This workshop will enhance the dialog of experts and young scientists on: 1) the current and emerging challenges posed by pests and pathogens to forest tree species; 2) the current status and extent of our knowledge of genetic foundations of resistance to these threats; 3) the emerging ideas and technologies from around the globe that are relevant to resistance genetics and breeding programs; 4) the successes to date in applied resistance breeding programs; and 5) creating a vision for the next decade for work in this area. The timing of this meeting is critical as examples of the implementation of both classical (e.g. white pine blister rust resistance and fusiform rust resistance in pines) and novel (e.g. transgenic blight-resistant chestnut) resistance development in forest species are coming to the forefront and the directions that individual breeding programs may choose for developing resistant trees in the future will likely rely heavily on examples such as these.

    

Unlike most scientific workshops, this meeting features a workshop-style format to encourage participation, communication, and engagement. The number of attendees will be capped at ~110 and contributed talk sessions will also have formalized discussion components. Continuing the precedent set in the previous conferences of this series, the objectives of this conference include:

  1. Providing a forum for world experts on invasive insects and diseases of forest trees and forest tree resistance genetics to discuss the challenges facing healthy sustainability and expansion of native, managed, and urban forests worldwide
  2. Providing a forum for updating progress made in identifying and understanding genetic resistance to invasive insects and diseases of forest trees with focused examples from around the globe of “promise to practice” in development of resistant trees and their implementation
  3. Providing opportunities for scientists to reflect and strategize solutions to current invasive insect and disease problems while at the same time fostering collaborations on proactive approaches that integrate fundamental and applied research in preparation for future challenges, strengthening the global network of those focusing on genetic resistance in trees
  4. Providing a venue for young scientists to showcase their work and interact with world experts as both an educational experience and an essential part of their career development