International Invasive Weed Conference

Speakers 2016

The PCA Invasive Weed Conference speakers include the following:

Invasive Weed Conference speakers James GilneyJames Ginley

Head of Professional Risk, Legal & General

“Current situation regarding Japanese knotweed and property risk”

James Ginley is Head of Professional Risk at Legal & General Surveying Services. James is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) having trained in the residential survey and valuation sector working in Newcastle upon Tyne and subsequently East London.

James worked in the Professional Services team within Halifax (LBG), managing policy and valuation claims. James’ current responsibilities include valuation and property advice to LGSS clients, as well as audit & quality control.

Recently James has been a lead author of two RICS guidance papers on Flooding and Complaints Handling for RICS firms.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Leo CharalambidesLeo Charalambides

Barrister, Francis Taylor Building

“The current legal situation and on-going case law”

Leo has a property and regulatory background. His earliest involvement with Japanese Knot Weed involved carving tunnels through a neighbours neglected garden. Professionally he has advised community groups in taking steps to assist them in tackling its spread.

Japanese knotweed represents a rare example of an environmental concern uniting conservationists and developers, and Leo assists in providing a legal response to the challenges presented. Leo also has an LLM in International Environmental Law.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Robin PayneRobin Payne

Non-native Species Specialist

Robin established his ecological consultancy practice in 2012, specialising in invasive non-native species and biosecurity. He previously spent 27 years working for Scottish Natural Heritage in a variety of ecological and advisory roles including five years as SNH’s non-native species specialist.

Robin was part of the team which developed the ground-breaking changes to the law on non-native species in Scotland (the WANE Act and associated Code of Practice on Non-Native Species). Robin was the lead author of the publication Marine Biosecurity Planning – Guidance for Producing Site and Operation-based Plans for Preventing the Introduction of Non-native species. In autumn 2015, funded through a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship, Robin spent two months travelling and studying in Australia and New Zealand learning from those countries’ world-leading approach to marine biosecurity and legal approach to non-native species.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Mark FennellDr Mark Fennell

Environmental Consultant, AECOM

“Surveying and mapping of Invasive Non-Native Species”

Mark Fennell is an Environmental Consultant at AECOM where he leads the invasive species management team for the southeast of England. He has undertaken numerous invasive species management and biosecurity projects across a range of sectors,
private and public, varying in scale from single residential properties to land assents with over 4,000 individual sites.

Prior to becoming an Environmental Consultant, he was involved in INNS research. Research topics primarily focused on the factors contributing to invasive success, modelling invasion
pathways and determining climate change effects on plant invasions. Much of his research is published and has included collaborative studies with researchers in continental Europe, New Zealand, the Azores and Chile.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Johan van ValkenburgDr Johan van Valkenburg

National Plant Protection Organisation, Netherlands

“Different species, different countries, different approaches?  Management of non-native aquatic plants in NL.”

Johan van Valkenburg is currently a Senior Scientist at the National Plant Protection Organisation of the Netherlands (NVWA), leading research projects relating to invasive non-native plants. This work ranges from pathway analysis of seed contaminants in bird feed and soil borne contaminants in bondai, to building an information system on potential invasive plant species for the Netherlands and neighbouring countries and creating field guides in order to identify them.

Johan also links phytosanitary policy with science, and the various public and private parties involved in water weed management. This involves writing policy papers and scientific reports as well as providing training courses and management advice for field surveyors.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Richard NewisRichard Newis

Director, Ashfield Japanese Knotweed

“Management of invasive weed remediation works”

Richard Newis is the Managing Director of Ashfield Japanese Knotweed Limited which he set up in 2015.  Richard previously worked for the contracting division of WSP environmental, working on some of the UK’s largest remediation projects for both contamination and invasive species.

Since setting up his company, Richard has undertaken independent surveys as well as strategies and tendering services on behalf of land owners and developers. He also provides an invasive species due diligence service prior to the acquisition of large commercial land portfolios.

Richard is an active member of the PCA’s invasive weeds group including examining new candidates/companies.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Dr Richard ShawDr Richard Shaw

Country Director, CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) UK

“Biocontrol of invasive non-native species”

Dick Shaw is the Regional Coordinator for CABI’s invasive species activities for Europe and the Americas as well as being Country Director for CABI’s UK Centre in Egham.

Dick has worked on the biological control of many weeds for CABI for 22 years and is an experienced applied entomologist having carried out fieldwork in more than 20 countries. He is currently overseeing a team of researchers working on weeds that could have an impact on aquatic and riparian weeds in the UK including Japanese Knotweed which he has been studying since the last century!


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Dr Dan JonesDr Dan Jones

Swansea University

“Optimising physiochemical Japanese knotweed control in the UK”

Dan Jones received his PhD in Plant Sciences in 2015 and is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at Swansea University and Director of Advanced Invasives Ltd. The main focus of Dan’s PhD and current postdoc work is Japanese Knotweed, the control of which is problematic for a wide range of reasons. Dan’s research aims to discover original, innovative and cost-effective (value for money) solutions for the control of Japanese knotweed and other invasive alien plants across the UK.

Dan’s other research interests include plant biosystematics and ecology, and using remote sensing (utilising aircraft and satellite sensors) to map invasive alien plant species.


Invasive Weed Conference speakers Dr John BaileyDr John Bailey

Formerly of the University of Leicester

“Getting to know your enemy – the science behind the Japanese knotweed invasion”

Dr John Bailey completed his PhD on Japanese Knotweed in the Botany Department of the University of Leicester in 1989, and has been working with this plant since 1983. He took over from the ground-breaking research started in Leicester by Miss Ann Conolly. His work showed that all (Japanese Knotweed) (Fallopia japonica) in the UK was female and octoploid (2n=88) and possibly of clonal origin, and that both sexes of Giant Knotweed (F. sachalinensis) occurred and were all tetraploid (2n=44); that some of the plants previously considered to be F. japonica were in fact hybrids between the two Knotweeds (F. x bohemica); that Japanese Knotweed was regularly hybridising with Russian Vine (F. baldschuanica); that the UK Japanese Knotweed came from von Siebold in Leiden in the middle of the C19th. Later work with Ann Conolly revealed the key morphological differences needed to identify the hybrids, established the extent of F. x bohemica in Britain and looked into the details of the arrival of Japanese Knotweed at the Royal Botanic Gardens of both Kew and Edinburgh.

Dr Bailey has published more than 30 papers and book chapters on the subject and given invited lectures in Japan, the USA, the UK and Italy, in addition to contributions at many conferences around Europe and has collaborated widely with fellow researchers. Whilst he officially retired at the end of 2013 he still keeps an active interest in this fascinating group of plants.


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