Messages from the past and present Presidents
It has been my pleasure to serve as the EWRS President for the period of 2018 and 2019. As well as attending to the routine month-to-month matters of EWRS life and administration, I was keen to work with the Board to oversee a few changes and upgrades to EWRS resources and activities. A key part of this strategy has been to commission and launch a new web site and I am delighted to see this become a reality. There is still work to do to add content and make sure that the site is dynamic and attracts many visitors, but you all have a role to play in that now! We have also appointed a dedicated EWRS Communication team, headed by Dr Camilla Moonen (). Please do contact Camilla if you would like to contribute content or have ideas for web site features and functions.
So now, I will thank you for your support and handover to the new President, Dr Jukka Salonen and the new Executive Committee team and wish them all the best for a productive and enjoyable period steering the EWRS ship! I would like to close with one comment regarding diversity and inclusion within the EWRS; it has been pointed out to me (with some justification) that the EWRS Executive Committee has been dominated by male members. The recent round of elections has not changed this. The EWRS has taken steps to ensure there is inclusion of male and female and early career researchers on the Board, but without taking very positive action to insist on, for example, female only lists, we are limited by who puts themselves forward and who the membership votes for. I hope there is way to ensure a more equal representation in the future and I am sure the Board will welcome your suggestions!!
Finally, as the sun sets on my period as President of the EWRS, it rises on another phase of my career. In mid-January, I will be leaving Rothamsted and leaving active research to take up a role as the head of IPM at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK. In this role, I will oversee research strategy and funding and will work with farmers and industry stakeholders to promote the design and adoption of integrated pest management strategies (where the ‘P’ in pest stands for insects, weeds and diseases). Of course, involvement with the EWRS can and will remain a part of this role.
Best Wishes and thank you for your support,
The International Year of Plant Health 2020 is already well under way and I would like to start by wishing you all a prosperous year. After having served as EWRS Vice President for two years, it is now my turn to act as the EWRS President after Paul Neve. I would like to acknowledge, on behalf of all EWRS members, Paul’s efforts and dedication to the Society during 2016-2019. Paul, together with his predecessor Bärbel Gerowitt, worked very hard to revitalize the scientific and operational activities of EWRS. The successful EWRS Symposium 2018 in Ljubljana and the brand new EWRS website are remarkable pieces of evidence on their achievements.
My warmest thanks go to Hüsrev Mennan, the Scientific Secretary of EWRS, for excellent team work and friendship. Two years ago we started as new Board members and EWRS Officers responsible for the scientific activities together with the Working Group coordinators. Hüsrev and I went through a learning process in administrating and implementing the scientific program. We were pleased to acknowledge that Working Groups organized successful workshops either alone or as joint-effort. A special event on Glyphosate will be organized in September 2020 within the framework of EWRS’s social and scientific responsibilities.
The EWRS has recently completed a round of elections for new Board members. I would like to welcome the new Board members; Josef Soukup (Vice President), Judith Wirth and Maor Matzrafi (additional Board members) ) as well as re-elected Lammert Bastiaans (Board Secretary) and Ben Post (Treasurer), and to congratulate them on their success. I am happy to know all these people from before and looking forward to efficiently work with them for the mission of EWRS. The next Board meeting will be organized in early April and all EWRS members are welcome to keep in touch with Board members if any weedy issues in your mind.
In addition to the active scientific co-operation within the Society and with colleagues all over the world, the EWRS wants to be a key player in transferring our knowledge on weeds and weed management to various target groups. The modernized EWRS website is aimed to serve and facilitate this challenge. Camilla Moonen, the Communication Officer of EWRS, assisted by Sabine Gennai-Schott are happy to support the membership in various kind of information flow. Please follow actively www.ewrs.org as it contains for instance the latest News from Working Groups, replaces the EWRS Newsletter and includes “members only” sections. The EWRS is now present in the social media (Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter) as well. Camilla is currently working hard in motivating me to hop in these information channels.
Congratulations to our scientific journal Weed Research celebrating its 60-year anniversary in 2020! We all are looking forward to seeing some birthday elements in the coming issues. Good luck to Alison Haughton, Editor-in-Chief, and the publisher Wiley. At the same time, Working Groups continue organizing Workshops and start to prepare the scientific Program for the EWRS Symposium 2021 in Athens, Greece. All the best for the Program Committee chaired by Josef Soukup and the Local Organizing Committee chaired by Demosthenis Chachalis. I invite all EWRS members to be active in developing the Program via the Working groups and start to prepare your own contributions which can be submitted little bit later this year. The Symposium website www.ewrs2021.org will be opened soon and will keep you updated with useful information and deadlines.
Finally, some information about the current EWRS President, just call me Dr. Jukka. I have been working as research scientist in Jokioinen Finland since the early 1980s. The name of our institute has been changed a couple of times and is currently called Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The web site www.luke.fi provides you with detailed information about the governmental research organization. Weeds and weed management in arable crops has been my main interest and framework of projects. Weed surveys in spring cereal fields in Finland has probably been one of the research themes I am famous for. Management of creeping perennial weeds is continuous topic in the project agenda and a good reason for the network with colleagues in northern Europe.
The EWRS is very familiar to me after having served as Board Secretary during 1996-2003, additional Board member during 2006-2009 and for a long time as member of the EWRS Heritage Committee chaired by Thomas Eggers. Since the early 1980s I have actively participated in the Working Group activities of WG Weed Mapping, WG Physical and cultural weed control, WG Germination and early growth, WG Crop-Weed interactions and WG Weeds and Biodiversity. I certainly will continue in showing up in the coming Workshops. I will of course concentrate on administrative issues, visibility of EWRS and making the EWRS attractive for current and new members, young ones in particular.
The EWRS President works closely together with Vice President, Board Secretary, Scientific Secretary and Treasurer. These elected officers of the Board form the Executive Committee and they are responsible for day-to-day management of the Society. Still, every current member of EWRS is needed to put into practice the mission of EWRS. Talk, tell and write about the EWRS!