have multiple impacts spanning plant, animal, human and wildlife health; cross-sectoral sharing of information is critical to effective action.

She will share insights into invasion ecology from broad patterns and processes to approaches in surveillance and monitoring, including citizen science. She will highlight the importance of collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships including the forthcoming IPBES global thematic assessment on invasive alien species. Networks established through these initiatives have benefits for people, science and nature.

About the speaker

helen royProfessor Helen Roy MBE Hon. FRES is an ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Professor in Ecology at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on the effects of environmental change, particularly biological invasions, on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Helen leads many collaborative national and international research projects on biological invasions with a focus on enhancing information flow to inform understanding of the impacts of invasive alien species. Helen also enjoys science communication and public engagement with research which led to her interest in citizen science; an approach that she has implemented in a number of contexts.

Helen co-leads the UK Ladybird Survey and enjoys collaborating with ladybird recorders across the UK. She led the global assessment on invasive non-native species for the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which was approved at the IPBES Plenary in September 2023.



Early Warning Support Platform Launch

veclim logo

Climate and Vector-Borne Disease Intelligence Platform for Early Warning, Decision Support, and Public Health Planning

Dr. Kamil Erguler & Dr. Ahmet Arca
Climate and Atmosphere Research Center (CARE-C), The Cyprus Institute


VEClim is an early warning decision support system for climate-sensitive vector-borne diseases (VBDs) to improve the prediction and management of VBDs by employing data-driven, mechanistic, and climate-sensitive geographical modelling to represent vector populations and disease transmission. The platform ( displays vector presence, seasonal activity profiles, and risk maps. It is planned to include an extensive database of meteorological variables, climate projections, and environmental covariates and an up-to-date longitudinal vector surveillance dataset. Customised simulations under different climate scenarios and vector control activities will also be possible.

The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust as part of Digital Technology Development Awards in Climate-Sensitive Infectious Disease Modelling. This is the foundation's first direct award to a Cypriot institution.




Time  Description 
18:00 - 18:10 Welcome words by Prof. Stavros Malas, President, The Cyprus Institute
18:10 - 18:15 Opening statement by the British Deputy High Commissioner to Cyprus, Mr. Ben Rawlings
18:15 - 18:45 VEClim - A climate and vector-borne disease intelligence platform for early warning and public health planning, Dr. Kamil Erguler and Dr. Ahmet Arca, The Cyprus Institute
18:45 - 19:30 The 2024 Ronald Ross Lecture by Prof. Helen Roy: Biological Invasions - Insights from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Assessment on Invasive Alien Species and Their Control
19:30 - 20:00 Questions and Answers, Discussion


   cyi logo                              cref logo                             cyi ein

This event is part of the Ronald Ross Lecture Series, which is co-organised by The Cyprus Institute and the British High Commission



This event contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

sdg3     sdg14     sdg15   




The lecture will be in English and the event is open to the public.
This is a hybrid event, so you are welcome to join us online on The Cyprus Institute’s YouTube Channel and our Facebook Channel.
Images and/or recordings of our open public events may be used by The Cyprus Institute for dissemination purposes including print and digital media such as websites, press-releases, social media, and live streaming.


Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     |     +357 22 208 702



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