Student Conference on Conservation Science

Plenaries 2023

"The wonderful world of hoverflies"

Dr. Ante Vujić

Hoverflies (Diptera, Syrphidae) are commonly known as flower visitors and pollinators, as well as mimics of bees and wasps. Furthermore, because of the aphid-feeding habit of the larvae of some of them, they are recognized as biocontrol agents in various crops. However,there is a lot more to tell about them. More than 900 syrphid species are known in Europe, about half of which occur in the Mediterranean zone. Hoverfly larvae can be found in almost every habitat, except caves and the deep water of rivers and lakes, and exhibit an unusual diversity of larval biology for one family of Diptera. They include not only predators of plant bugs, larvae of beetles and small moths, but also plant feeders in stems, tubers and bulbs of herbaceous plants, and a wide range of microphages/saprophages. They are excellent ecosystems indicators, great model for development of conservation strategies and beautiful in nature on the flowers. 


"Parasites, pesticides, and (wild) pollinator conservation"

Dr. Mark Brown

Wild pollinators provide a crucial service to terrestrial ecosystems, and thus their decline has broad implications for biodiversity. While land-use change is clearly the main driver of decline, a range of other stressors challenge pollinator populations. In this talk I will examine the impacts of parasites and pesticides on wild bumble bees, a key group of pollinators in northern temperate, alpine, and arctic regions. I will discuss, given this knowledge, what changes we could make to policy and practice to maximise bumble bee health in a world where landscapes remain dominated by agroecosystems.


"Facilitating biodiversity protection and implemetnation of Agenda 2030 in the Carpathian Region."

Dr. Tamara Mitrofanenko

The Carpathian Mountains, shared between seven countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine is a region with important biological and landscape diversity, including virgin and semi-natural forests, which provide habitats for a variety of wildlife. The Carpathian region is rich with cultural heritage; residents of rural communities maintain traditional ecological knowledge important for preserving cultural landscapes and nature. The presentation will introduce the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (the Carpathian Convention)  - a regional agreement adopted by the seven Carpathian countries, aimed at supporting cooperation for preserving its natural and cultural diversity, implementing SDGs and adaptation to the challenges that the Carpathians and its people are facing. It will demonstrate links between practice,  science and policy addressing the region. Participants will be invited to highlight links between the work of the Convention and the SDGs and provide suggestions and recommendations on how young and early career researchers and professionals in the field of conservation biology can support these efforts.


“Unifying research underwater and land for effective freshwater conservation”

Dr. Balázs A. Lukács

Research conducted both underwater and above water plays a crucial role in the conservation of our freshwaters. This multidimensional approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of aquatic ecosystems and aids in the development of effective conservation strategies. By investigating both the submerged and terrestrial aspects of freshwaters, researchers can address various critical aspects of conservation. I will give insight into the challenges faced by conservationist with freshwaters and discuss some key research topics that contribute to address these issues.