PlantAlert: Finding the Invasive Plants of the Future

Natural History Live by Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz & April Webb

Ornamental horticulture is the main source of alien plants in the British Flora. Insufficient resources are available to conduct risk assessments for all of the 70,000 ornamental plants on sale.  It is therefore vital to identify and manage those species that have a higher potential to become invasive, to prevent them negatively affecting natural biodiversity. Through citizen science PlantAlert aims to utilise those on the front line, gardeners, to highlight plants showing invasive tendencies before they jump the garden fence. Learn why this process is needed, how to get involved, and what we have found out so far. PlantAlert is a collaboration between and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.

Natural History Live events are free online natural history talks, comprising of a 30-40 minute talk from either an FSC member of staff or a guest speaker, followed by a question and answer session. We host them on Zoom and we will send out joining instructions on the day of the event. Sign up to the FSC BioLinks newsletter to find out about our other online learning opportunities here.


The FSC BioLinks project is funded by the Field Studies Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund. These Natural History Live webinars are made available to all at no cost. However, we’ve listened to your feedback and added an optional fee for those that would like the opportunity to contribute financially to our work to provide adult learning opportunities for a range of audiences.

Discounted – select if you would like to attend at no cost

Attendee – select if you would like to attend at a cost of £5 (all donated fees go towards supporting the FSC BioLinks project activities)

Tutor: Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz

Katharina is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. She is a plant ecologist with a background in vegetation science and nature conservation. Her research projects focus on the prevention, management and impacts of biological invasions for nature conservation, horticulture and agriculture.

Tutor: April Webb

April is a plant ecology intern at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience working alongside Katharina. She has worked practically within the horticultural industry and is actively involved in nature conservation and botanical surveying.

Example Timetable

The usual format of Natural History Live virtual events is:

  • 5 minute intro by the FSC BioLinks project team
  • 30-40 minute talk presented by guest speaker
  • 15-25 minute speaker Q&A session hosted by the FSC BioLinks project team

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

Before You Attend

Please note that after booking on to the event:

  • You will need to download the Zoom software before we start. This is free and you can do so here:
  • You can sign into the Zoom test meeting any time before to test if everything is working for you here: