Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

INVASIVES 2023 Final Agenda Released!

By Lisa Houle | January 31, 2023

The countdown is on for ISCBC’s Invasives 2023 Forum February 28 to March 2, 2023! From an impressive lineup of speakers to big moments planned – like the greatly anticipated debut of our interactive Invasive Species Mobile Classroom, which will tour communities across BC, raising awareness of our work – we so look forward to connecting in person again!

More than 30 speakers will present in fascinating sessions like: The Impact of Invasive Species on Traditional Indigenous Practices and Invasive Species and Climate Change. Hear from Keynote Speakers  Paul Robitaille, Founder & CEO, Advocate Strategies, on February 28th, and Dr. Carin Bondar, Biologist, Author, Philosopher, University of the Fraser Valley, on March 1st.

Join us at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, BC for ISCBC’s Invasives 2023 Forum, February 28 – March 2, 2023!

Over two days you’ll hear from dynamic speakers doing incredible work in the invasive species realm, such as: Brian Holmes, Councilor (Leadership), Upper Nicola Band; Paul van Westendorp, Provincial Apiculturist, BC; and Dr. Julia Kreiner, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia.

Brian Holmes is a member of the Syilx Nation. He is a council member for the Upper Nicola Band Chief and Council, elected in 2011 and has served four consecutive terms. Brian is actively leading various projects in his community like invasive species eradication, water quality monitoring, streamflow monitoring and many other freshwater initiatives. Brian’s presentation will focus on three generations’ efforts to eradicate invasive yellow perch from Douglas Lake.

Paul van Westendorp is BC’s Provincial Apiarist. He’s been involved in apiculture research for Agriculture Canada, managed an apiculture development project for CARE International in Uganda, and was the Provincial Apiarist for Alberta prior to his BC appointment. Paul and his staff’s familiarity with stinging insects and their behaviour were key considerations for assigning the Northern giant hornet file to the Apiculture Program, which is primarily focused on honeybees. Paul’s presentation will focus on the collective power of persistence, public participation, and cross-jurisdictional collaboration.

Dr. Julia Kreiner is an evolutionary biologist studying native and invasive plant population responses to changing agricultural practices. Her work has focused on understanding the genetics of herbicide resistance and its spread across landscapes, to resolving two centuries of evolutionary change and invasion in response to agricultural expansion and intensification.  Julia’s presentation will describe how these extreme environments have driven a native North American plant, Common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), to become the pervasive agricultural weed it is today.

The Invasives 2023 Forum will bring back some of our biggest hits including Speedy Sessions on Day One. This session features multiple hosted tables focusing on high interest species and big issues. Attendees will have short and sweet, high energy, timed sessions with hosts for stimulating, rapid fire learning opportunities! It’s like speed dating, but for invasive species!

Hosts of the speedy sessions include:

  • Alex Prudhomme, MSc Candidate, Thompson Rivers University – Assessing the efficacy of spearfishing as a unique method of suppressing invasive Smallmouth bass.
  • Amy Hendel, Field Operations Manager, Diamond Head Consulting – Knotweed management plans, site preparation, excavation limits, root identification, cleaning protocols for equipment, transport, and offsite versus onsite disposal.
  • Chris Gill, Co-founder & Director of Invasive Species Programs, Coastal Conservation, Inc. – Eradicating established populations of Invasive Alien Species on islands.
  • Claude-Anne (Clo) Godbout-Gauthier, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council – Lessons learned from SSISC’s community control program on Burdock.
  • Daryl Wright, CEO, Seed 2 Leaf Environmental Consulting Inc. – Indigenous perspectives on land management, restoration, and invasive species.
  • Dominic Janus, Master’s student, University of British Columbia – Introduced Canada geese.
  • Dr. Catherine Tarasoff, Principal Owner, Agrowest Consulting Scientists – Using benthic barriers to control aquatic invasive species.
  • Dr. Fabio Mologni, Postdoctoral fellow, University of British Columbia Okanagan – Cumulative impacts of exotic invasive species within BC’s foreshore and riparian ecosystems.
  • Emma Kim, Trinity Western University – Environmental and economic frames applied to Bohemian knotweed management proposal.
  • Hunter Jarratt, Environmental Content Creator / Invasive Species Guy – Harnessing the power of social media for conservation advocacy.
  • Joanne Sales, Executive Director, Broombusters Invasive Plant Society – A crash course in how 700+ Broombuster Volunteers successfully slow the spread of Scotch broom.
  • Kephra Beckett, Conservation Coordinator, BC Nature – The collective power of nature clubs.
  • Margaret Cuthbert, President, Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society – How Boundary Bay has been affected by European green crab and efforts to trap/destroy them.
  • Matthew Syvenky, Restoration Technician – Resource and Environmental Management Student, Invasive Species Council of BC & Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver – Running Rubus Restoration project.
  • Mike Dedels, General Manager, Grassland Conservation Council of BC – Long term perspectives on wildfire disturbance, revegetation and invasive plants.

Join us at our Day One networking session for an opportunity to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and discuss Day One of the forum! We will also be featuring several scientific posters for you to enjoy and learn about the amazing research being conducted around BC. If you are interested in highlighting your research during our Day One networking session, please send your short poster abstract to Torin Kelly (

Breaking news: ISCBC’s Invasives 2023 Forum now offers even more value to those attending – pesticide applicators can now collect Continuing Education Credits to renew their certificates! By signing in and attending five 30-minute presentations in the Pest Management category, a total of 2.5 credits (.5 credits per course)will be awarded.

Be the first to tour ISCBC’s Invasive Species Mobile Classroom. This trailer will tour the province, stopping in communities big and small, to introduce folks to our work and our behaviour change programs. You’re in for an interactive experience, concluding with a chance to take a behaviour change pledge and play our never-seen-before video game. We’re keeping the details of our trailer under wraps until our Forum, then we’ll show it to the rest of the province!

This is our first in-person forum since 2020 and participants will learn the latest in practical, cutting-edge information, see powerful examples of multi-agency collaboration, and feel energized about the positive momentum to help protect BC’s rich biodiversity. Sign up today for Invasives 2023 – there’s going to be something for everyone at this can’t-miss event!

Membership has its benefits. Did you know, ISCBC members get discounts on special events – like our Invasives 2023 Annual Forum – training courses, and more all year long? Your membership also helps us shape the future of healthy landscapes. Join us in-person Feb 28 – Mar 2, for Invasives 2023. Save money by signing up for your membership today!

Lisa is a Communications and Outreach Coordinator at ISCBC. She values a diverse environment and connecting with others about environmental protection. In her spare time Lisa enjoys spending time at the ocean and beach combing for sea glass. You can reach Lisa at