November 29-December 2, 2021, Nashville, TN

Innovations in Invasive Species Management Conference and Training

We welcome everyone back to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN for the 4th annual 2021 Innovations in Invasive Species Conference.

We invite you to join us for the fourth annual Innovations in Invasive Species Management Conference Training to be held in Nashville, TN  DNovember 29-December 2, 2021 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN.   2017, 2018 and 2019 were great successes with land managers coming together from throughout the US and overseas.  The conference hosts people from throughout the US and World looking for new techniques and inspiration from successes to manage a wide range of invasive species We are working to include more animal, marine and insect content as well this year. Be ready for some exciting new topics and demonstrations in 2021.

As we prepare the 2021 Conference please consider presenting.  If you would like to present an oral presentation or a poster, demonstrate equipment or reserve a vendor space, please see below for directions.  Otherwise if you have any questions please give Steven Manning a call at 615-969-1309 or send an email at

What’s the topic this year?   WHY do we manage invasive species?

Hotel Registration Link:


Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214 USA

Invasive Plant Control, Inc.
PO Box 50556
Nashville, TN 37205
P: 615.385.4319

Outstanding Speakers from Around the World

KEYNOTE: Dr Tanja Strive
Principal Research Scientist
CSIRO Health & Biosecurity

Biological control of rabbits in Australia – 70 years of landscape-scale management of a vertebrate pest.

Dr Tanja Strive is a Principal Research Scientist within CSIRO Health and Biosecurity as well as the Biocontrol Innovation Domain Leader within the Australian Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS). A molecular virologist by training, she joined CSIRO in 2002. She has since worked on a series of projects investigating lethal and non-lethal, and both GM and non-GM, biocontrol options for a range of feral animal species. During the past ten years Tanja has driven a combination of applied and basic fundamental research projects focussing on improving our understanding of the biology, evolution, epidemiology and interactions of different caliciviruses in Australian wild rabbits, and the implications and possible applications for biological control and landscape scale management of rabbit impacts.

KEYNOTE: Doug Tallamy
University of Delaware

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug’s new book ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ was released by Timber Press in February 2020. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, the 2018 AHS B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and the 2019 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.

Presentation 1

Are “Alien” Plants “Bad”?

The expense of fighting introduced plant invasions and the unpopularity of restricting the sale of ornamental invasives have motivated several public figures to question the wisdom of continuing to battle invasive plants. After all, they argue, if an introduced plant helps a particular butterfly, bird, or bee, why not embrace it? Using data from several studies, Tallamy answers this and related questions, showing that we can determine the overall impact of introduced plants on our ecosystems only by comparing what is gained from their use with what is lost when they replace native plant communities.  Introduced plants are not the ecological equivalents of the native plants they displace because they do not support the diverse and stable food webs that run our ecosystems.  Exchanging plants that support all of our animal diversity for plants that support only a few species is ecologically indefensible.

Presentation 2

A guide to restoring the little things that run the world

A recent UN report predicts that as many as 1 million species will disappear from planet earth because of human activities. Many of these are insects and nearly all species at risk rely on insects.  Insects have already declined 45% since 1974. The most alarming part of this statistic is that we don’t seem to care, despite the fact that a world without insects is a world without humans! So how do we create beautiful landscapes brimming with life; landscapes that support the pollinators, herbivores, detritivores, predators and parasitoids that run the ecosystems we depend on? Tallamy will remind us of the many essential roles insects play, and describe the simple changes we must make in our landscapes and our attitudes to keep insects on the ground, in the air and yes, on our plants.


KEYNOTE: Dan Tompkins
Project Manager: Science Strategy, Predator Free 2050

Developing the Tools for Predator Free 2050: Progress to date and future strategy

We welcome Dan Tompkins back in 2021 to provide an update on the Predator Free 2050 program.  Developing the tools for Predator Free 2050 – progress to date and future strategy

Dan Tompkins leads the science strategy for Predator Free 2050, New Zealand’s initiative to eradicate invasive predators for the benefit of native biodiversity, as the Project Manager Science Strategy of Predator Free 2050 Ltd. Dan is an Honorary Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Task Force on Synthetic Biology and Biodiversity Conservation. An ecologist and epidemiologist by training, with degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Oxford, Dan’s past research includes: exploring novel high-tech approaches to pest control (including the ‘Trojan Female Technique’ approach to fertility control); understanding the interactions among species in the New Zealand mammal pest community; demonstrating the efficacy of oral BCG vaccination for TB control in brushtail possums; and demonstrating the role of shared diseases in native species declines.


