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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment
Staff image of Carol  Ellison

Carol Ellison Principal Scientist, Invasive Species Management

T: +44 (0)1491 829003


CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW209TY, United Kingdom

I am a plant pathologist by training, with over 25 years’ experience, specialising in the field of biological control of weeds using fungal pathogens. I have travelled extensively overseas, particularly in the tropics, undertaking surveys and training, with extended periods of field work in Kenya and Thailand.

Although I have worked on projects targeting many important invasive weed species, my most notable success has been the management of Mikania micrantha in tropical Asia and the Pacific, with a rust biological control agent. Through my research in implementing weed biological control projects, I have gained considerable understanding of quarantine procedures and regulations. Although much of my time is now spent managing and developing projects in invasive species management, I still undertake hands-on research, and have over 50 scientific publications. I have supervised both MSc and PhD students, as well as running training courses and workshops.

Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Locating a biological control for tutsan in New Zealand

Tutsan, native to Europe, was introduced to New Zealand but is now a major invasive species. In 2011, CABI’s Swiss centre was approached by Landcare Research to investigate prospects for the biological control of tutsan. Surveys in the native range revealed a suite of insects and pathogens. CABI’s...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Biological control of Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam has rapidly become one of the UK’s most invasive weed species. A lack of natural enemies allows it to successfully compete with native plants for space, light, nutrients and pollinators, reducing biodiversity and contributing to erosion. Traditional control methods are inadequate. This...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Exploring options to control Canada thistle

Despite the name, Canada thistle’s natural home is Eurasia. It has spread throughout the temperate world to become one of the worst weeds in rangeland and crops. One reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that attack it in its area of origin. In North America six insect natural enemies have...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Biological control of flowering rush

Attractive pink flowers make the Eurasian plant flowering rush a popular aquatic ornamental. But since it was introduced to North America it has become an aggressive invader of freshwater systems in the midwestern/ western USA and western Canada. One likely reason for this is the absence of the natural...