AAB - President

  involving the BES Agricultural Ecology, Forest Ecology &

Computational Ecology Groups







Rethinking Agricultural Systems in the UK
To be held at
St. Catherine's College, Oxford
18-19 December 2013
BASIS points have been awarded as follows: (12 - 2 CP, 8 E, 2 PD)

There is a need for innovative development in the field of agroecology if we are to meet the demands of the growing human population in a sustainable way. However, there is a natural tendency for thinking to fall into ‘silos’ and this can hinder novel thinking.

This meeting will explore agricultural systems in the context of providing ecosystem services: it will ask what we would do in an ideal world and how we can envisage positive changes to the current system given socioeconomic constraints. An important feature of the meeting will be to encourage discussion of techniques across disciplines and discourage the use of labels so that we are unhindered by possibly negative preconceptions. The meeting will explore theory and practice from a wide range of farming systems.

It will be the first in a series of three strategic events. This first meeting aims to generate ideas for practical approaches, however radical, for the generation of more resilient agro-ecological systems. These proposals will be tabled in preparation for a second meeting (2014), where these concepts will be discussed with a view to assessing their feasibility with practitioners (e.g. farmers and NGOs). A third meeting is planned, to take place in regional government centres with policy-makers to facilitate implementation.

Invited speakers include:

Prof. Jonathan Foley (Director of the Institute on the Environment University of Minnesota, USA)

Prof. Tim Benton (UK Champion for Global Food Security & Professor of Population Ecology,

University of Leeds)

Prof. William Sutherland (Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology, University of Cambridge)

Prof. Philip Grime FRS (University of Sheffield)

Prof. Steven Newman (BioDiversity International Ltd)

Dr Joern Fischer (Leuphana University, Germany)

Dr Christine Watson (SRUC, Aberdeen) 


 Dr Felix Herzog (Agroscope, Zurich, Switzerland)


Dr Pablo Tittonell  (University of Wageningen, the Netherlands)


Posters are still invited for these sessions, please indicate your preferred session. There is no availabilty now for oral papers.

Fundamental Ecological Principles in Agricultural Systems

Session organiser: Pietro Iannetta (The James Hutton Institute)

Systems Thinking in Agroecology

Session organisers: Andy Goldring (Permaculture Association) &

Christine Watson (SRUC)

Resource Efficiency in Agro-ecosystems

Session organiser: Jo Smith (Organic Research Centre)

Beyond the land sparing/land sharing debate

Session organiser: Lisa Norton (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)

Workshops: There will be three targeted, structured workshops with pre-determined outputs. A facilitated workshop on "Computational and Technological Solutions to Rethinking " will be organised by the British Ecological Society’s Computational Ecology group: we invite papers and posters for this session. For queries, please contact Matthew Smith at:


Accepted papers will be published in our Aspects of Applied Biology series and available as part of the conference pack. You can submit your offer using the attached form or online at our web site:


Click on CONFERENCES in the menu bar at the top of the AAB home page, then click on ABSTRACTS, then the conference title. You can register your email and, after being sent a password, can upload your offer. Please indicate that your offer is for a poster.

Organiser - Barbara Smith - agricultural@britishecologicalsociety.org


For further details about the conference - click here

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