The Third International Workshop on Biological Soil Crusts, or BIOCRUST 3, follows successful workshops held first in Germany in 2010 and then in Spain in 2013. Attendees at the workshop held in Madrid, Spain, selected Moab, Utah, USA, as the location of the BIOCRUST 3. Situated on the semi-arid Colorado Plateau, Moab features some of the world’s most conspicuous biocrusts in great abundance and world famous scenery, including two U.S. National Parks. Field trips will allow attendees to experience the natural beauty of Utah, in addition to learning about local biocrust research.

This meeting will bring together international scientists interested in biological soil crusts, or biocrusts, to exchange ideas and results, discuss possible new theories and approaches, and to provide a forum to facilitate the collaboration among the growing international community of scientists working with biocrusts. To facilitate the exchange of ideas, BIOCRUST3 will include invited plenary talks, contributed oral sessions, poster sessions, field trips, and several social activities.

BIOCRUST 3 host and co-chairs

Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, will serve as the institutional host of BIOCRUST 3. With a growing interest in the field of biocrust research, Northern Arizona University welcomed the opportunity to host researchers from around the world working in an area that is of increasing importance in the southwestern United States as the effects of climate change and evolving land-use patterns accelerate.

The conference co-chairs for BIOCRUST 3 are:

  • Sasha Reed is a Research Ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Southwest Biological Science Center. Sasha's research interests are centered around gathering a fundamental understanding of what makes ecosystems work the way they do, and of how they will respond to a variety of local, regional, and global changes. The ultimate goal of Sasha's research is to provide information to help maintain the desirable features of the Earth's ecosystems in a world that is rapidly changing.  
  • Matthew Bowker is an Assistant Professor in the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. Matt's research interests include community and ecosystem ecology of soils, restoration ecology, biocrusts, and mycorrhizas. In particular, Matt is interested in applied research focused on  restoration of biocrusts, as a means to rehabilitate drylands.