How to identify and enhance vineyard biodiversity with Prof. Steve Wratten

The workshop is being held at Plumpton College on Friday, 18 May, 2012, starting at 10:00 and finishing at 16:00.

The workshop will focus on how to identify and enhance valuable biodiversity in vineyards for sustainability and profit. Encouraging nature's ecosystem services – biological pest, disease and weed control, nutrient cycling – can add value to vineyards while reducing reliance on herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

By the end of the workshop those attending will be able to:

• Identify beneficial plants and insects
• Understand how to identify and enhance valuable vineyard biodiversity
• Develop strategies to conserve and encourage ecosystem services in vineyards

Stephen Wratten is Professor of Ecology at Lincoln University and Visiting Professor at Charles Sturt University. He is Deputy Director of the Bio-Protection Research Centre, a Centre of Research Excellence. He has worked at the universities of London, Southampton, Cambridge, UK, holds three doctorates and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has around 400 refereed publications, including six books. His main research concerns evaluating and enhancing “nature’s services” (ecosystem services). Using resource economics techniques, the existing value of these services (such things as biological control of pests, pollination, soil formation) is estimated and then habitat manipulation (“ecological engineering”) is used to enhance these services on farmland to provide profit and real evidence of sustainability. This work is done across several agricultural sectors but the most prominent work is in vineyards – see: http://bioprotection.org.nz/greening-waipara. Protocols for functional biodiversity in vineyards, developed from the vinecology research by Steve’s group are currently in use throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as Chile, USA and parts of Europe.

Venue Address:

Plumpton College
The Vintners Room, Plumpton College Wine Department
Ditchling Road, Nr. Lewes
East Sussex
BN7 3AE