In 2016, New Zealand announced a national goal of eradicating introduced predatory mammals critically threatening native biodiversity (brushtail possums, rats and stoats) from the country by 2050. The need for this initiative was driven home by the NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s 2017 report ‘Taonga of an Island Nation: Saving New Zealand’s Birds’, highlighting the fact that over 80% of native bird populations are in decline, primarily due to introduced predators.  Predator Free 2050 Limited was formed to coordinate partnership approaches to large landscape projects and breakthrough science. It aims to supercharge local and regional efforts to scale up predator suppression and eradication, working closely with community groups and regional and city councils, and to focus research efforts to achieve a breakthrough science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammal predator by 2025. Here I update on our activities since the presentation given at last years’ Innovations in Invasive Species Management conference in Nashville, covering the general mission and the large landscape projects that have been initiated, but focussing on the science strategy that has directed research investment to date, and the current process of strategy construction for 2020-24. 

KEYNOTE: Dickie Hall
Operational Logistics Manager, RSPB Gough Island Restoration Programme
SGHT Habitat Restoration Project, South Georgia Heritage Trust 

RSPB Gough Island Restoration Programme – Saving the Tristan Albatross

Originally from Manchester, Dickie graduated from Salford University with an Environmental Science degree and soon joined the British Antarctic Survey. This launched a ten year career working in Antarctica. Initially employed as terrestrial biologist, he moved into management roles including Base Commander at Rothera and Bird Island, South Georgia. After returning to the UK in 2011 and working for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the draw of the ‘South’ proved too strong and he gained his first island eradication experience, working as Field Assistant for Phase Two of the South Georgia Heritage Trust’s Habitat Restoration project, the world’s largest rodent eradication to date.

Dickie returned to South Georgia in 2013, spending a year as BAS Base Commander at King Edward Point, and then rejoining SGHT for Phase 3 of their baiting operations. He was promoted to Deputy and later Project Director which saw him organise Phase 4, the final return to South Georgia to carry out intensive monitoring which demonstrated that the baiting was successful and the island was indeed free of rodents. Dickie believes that the restoration of island habitats is a crucial step towards turning back the tide of man’s negative influences on our fragile ecosystems. He also relishes the challenge of tackling projects in demanding environments with complicated logistics. When not working in remote locations Dickie resides in the UK and enjoys running, cycling and exploring the British countryside with his partner Rachel.


We welcome back Dickie Hall in 2020 to provide an update on the ongoing RSPB Gough Island Restoration Programme. Gough, a tiny mid-Atlantic island is home to 99% of the global population of the critically endangered Tristan Albatross. These magnificent seabirds are being eaten alive by introduced mice. Many other seabirds rely on Gough as a key breeding island and it is home to the endemic Gough Moorhen and Gough Bunting. Mouse predation is causing the loss of well over 2 million seabird eggs and chicks every year. In 2020, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) will undertake an areal baiting operation to eradicate invasive mice from Gough Island. This will be concurrent with a captive holding aviculture project to safeguard the endemic moorhen and bunting species.  Dickie Hall, RSPB’s Gough Island Restoration Programme (GIRP) Operational Logistics Manager, will provide an update for the eradication work currently in progress and the challenges encountered in undertaking a combined eradication and aviculture project on one of the planets most isolated islands. 

KEYNOTE: Iain Paterson

The Working for Water programme: Invasive plant control and poverty alleviation

Iain Paterson is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Biological Control (CBC) in South Africa. He works to develop new weed biocontrol agents, to improve the utilisation of weed biocontrol as a management practice, and to evaluate biocontrol success. He is particularly interested in controlling invasive alien cactus species.


Working for Water (WfW) is a large-scale conservation programme that aims to control invasive alien plants (IAPs) in South Africa. In the 1980s, conservationists and scientists started motivating for the control of IAPs primarily within the fynbos biome, a unique and highly diverse vegetation type. Motivating for government expenditure for the protection of biodiversity proved difficult, but once linked to ecosystems services, and especially to the provisioning of water and the associated economic benefits, government support was gained. In October 1995, the visionary politician, Prof. Karda Asmal, launched WfW with an annual budget of 2.5 million USD and the intention of creating 20 000 jobs over 20 years and ‘winning the war against invasive plants’. The aims of WfW were to protect ecosystem services, such as water resources and rangeland productivity; protect indigenous biodiversity; and create employment for disadvantaged and impoverished people. From as early as 1995, weed biocontrol was a part of WfW, with the understanding that success was impossible without it. Over 24 years, WfW has grown to an annual budget of over 100 million USD, has created 247 000 jobs, and cleared invasive alien plants from 35 million ha of land. Investment in biocontrol has grown exponentially and it is regarded as one of the most successful components of WfW in terms of reducing IAPs and restoring ecosystem services. Much of the success of WfW can be attributed to the dual approach of tackling poverty through employment and improving ecosystem services through IAP control. The relatively short-term goal of employment was achieved early in the programme, motivating for increased support, and this has allowed for the longer-term goal of restoration of ecosystems to be slowly achieved through a combination of physical clearing and biological control.


