Venue : The Mascarene Islands



Connecting small and large island hotspots for biodiversity research and conservation

The University of La Réunion is delighted to be the venue for the next international Island Biology conference. After Hawaii and the Azores, the third Island Biology conference will be held in July 2019 (8 - 13) on La Réunion in the heart of the Malagasy Region biodiversity hotspot, and its neighboring islands in the Southern hemisphere.

At the crossroad of three major biogeographical regions of the World (Afrotropical, Indomalayan, Australasian), the Indian Ocean hosts islands of highly contrasting climate, from  tropical down to Antarctic conditions, and of highly contrasting size, from immense islands facing environmental challenges of continental scale down to small islands paving the way for restoration and rewilding projects. The conference will gather scientists from all over the World and practitioners working together on islands with particular emphasis on ecology, evolution, conservation and biogeography of terrestrial and marine biotas.

Key conference themes :

  • Terrestrial and marine biodiversity
  • Large vs small islands
  • Global Change
  • Rewilding
  • Novel Ecosystems
  • Long term biodiversity monitoring
  • Species interactions and networks
  • Epidemiology and emergent diseases
  • Paleobiology and biogeography
  • Ecology and society
  • Interdisciplinary sudies (Humanities, Earth sciences, ...)

Sub-themes: chemistry and biodiversity, atmosphere-biosphere interaction, biosecurity in human, animal and plant health, island formation and erosion.

Plenary Speakers


Tim BLACKBURN (University College Longon)

Tim is interested in large-scale patterns in the distribution of species, and his research is currently largely focused on understanding the processes driving human-mediated biological invasions, using birds as a model taxon. The first decade of this work was summarised in a monograph published by OUP (Avian Invasions: The ecology and evolution of exotic birds), but he continues to research and publish studies on invasions, as well as macroecology, extinction and life history. He has been based at UCL since 2014 where he is Professor of Invasion Biology, but he is also officially affiliated with the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London.

Steeve Goodman

Steven GOODMAN (Field Museum)

For more than three decades, Steve has been actively involved in different scientific projects on Madagascar and neighboring islands in the western Indian Ocean, including aspects on the ecology, biogeography and systematics of birds and mammals. These different studies focus on questions in evolutionary biology and applying different analyses to the regional advancement of conservation. He has been active in publishing scientific papers, books, and monographs on these topics. Another important focus of his work and as a Professor Honoris Causa at The University of Antananarivo is the advancement of national and regional graduate students working in the domains of ecology and biogeography. He is MacArthur Field Biologist at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and Scientific Counselor of Association Vahatra in Antananarivo, the city where he makes his home.

Lori LACH (James Cook University)

Lori is a Senior Lecturer on the James Cook University Cairns campus. She is a community ecologist broadly interested in the effects of human-induced changes to the environment on the functioning of ecosystems. She is particularly interested in the effects of biological invaders and the dynamics and effects of social insect invasions. She conducted post-doctoral research in Mauritius and Western Australia (two very different kinds of island systems) before commencing at JCU in 2013. Much of her current research program is focused on using science to advance management outcomes, particularly for small and easily overlooked creatures.

Vojtech NOVOTNY (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Vojtech has a PhD in Ecology from the Czech Academy of Sciences. In Czech Republic, he's directing the Centre for Tropical Biology, a research consortium of three institutions (Czech Academy of Sciences, University of South Bohemia, and Charles University), active throughout the tropics. In Papua New Guinea, he co-founded and has been directing the New Guinea Binatang Research Center, a research organization active also in rainforest conservation and training of postgraduate students.
Vojtech is a tropical biologist interested in the ecology of rainforests, particularly their food webs. His research, increasingly using field-based experiments, focuses on ecological mechanisms of species coexistence of rainforest plants and animals and on ecological drivers of biodiversity along succession, latitudinal and altitudinal gradients in forest ecosystems. He is also interested in the development of ecological research capacity, from paraecologists to postgraduate students, in tropical countries and in the conservation of tropical forests, particularly with indigenous communities. For the past 20 years, he has been dividing his time equally between Europe and Papua New Guinea, spending it on scientific, conservation and science policy issues, facilitating interaction and understanding between extra-tropical and equatorial scientists.

Susanne S. RENNER (Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich)

Susanne is a botanist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Mu nich (Ludwig-Maximilians U.) and also the director of the Munich herbaria (3.2 million specimens) and the Munich Botanical Garden. Her research focuses on the evolution of plant sexual systems, plant/animal interactions, biogeography, and alternative approaches to systematics and ident ification (from automated image analysis to molecular diagnoses).

Dominique STRASBERG (Université de La Réunion)

Dominique Strasberg is Professor of Ecology at the University of Reunion Island. His research interests include small oceanic island tropical rainforest ecology and the role of perturbations and biological invasions in island plant community dynamics. He has led major research programs on the South-West Indian Ocean Biodiversity Hotspot. He is currently chairing the Scientific Council of the Reunion National Park, dealing with conservation issues and the Reunion World Heritage Site IAS management plan.



SOON ONLINE, the Society for Island Biology Website!!! Watch this space...

Important dates

Important date

Next Island Biology Conference in Wellington (New Zealand), July 2022








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