The theme of this year’s conference was “The Human Role in Biological Invasions – a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?“. Twenty years ago, the first NEOBIOTA Conference has been organized. During this period, our comprehension of alien species is continuously increasing, same as the number of challenges caused by the alien species. Humans, as a driving force and main ecological engineers nowadays, play a crucial role in alien species invasions as well. A role that has two faces or two mutually opposite characters just as was the case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella. We are responsible for the dispersal of alien species (on purpose or accidentally), and are creating a disturbance in habitats that is enabling alien species to become invasive. However, we are also trying to manage and control them, to increase public awareness and increase citizen science activities. Therefore, a central focus of the conference was put on the human role in biological invasions – the conference organizers have pointed out. The 11th International Conference on Biological Invasion – NEOBIOTA2020 was held in Vodice from 15 to 18 September 2020.
This year, for the first time due to the measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference included also virtual participation of lecturers and participants. A total of about 60 oral and 110 poster presentations were held. The Sava TIES project was presented with two poster presentations within the topic “Management of invasive species from decision-makers to practitioners: lost in translation or on the right track?”. The project activities were presented and the launch of a database for invasive alien species that are present in the Sava River Basin was announced to virtually and physically present conference participants. The database will soon be available to be used by experts and the general public interested in the Sava River Basin. In this way, the SavaParks Network is aiming to contribute to the global goal of preventing the spread of invasive alien species and to the conservation of biological diversity.