2021 Outdoor Equipment Demonstrations at the Warner Parks

A favorite session in past conferences has been the outdoor equipment demos.  In 2021 we have expanded this session and will be hosting demonstrations at the Warner Parks (WP) rain or shine.  Come visit this urban wilderness and the progress made in the “Invasive Free at the WP 2027” campaign.  Vendors have already begun to visit the park to set up demo sites in preparation for the December event.  If you have equipment or techniques you would like to demonstrate during the conference, please contact conference coordinator Steve Manning to discuss details.

Interested in Offering a Presentation?

Please send in an abstract according to the guidelines (Arial 11, single spaced, bold and italicized where indicated in the sample) in the example below to


Sample Abstract

Presenter:   Tree of Heaven

Title: Ailanthus Altissima

Affiliation: Trees

Contact Information


Telephone: 615-385-4319


Title of Presentation

Controlling Tree of Heaven

Abstract for Presentation 1

You can eradicate an infestation by eliminating every invasive plant and its seeds in the infestation, a difficult feat that requires timely and repeated use of the most effective treatments. You can control or suppress an infestation through medium effective treatments that mostly kill aboveground plant parts but that leave, even with repeated treatments, the live roots or rhizomes unharmed. You can contain an

infestation by confining and restricting its spread through effective treatments that eliminate outlier plants, spots, or advancing fronts. Containment is often the only option when infestations continue to encroach from adjoining untreated lands. Remember: all treatments should be monitored for determining followup actions.

Speaker Bio

Ailanthus is a deciduous tree to 80 feet (25 m) in height and 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter, with long pinnately compound leaves and circular glands under lobes on leaflet bases. Strong odor from flowers and other parts, sometimes likened to peanuts or cashews.


Read below for exhibit options.

All Table, Nonprofit and Booth Exhibitors will receive the following benefits:

  • Logo placement on conference website
  • Name and logo displayed in conference program
  • Exhibit booth or display table space
  • One full conference registration
  • Logo placement on conference website

Booth Exhibitor: $1,250

  • A draped, 10’ x 10’ exhibit area, with one clothed and draped 8’ table
  • A second full complementary registration

Table Exhibitor: $700

  • One clothed and draped 8’ table plus 2 chairs

Nonprofit Exhibitor: $300

  • Same benefits as regular Table Exhibitor


All Annual Meeting Sponsors receive the following benefits:

  • Logo placement on conference announcements, publications and website with a link to your website
  • Logo displayed in conference program
  • Logo displayed on prominent signage at the event
  • Exhibit booth space
  • Sponsor ribbons on name badges to recognize your company’s contribution

Additional benefits per tiered sponsor level include:

Concurrent Session Sponsor: $1,500

  • Receive 2 complimentary full conference registrations
  • Your company will be recognized as a sponsor of a concurrent session
  • Your company logo will appear on signage outside the session room

Break Sponsors: $3,000

  • Receive 4 complimentary full conference registrations
  • Your company will sponsor a morning or afternoon break during which all attendees will see your logo prominently displayed at the refreshment area
  • Quarter-page ad in conference program

Lunch Reception Sponsor: $5,000

  • Receive 6 complimentary full conference registrations
  • Your company will sponsor the one of the Exhibitor Lunch Receptions
  • All attendees will see your company name in several locations during lunch
  • Half-page ad in conference program

Evening Reception Sponsor: $7,500

  • Receive 8 complimentary full conference registrations
  • Your company will sponsor the Thursday evening Dinner
  • All attendees will recognize your company name in several locations around the buffet area; speaking opportunity at the general session
  • Full page ad in conference program

Additional or partial sponsorship opportunities are available such as sponsoring the tour, a break, special session, reception, or other marketing opportunity. 

For more information please contact Steven Manning at 615-969-1309 or