Edgar van der Grift, chairman of the Program Committee of IENE 2018

In his daily live Edgar van der Grift works as a senior research scientist in conservation biology at Wageningen Environmental Research, The Netherlands. In his research he focuses on the impacts of habitat fragmentation on wildlife populations and the effectiveness of measures that aim to restore habitat connectivity, e.g., the establishment of landscape linkages, ecological corridors, ecological networks, and wildlife crossing structures at roads and railways. Besides his scientific research he acts as a consultant for policy makers, road and railway planners and conservation groups during the preparation and implementation phase of projects that aim for the establishment of effective ecological networks.

Program Committee
The IENE 2018 Program Committee exist of five members and is responsible for preparing the program of the conference. Members of the committee are representatives from various countries worldwide. Besides Edgar (The Netherlands), there is Clara Grilo (Portugal), Andreas Seiler (Sweden), Rodney van der Ree (Australia) and Marcel Huijser (USA) who take part in the committee.

Promising abstracts
One of the first tasks of the committee was to prepare the call for abstracts and set up a submission and abstract evaluation system. After the deadline for abstract submissions was reached on February 1, 266 submissions had been received! The submissions originate from 37 countries located over six continents. All conference topics aimed for are covered, but abstracts that address the topics strategic planning, impact assessments or performance evaluation are most common. Although abstract evaluation is not completed yet, the committee is already impressed by the submitted work, which reflects state of the art transportation ecology science and practices.

IENE 2018 Conference
New this conference are the “lightning talks”; short presentations followed by one-on-one interactions between presenters and audience. These talks fit in the philosophy of the Program Committee that the conference should provide a lot of possibilities to get in contact and interact with each other. The committee is therefore happy to see that many people chose this form of presentation during submission. Likewise, it is good to see that a considerable number of workshop proposals have been submitted. Currently, it’s time for the committee to finalise the evaluation of submissions and construct an interesting and inspiring conference program, which will be a pleasant but nevertheless a challenging puzzle! We look forward seeing you in September.