Presidents Message 1-1-2019

Dear EWRS colleagues,

I hope you all had a peaceful and relaxing holiday at the end of 2018. It was a busy end to 2018, and an equally busy start to 2019 for the EWRS Executive Committee and Board, but I am pleased to announce that we have confirmed the appointment of a new Editor-in-Chief for Weed Research and a new EWRS Communication Officer.

I am very pleased to announce that Dr Alison Haughton will take up the role on Weed Research Editor-in-Chief from February 2019. Alison worked for several years as a research scientist in the Agroecology Department at Rothamsted Research in the UK. More recently she has established her own Ecology Author Services company in the UK ( Once Alison has settled into this role, we will ask her to write a short introduction to herself in a future newsletter. We are excited to welcome Alison to this role and wish her all the best.

For the last 14 years (a record for the Journal!), this role has been ably performed by Dr Jon Marshall, who has brought terrific energy and vision to the journal, overseeing several new developments, a widening of scope for the journal and a significant internationalisation of the Editorial Board. I am sure you will all join me once more in thanking Jon for his contribution and wishing him all the best in retirement. During his 14 years, Jon not only performed the normal Editor-in-Chief role but also oversaw much of the editorial management and administration. From 2019, Wiley has assigned an Editorial Assistant to the journal, Amy Joint, meaning that the new Editor will focus on content management and editorial policy and oversight.

I can also now confirm that Camilla Moonen will be appointed to the new role of EWRS Communication Officer. We received four applications for this position and interviewed two excellent candidates in December 2018. The Communication Officer role will be based at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, under the management of Camilla Moonen. Camilla has acted as the EWRS newsletter editor since 2004 and her new position is an evolution of this role. The Communication Officer will work closely with the new web site provider during 2019 to oversee development of a new EWRS web site. I would like to thank for Daniel Cloutier on behalf of the EWRS for his hard work over several years to provide web site services to the Society. Daniel was unable to bid for the contract for a new web site but will continue to provide his assistance and expertise to the EWRS as we migrate content to a new system.

As we move forward into 2019 (almost 20 years since the Millennium!), I find it fascinating and exciting to consider how our discipline may be shaped in future by new technology, new ideas and new challenges. We are constantly told that we are entering the age of ‘big data’, and whilst we should maintain a degree of realism in terms of what the big data revolution can deliver, I believe there are many opportunities in weed biology and management, spanning ‘gene to landscape’ scales. At the landscape scale, it is increasingly possible to use ‘drones’, aircraft and maybe even satellite imagery to monitor weed populations. This data can be combined with environmental data (climate, weather, soil) and farm management data to begin to understand what drives weed population dynamics, dispersal and, for example, herbicide resistance. In future, farm data platforms and associated networks may be used to capture diverse data sources to explore how agricultural weeds are responding to agronomic and weed management practices.

With these new changes and assignments, we hope to provide our Society with new tools and energy to face up to these challenges and become a reference point for weed scientists and beyond. 

Paul Neve, EWRS President